by Carmen Rios

This is something I don’t enjoy seeing in the news: Diet Pepsi will soon be available in a “taller, sassier new Skinny Can” that the company says is a “celebration of beautiful, confident women.”

I also dislike statements like these: “Our slim, attractive new can is the perfect complement to today’s most stylish looks.”  The skinny can has caused a ton of controversy. This makes me happy, even if the cans make me sad.

For years, the media has told women who we are supposed to be. They have punished us for wanting our freedom, for wanting respect, and for demanding our humanity. The media has called us fat, stupid, rude, incompetent, bitchy, unattractive, and whiny. The media has objectified us, harassed us, ridiculed us, and hurt us.

I don’t want to write a blog about the cans. It’s been done. What I want to do is make something very clear: Beautiful, confident women do not come in packages. Women cannot be manufactured. These Pepsi cans have stepped up the media’s objectification of women and put it inside their homes. They have woven an illusion of “real womanhood” into women’s lives—and and right into their refrigerators. Pepsi has reduced us this time to tall, thin objects to reflect what we should want to be: lifeless, and “perfect.”

Pepsi, your can is not the problem. Your beliefs are the problem.