Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beyonce and Pepsi: The Unfortunate Deal


Work is a great place to bounce ideas off of coworkers and share thoughts on current issues. Although Beyonce did a great job of performing at the 2013 Inauguration, we were talking about a much different subject relating to the popstar.

Late last year, Pepsi revealed their top representative for this year, Beyonce. While the numbers were revealed and it was lead on that she was receiving major cash for the endorsement, bloggers took to the web to share their thoughts on Beyonce's big promotional deal.

The general consensus did not agree with Beyonce taking up a deal with a company that essentially participates in obesity, by manufacturing sugary drinks. By looking at Beyonce's post-baby body, it's obvious that soda is not a part of her daily diet and exercise regiment. Bloggers slammed her for lending her star powered image to a refreshment that does not promote a positive lifestyle. I have to say that I agree.

Now, saying this to my coworkers prompted a healthy debate on federal and state regulations. New York state lawmakers passed a law banning the sale of large sizes for soft drinks (anything above a large at your local McDonald's). This was an effort to reduce obesity statistics and essentially take away the option for extreme sizes that entice buyers. I cannot count how many times a movie theater employee has suggested upgrading my drink size for "only a quarter more" to which I decline without hesitation, but too many times people are persuaded into this harmful purchase. No, one can of soda won't kill you or contribute to obesity, but Americans are not drinking sugary drinks in moderation; we are a country of excess. Once again, I agree with this type of regulation, simply because the majority of the population is unable to make these smarter choices for themselves.

This push for limitations on rights outraged my coworkers because they believe a small limitation such as this can lead to bigger ones that seriously effect our way of life. They argued that it's not the business of state or federal lawmakers to determine how much of anything the American people can consume. This lead us back to Beyonce, and her endorsement of Pepsi products. I believe lending her influential image to a company that makes sugary refreshment isn't a positive for her young fans. I'm talking about the impressionable youth, that see her image on a can of soda and choose to drink only that soda because of this reason. Yes, parents are responsible for teaching and helping their children make healthy choices. Parents also have to provide for their children, so they may not be there to correct any and every mistake their child makes.

My coworkers then shot back by telling me that limiting choices is not the answer, instead we should be educating children. I really had no defense, but it became obvious this was not an argument I could win. It still gives me a chuckle to think that the first lady, Michelle Obama, a champion for child wellness didn't have any words for Beyonce's endorsement. I believe that if Beyonce wasn't so well-liked by the Obama's they would have different thoughts on the issue.

No matter what we think, Beyonce and Pepsi are laughing all the way to the bank.

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