SNL's CHONK Purposely Misses The Mark On Womens Empowerment

Oct 17, 2016
Pop Culture

By Kelsey Duchesne

Ya know when you walk into a store and they only have 4 size options (and surprise! None of them are yours), or when they put larger sizes into an entirely different category called “plus size” and “women’s plus”? And while it’s really and truly great to have that option, makes you wonder why women’s clothes need different names and categories when at the end of the say it’s simply women’s clothing? Never fear, SNL has teamed up with a size-race-age-everything inclusive women's line (ya know, for the everyday woman) called CHONK. Rolls off the tongue, right?

Saturday Night Live released a v. good sketch that reminds us how painfully translucent ads can be for women's clothing. A smart parody of empowering-but-actually-a-lil-insulting marketing, CHONK isn’t too far off from brands that may mean well with their “all inclusive” strategy, but ends up making women feel more disconnected from their shopping experience than before. “Prove them wrong!” the narrator champions. “You rock!” The women in the ad start to look a bit uneasy-- prove who wrong, exactly? “We’re the only store that accepts your unique body!” Wait, so no one else accepts my body? “Unique?” Sasheer Zamata asks the camera. When promoting their young girls line, Aidy Bryant grabs her daughter and pulls her out of the frame. “No, I don't want this for my daughter."

The CHONK narrator announces that they have a men's store, appropriately called Normal Clothes. The commercial cuts to two men shopping at a store. “I got the size I want!” one man says. “Me, too!” says his friend. “That was so easy!” Sigh...if only it were that simple for a 5'11 gal looking for jeans.

The juxtaposition is a reminder of how men, no matter what their size, do not need to be reminded that they are smart, or strong, or that they rock. Men do not need to “prove anything wrong.” The size is available for them because their body type is valid, yet with women's clothing, brands need to constantly reaffirm that women's bodies deserve to be seen, and it’s unfortunate that this isn’t a given (yet? Hopefully?)

“No matter what size you are, you’ll still feel CHONK!” After a commercial like this, we’re sure that’s true. Watch the video below!


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