Advertising, Dieting/WLS, Fat, Femininity, Food, You've Got to Be Kidding Me

WTF of the day: Fling candy bars

Andy Wright at Mother Jones nails everything wrong with Mars’s new candy bars for the lady market so perfectly, I can’t even add anything. I can only quote:

Predictably, one of the hot selling points for the Fling bar is that “at under 85 calories per finger, it’s slim, but not skinny. Indulgent but not greedy. Naughty but nice.” In other words, the candy perfectly straddles the contradictions of the angel/whore dilemma in a way its intended female consumers never will…. The PR packages that went out to media outlets contained sheer T-shirts that read “Try It In Public,” equating the act of women consuming sweets in front of other people with being as taboo as committing sex acts in front of them. 

Seriously, read the whole thing. Then come back here and scream.

128 thoughts on “WTF of the day: Fling candy bars”

  1. I…I’m…I’m not sure whether to laugh, cry, or just throw myself off a bridge in despair here.

    What in the hell is up with the mica in the stupid things to make them “sparkly”? Is it like the Twilight candy or something?

  2. Seriously?!? Pink and sparkly (and with handbags falling out of women’s vaginas)? Am I thirteen again?!

    Excuse me while I go sit on my non-pink, non-sparkly couch and watch hockey, which is neither pink nor sparkly.

  3. So they put mica in the candy to make it sparkle. The only reason I would ever! be tempted to try this is to see if the sparkle, um, translates to the other end . . .

    car, I totally LOL’ed at “chocolate fingers.”

    Meg, I think Google crawled a SM post a few back where she was talking about the Google analytics for this site–it’ll probably change soon.

  4. Wow. That is just so wrong on so many levels. I mean, glittery CANDY? I like glitter, but the stuff does not belong in chocolate. And advertising the calorie content?! Some things in life are not meant to be low-cal! Food is not enjoyable when you’re obsessing over calories and fat grams and carbs and what-all, and that goes double for dessert!

    But then, I’m a chocolate snob who shuns all things Mars, Nestle and Hershey whenever I can get my hands on Lindt, Ghirardelli, or Scharffen-Berger. Life is too short for crappy watered-down milk chocolate. Lindt 85% cacao bars, now that’s real chocolate!

  5. Okay, so, if there were ever an opportunity for a campaign against something — I would vote for this.

    It’s not the candy itself (which might be good, I don’t know) — it’s the marketing. I don’t even mind the sprinkles on it.

    What I hate (and Sarah Haskins parodies so well) is the way it makes eating a “secret pleasure” that needs to be hidden. I saw some other ads online recently for crappy desert things that are meant to be eaten in secret, too, some “warm delights” of some such yukkiness that can be microwaved so they are melty.

    I think the idea is something along the lines of: “Have your secret binge, sublimating all of your needs, for only 85 calories!” (And pay the same as someone who is getting 250-300 calories, by the way).
    “It’s better than sex!” But you still need to be serving a man’s needs so instead of meeting your own needs in any real, meaningful way, take 30 seconds and make an orgasm face while you eat this chocolate treat and then go back to putting your own needs away for the next 23 hours and 55.5 minutes.

    It’s such a contorted, distorted thing, and I think it goes something like this:

    We all know chocolate is better than sex.
    This chocolate is just for you (it has sprinkles on it!)
    This chocolate is only 85 calories, and is slim (like you desire to be), so you won’t get fat
    Remember, don’t get/be fat! If you are fat, you won’t be seen as desirable enough for a man to want to have sex with you (see Kate Harding’s essay in Yes Means Yes!)

    But wait, didn’t we say chocolate was better than sex?
    Ah, but the sex isn’t for you! You have sex with a man, so you can be acceptable as a woman. Silly you, thinking the sex was for you! The chocolate is for you! But, remember, only 85 calories worth of chocolate (and Mica)!

    It’s called Fling, for god’s sake! It’s meant to be a substitute for sex! Why didn’t they just call it “sex (for women)”?!?

