Ashley Madison Fat Ad Shames Women, Says Obese Model

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Fat Acceptance Group Slams Ashley Madison for Ads

Peggy Howell, spokeswoman for the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), said that discrimination is "exceedingly pervasive."

"Health care doctors don't want to treat us and there are work situations where people are not hired because of they are a certain body size and overlooked for promotions and raises," she said. "We are told that we really should take steps to change our bodies, and when we do, we are often ridiculed."

"Ashley Madison has certainly figured out the perfect way to maximize his advertising dollars by creating a series of obnoxious ads that he knows will make women's groups and size acceptance groups quite angry," said Powell. "When we object to his inflammatory ads and immoral website, he reaps the benefit of the media exposure."

Last year NAAFA joined a new organization, the International Association Against Image Discrimination, to fight worldwide image discrimination.

Jezebel editor Anna North said that despite the sexual nature of Jacqueline's personal website, the ads are "disturbing."

"The photo of her was meant as an erotic photo with a 'come hither' posture," North said. "The character they are creating in the ad is a wife who is sexual and not someone who does not want to have sex with her husband. It is really contrary to the image that Ashley Madison portrays of helping people in sexless marriages."

The tit-for-tat began when Jezebel received tips from readers who saw post-Halloween the ads in New York's Metro newspaper.

North wrote a critical Nov. 1 commentary, not knowing who the model was: "The message: your wife, though she's clearly gone to some effort to look sexy and seduce you, is too fat. Solution: adultery."

Several days later, Jezebel received a letter from Jacqueline.

"Sometimes, someone has a good point, but they are not a professional writer and are not articulate," North said. "She did a really good job and the e-mail was powerful, so we posted it in full."

North said she does not judge people in open relationships who use the dating service. "If that is true, no one is getting hurt," she said. "But if the company is actually promoting outright infidelity in monogamous relationships, they are doing something despicable."

Especially, said North, if a man can cheat on his wife just because he doesn't find her attractive.

Jacqueline's erotic website, which is filled with gritty images of the model in pornographic poses, is beside the point, according to North.

"If the people involved are coerced or trafficked or don't have choices, I would be bothered, but that doesn't seem to be the case with her," she said. "It's her own site and she is doing this out of free will."

Jacqueline defended her pornographic website as not "shaming to myself or to other women."

"I portray myself in a positive and proactive light, well aware and assured of my subscribers' attraction to me," according to Jacqueline, who said she has full control of the site's content -- "the opposite of exploitation."

She said she believes the mean-spirited campaign damages the self-worth of all women, not just fat ones, especially in a society riddled with eating disorders and bullying.

"A size 2 woman who sees this ad sees the message: 'If I don't stay small, he will cheat,'" she writes. "A size 12 woman might see this ad and think, 'if I don't lose 30 lbs, he will cheat.' A size 32 woman could see this ad, and feel 'I will never find love.' It's horrific."

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