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June 27, 2017

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'Sexist' ad blasted by women's rights groups

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Several women's rights groups lashed out at a recent green papaya yogurt drink commercial that set large breasts as the beauty standard for children and teenage girls, which is not appropriate, they said.

The women's rights groups said that the commercial should be removed immediately and the National Communications Commission (NCC) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) should start looking into TV shows and commercials that might affect the mental health of young people.

According to the women's rights groups, in the controversial TV commercial a little girl who is about three or four years old tells a young woman that she wants to be as pretty as she is when she grows up.

However, the camera immediately zooms in on the young woman's breasts, and the little girl gets upset at not having the same look as the young woman. After the young woman tells the little girl that she will look like her if she drinks the green papaya yogurt drink every day, the little girl has a smile on her face again.

Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培), the executive director of the Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women's Rights (TAPWR), said that the commercial twists the beauty standard for women and emphasizes big breasts as a standard of beauty.

Chien said that the commercial also hints obliquely at the idea that breast enhancement will be the result of consuming this product, and it also tricks teenagers into purchasing the product by spreading the idea that large breasts equal beauty.

According to Chien, the commercial severely affects the mental development of children and young adults, which is against the Satellite Broadcasting Act.

Chairman of Taiwan Women's Link (台灣女人連線) Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) said that it is a folk remedy and there is a popular traditional idea that green papaya can increase breast milk production, but there is not enough medical evidence to prove that consuming green papaya can result in breast enlargement.

Huang said that according to the Act Governing Food Sanitation, labeling, promotion or advertisement of foods, food additives, food cleansers and food utensils, food containers or packaging designated by the central competent authority in a public announcement shall not be false, exaggerated or misleading.

However, Huang said, even though the commercial for the green papaya yogurt drink does not directly use breast enhancement as the promotion line, the content of the ad does hint that the product will help consumers increase breast size, which is against regulations.

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