  6. Electrogirl – I am so with you on the chocolate snobbery. :) It’s fun to occasionally eat the crap chocolate (reese’s peanut butter cups being my fave) but I usually go for dark chocolate. It’s just so much better.

    I….I…don’t even have words… for this Fling stupidity.

  7. Lindt 85% cacao bars, now that’s real chocolate!
    Oh, hell yeah! That stuff is the best!

    Eating candy in public – oh, how exhibitionist of you! Though I notice the fairy-tale commercial linked at Mother Jones (If you missed it: shows the princess eating it behind closed doors after she runs off the prince charming character. Chocolate – it’s like sex, but sparkly!

  8. And I thought it was bad when Extra gum started marketing (to women) their gum as the perfect diet tool/appetite suppressant. (Seriously, in a deathmatch between a piece of fruit-flavored gum and a chocolate chip cookie, cookie will always win, yo.)

    I dunno. I’ve never felt shame about buying a candy bar. I’ve never hidden my consumption of a candy bar from the public eye. That just seems like such a waste of energy I could be putting to the much better use of enjoying the chocolate.

  9. I’m going to requote Susan Bordo, because holy god, it’s like someone created this by reading her work and going, “Great idea!”

    The representation of unrestrained appetite as inappropriate for women, the depiction of female eating as a private, transgressive act, make restriction and denial of hunger central features of the construction of femininity and set up the compensatory binge as a virtual inevitability. Such restrictions on appetite, moreover, are not merely about food intake. Rather, the social control of female hunger operates as a practical ‘discipline’ (to use Foucault’s term) that trains female bodies in the knowledge of their limits and their possibilities. Denying oneself food becomes the central micro-practice in the education of feminine self-restraint and containment of impulse.

  10. Actually, wellroundedtype2, I’m not so sure that the vibe is about needing a man:

    How should I properly care for my FLING™?
    Like the women who crave it, FLING needs to be handled with care — try not to ruffle our delicate truffles and keep them in a cool, dry place. Between 65-75 degrees is ideal. Then you can pleasure yourself with this chocolate sensation time and time again.

    …chocolate lovers seeking a gluten-free treat can pleasure themselves freely with our seductive options.

    Sounds more like Masturbation Candy to me.

  11. Sweet Machine: You just made the thing I was doing to avoid thesis work (aka, blog reading) relevant to my thesis work! I am absolved!

  12. Sounds more like Masturbation Candy to me.

    Should I eat it, or stick it in my vagina? Truly, who knows?

    Aside from the fact that I make a concerted effort not to eat things that shimmer, the whole thing is disturbing on many levels. It’s almost like the other companies marketing chocolate to women (Dove, we’re looking at you) came up with this fake candy so that their ads would look like they were treating women as sane, reasonable creatures in comparison.

  13. Well, at least it’s gluten-free? But wait! “May contain peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat.” Methinks they are confused about what “gluten-free” means….

    Man, that is some creepy, creepy advertising.

    Also, SPARKLES?! I use mica as a cheapo substitute for powdered gold in art. I don’t really want to eat it, thanks, even if it is non-toxic. Food should not glitty.

  14. “the candy perfectly straddles the contradictions of the angel/whore dilemma”

    And it’s shaped like cock, so you can look like a whore while you feel like an angel for avoiding those evil calories!

    Ummm…it’s a sparkly Twix bar.

  15. You know, I always thought ladyfingers were kind of icky, just because eating them put me in mind of chowing down on some poor woman’s knuckles. ::shudder::

    Then you can pleasure yourself with this chocolate sensation time and time again.

    What. Who on earth thought this was a good ad campaign?

  16. “Pleasure yourself?”
    I boggle myself. I don’t know whether to laughter myself or scream myself.

    Choc snobs, can I recommend Rococo of London? Bleedin’ gorgeous, their cardamom bar is.

