Offering online programs that target men and women separately, Weight Watchers communicates, represents, and manipulates gender in its program marketing and materials. In this article, I demonstrate how Weight Watchers engages aspects of hegemonic masculinity as they endeavor to construct “masculine” versus “feminine” dieting through contrasting depictions of food, the body, and technology use. By analyzing the difference in the weight loss experiences that Weight Watchers Online promises, I argue that limited types of self are made available to women and men. Weight Watchers portrays female dieters on a difficult but actualizing and empowering journey toward a new and better self. Conversely, Weight Watchers depicts male clients losing weight easily, even effortlessly, but retaining a stable and immutable masculine selfhood throughout the process. This constraint upon self-making exposes how patriarchy subordinates even the men assumed to profit the most from its power, as the male weight loss promise withholds transformative potentials.
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