THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Globe Editorial

Pepsi can: Tall, sassy, and misguided

Fashion designer Betsey Johnson holds up the Diet Pepsi new “skinny’’ can for Fashion Week. Fashion designer Betsey Johnson holds up the Diet Pepsi new “skinny’’ can for Fashion Week. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
February 16, 2011

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

Text size +

New York’s Fashion Week is in high gear, and with it many of the usual debates about emaciated models and healthy eating. This year’s biggest Fashion Week controversy, however, doesn’t center upon a risque outfit, but rather on a soft drink company: Pepsi is attracting some well-deserved ire for a can redesign that captures — in aluminum form — the unhealthy messages sent by the fashion industry.

The special-edition Diet Pepsi can, which will be introduced nationwide in March, is longer and skinnier than its forebears. Pepsi said the “taller, sassier’’ cans are being unveiled in “celebration of beautiful, confident women.’’ But it’s clear that by “beautiful’’ and “confident,’’ Pepsi means skinny. It’s an ironic message coming from, of all companies, a soft-drink maker.

Given the unhealthy state of American diets — and the unhealthy expectations to which so many young women are subjected — Pepsi never should have let this can, tall and sassy as it may be, onto the runway.