  17. Before I’d seen any of the ads, someone gave me a Fling chocolate and it’s actually really really yummy. I don’t watch TV often so I didn’t see the ads until they were linked to today. I don’t really mind the Princess one, to be honest–it’s no worse than any other ad targeting women, and in some ways is better (at least it’s amusing,) but that website is… disgusting. =\

  18. My very brief research reveals that one ACTUAL twix bar (half a pack, or using Fling-o, one finger) has 120-ish calories…so its not even that many fewer calories than an ACTUAL candy bar…*headdesk*

    Just to add – I don’t think people should be counting calories anyway…that wasn’t my point. But a lot of women DO moniter/restrict calories and I think its just funny that this thing is such a big deal when the difference in calories is so minimal.

  19. “Choc snobs, can I recommend Rococo of London? Bleedin’ gorgeous, their cardamom bar is.”

    Cardamom and chocolate? *faints* Please, please tell me this is available in the States!

    All this talk of chocolate is kicking off some cravings. ‘Scuse me, I’m going to go transgress against social control of female hunger with some brownies.

  20. “Should I eat it, or stick it in my vagina?”

    It’s going to have to be a lot bigger for either to be worth it.

  21. I like this part:

    It’s about 2 points per finger (really 2.04 points). So, if you’re counting points, you can still Fling; just don’t go overboard.

    Okay, so you can eat Fling even if you’re dieting (oops, even if you’re making a lifestyle change), but just don’t go overboard. Two Flings? That would be crazy! That would be crossing the really naughty line. But one is okay.

  22. I don’t have enough sanity watchers points to check out the website, maybe tomorrow. And yeah, the Sarah Haskins thing on chocolate is so spot on.

    I highly recommend Dolfin chocolate, as well. They have varieties like pink peppercorn, anise seed, earl grey, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. YUM.

  23. The pictures at the bottom of the Fling site: white woman getting kissed on cheek by white man (with serious sideburns). White woman getting massage. White woman applying makeup. White woman giggling with two diversity-training-approved friends. Three light-skined women doing a Mardi Gras sort of thing.

    It’s an almost perfect quick reference guide to mainstream marketing techniques directed at women.

    Picture 1: Of course, you have a boyfriend or husband, or you want one. You should purchase things that help you obtain and/or keep him.

    Picture 2: Your life is hard! You have so many things to do and worry about! (But that’s because you’re just such an active go-getter. It has nothing to do with trying to live in a world in which you’re the default caregiver, mostly likely a wage-earner, and you’re expected daily to navigate the maze of conflicting expectations this creates. And be beautiful. And have a sparkling-clean house.) So indulge yourself! You deserve it!

    Picture 3.: We know all about feminism. Feminism is about choice. So choose to wear makeup. It’s empowering.

    Picture 4: You and your galpals are so adorable! Feel free to bond over low-calorie snacks!

    Picture 5: Despite all of your resonsibilites, don’t let anyone think you aren’t fun and mysterious, too. If your life is boring, or you’re experiencing some kind of indefinable satisfaction with it, go to an interesting cultural event in something that exposes a lot of flesh and features exotic accessories.

    I think that about covers it.

  24. Oops, that’s indefinable dissatisfaction. Polemics and prefixes can be difficult to manage, sometimes.

  25. Katy, the FAQ (AKA “the skinny on Fling”) is truly irritating. It claims you get all the chocolate taste you need, without all the heavy content of most chocolate treats. I know what they mean about heavy content. I personally avoid food, books, movies, and magazine articles I suspect may be harboring heavy content.

  26. Aw, I was hoping that the answer to “How many sizes of Fling are there?” would be that it’s not the size, it’s how you use it.

  27. Seriously, read the whole thing. Then come back here and scream.

    I’m ready to scream just from the quote you offered. Sheesh!

    Should I eat it, or stick it in my vagina?

