"Women want smaller waists, not bigger IQs"

The week's most repulsive press release. So far.

Published January 9, 2006 4:49PM (EST)

In my mailbox this morning was the most aggressively annoying press release I've seen in a while, and that's saying something. It came from the TescoDiets branch of the British grocery and pharmacy chain Tesco, and blared the news: "Women Want Smaller Waists, Not Bigger IQs."

Tesco purports to have done a survey in honor of Monday, Jan. 9 -- a day that Tesco has classily dubbed "D-Day -- or Diet Day" -- finding that "nineteen out of twenty UK women would rather be slim than have a much higher IQ." Apparently, they'd also rather be slim than never have any money worries or date the celebrity of their choice.

The words "health," "strength," "energy" and "nutrition" were all strangely missing from the press release. The question of whether 19 out of 20 women would rather be slim than beat the Tesco representative over the head with a stick was not part of the survey.

By Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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