    No kidding! But this gives me ideas on how to celebrate the end of our medically imposed sex sabbatical, so thanks for that…

    I’m with Mel on the “mica not sounding like something I want to eat” thing. Especially as I sit here appropriately celebrating “half off Valentine’s chocolates” Day with dark chocolate caramels, yum!

  28. It’s sparkly? The fucking candy bar is fucking sparkly? What the fuck?

    I think I’ll just take the regular old dull Snickers bar, thanks. They’re apparently “Substantialicious” according to the wrapper of the last one I bought, and I like that word. I don’t need to eat glitter, thank you.

  29. I’m with qbertina. It’s not big enough for either advertised purpose.

    Now I’ll sit my fat ass back down on my BLUE sofa with an amount of chocolate that contains fuck knows how many calories (because I’m a lot more concerned about satisfying my hunger than ‘being good’ and making myself invisible), and entirely fail to watch anything with too much pink in it.

    BTW, I was letting my brain fry over the Lifetime Movie Network last night while working through some congestion when I saw a Really Wrong Choice in Advertising. In between a film about a rape survivor and a film about the family fallout from incest, they ran a commercial about the new Trojan fingertip ‘personal massager.’ Yep, a sex toy commercial in between two films about sexual abuse.

    It, too, was pink and sparkly, but at least the commercial included a woman over forty saying she loved hers, and one of the three women coyly simpering over the product mentioned a man in her life who had found it a nice expansion of their sex life. The other two didn’t mention men at all. Oh, and all three were discussing the matter out loud in a restaurant, so there was a lot less shame involved than there usually is about things that make women sexually happy.

  30. I have a really difficult time understanding why marketing is so gendered in the first place. Won’t you sell more of something if EVERYONE can use it?

    “Hey! Ladies and Gents, oldsters and youngsters and in between, everyone and their cousin likes PRODUCT X! Try PRODUCT X, nobody will make fun of you! YAY!”


    I am now going to write a serious of feminist commercials. It is all SP’s fault. FOR SHAME, SHAPELINGS. You have unleashed evil upon the world…

    *gets out the doodle paper*

  31. Hey, those Warm Delights are great. And I eat them in front of people too!

    As for the Fling bar, they just should have went all out and made it into an actual chocolate dildo. And the sparkles remind me of the Scooby-Doo episode where the gang runs into Cass Elliott. Her candy factory was being haunted by thieves, who used it as a place to crush gold and smuggle it out in her candy bars.

  32. @Meg who commented earlier: Thank you for pointing that out! I just deleted your comment (and the original post) b/c it was one more instance of those words on the site, but I appreciate the heads-up. Unfortunately, doesn’t allow much control over that kind of thing behind the scenes, so we’re hoping the sticky post at the top will reset what comes up on Google pretty soon.

  33. I really want some chocolate now (and I’m not much of a chocolate fan). Actual chocolate, not glittery diet chocolate.

  34. I want to sit around at a coffee shop snarking on things with y’all SO BAD. Although the ad campaign is horrifying, thanks for giving me a few laughs today. :)

  35. I don’t know what’s wrong with you guys. Us geologists eat mica all the time. nom nom nom sparkly poo.

    (Okay, maybe not. Probably harmless, though. As long as it’s not lithium mica. And if you don’t want to eat it, you can just rub it on your face as makeup! Mica everywhere!)

  36. You know, I always thought ladyfingers were kind of icky, just because eating them put me in mind of chowing down on some poor woman’s knuckles. ::shudder::

    Heh, well, in Finland (and Sweden) we have chocolates called ‘cat tongues’…
    Gendered advertising in general bugs the hell out of me, but food-related tends to be the worst. My absolute favourite candy is flavored with fruit juice, which makes them absolutely nommy. But, they also contain 30% less sugar (less than what? The packaging doesn’t say.) and are marketed as ‘nice’, as opposed to ‘naughty’. I hate that my food is making moral judgements for me, and I technically should boycott them, but godsdammit, they’re just the best ever!
    Life apparently is hard for white, middle-class women, thxverymuch. :P

  37. Y’know, while the article says this particular chocolate bar has been out in Australia since about 2007, I certainly haven’t seen it in the shops. I’ll have to look closer when I next go grocery shopping.

    Mind you, even if I *do* spot it, I’m not likely to buy the silly thing. I’d rather spend the money on some Lindt extra creamy milk chocolate instead (pure decadence, very smooth, very silky), or if I’m going downmarket, I’ll get a block of Cadbury Old Jamaica (dark chocolate with rum flavouring and raisins). Mars chocolate tends not to be to my taste.

  38. “As for the Fling bar, they just should have went all out and made it into an actual chocolate dildo.”

    Maybe we should suggest that to Mars. I’d be more likely to by this candy if it came with a free vibrator.

  39. Rebecca — I was so thinking this:
    “Sounds more like Masturbation Candy to me.”

    And, well, masturbation is good. Chocolate is good. They might be good together, not something I’ve tried (recently?) but as far as I’m concerned, there’s no need for chocolate to be a substitute for masturbation.

    There are some situations in which masturbation is not prudent or possible, due to time or location constraints. Which is what delayed gratification is for. If someone is using chocolate as a way of managing these sorts of situations, professional help may be in order.

    A chocolate dildo sounds particularly unsatisfying — I want to eat my chocolate, and I would prefer not to have anything melting internally during sex, whether I’m on my own or not.

    Although, a chocolate dildo sounds like some kind of present from the Lesbian Easter Bunny. You know, the Easter Bunny that visits lesbians (the ones who are estranged from their parents but of course still receive Easter Baskets). There are also fruit roll-up dental dams and nonpareil pasties and other treats in that basket.

  40. Good lord. I’ll have to remember this next time I teach Jean Kilbourne’s “Please, Please, You’re Driving Me Wild”–it demonstrates her arguments about advertising, women, food and sex perfectly.

    wellroundedtype2, Lesbian Easter Bunny=Best Thing Ever.

    If any of you are on livejournal, join me over on my lj (link above) to vote in my poll on which of the many wrong things about this product is the wrongest. :)

  41. RE: chocolate dildos

    I really don’t know what it says about me (other than I have a sick sense of humor and possibly don’t get laid quite enough to suit my tastes or somesuch Freudspeak), but I think I’d be more apt to eat a chocolate penis than glitter chocolate.

    Just sayin’.

    (p.s. I would not be surprised if some company somewhere makes chocolate penises, probably with cream filling, for the lulz factor if nothing else)

  42. The comments have had me rolling around laughing,and I started reading parts of the website out loud to the boy, as an example of how ridiculous the marketing is, and we shared in the laughter. :-)

    But does anyone else think it’s a little odd that the only place the website says “guilt free” is in the Kosher section in the FAQ?

  43. all right, SOMEone is going to have to sit on a park bench – somewhere public, such as disneyland – and eat bacon and truffles from a cooler until people get used to the idea that YES, women can fucking eat in public. and not just yogurt at weddings, ala sarah haskins.

    maybe i shouldn’t stop at just bacon, maybe we need baby-flavored donuts in there too. anyone want to join me?

    (holy living hell, man. i thought i had seen it all.)

  44. Probably harmless, though. As long as it’s not lithium mica.

    I wasn’t thinking it was hazardous, sparkly mica in my chocolate just sounds gritty to me, and gritty is not what I’m looking for with chocolate..

  45. Probably harmless, though.

    For us, in the very small quantities on each chocolate bar — er, excuse me, chocolate finger — this is probably true. But mica is terribly hard on the people who mine it, especially if they’re working for companies who don’t much give a shit what happens to their lungs 20 years down the line.

  46. Ok, time to ‘fess up: I love sparkly shit. It’s a running joke at work that I would glitter my spreadsheets if I could. But dammit, on top of all the horrendous feminist problems with this, chocolate should not sparkle. If anyone tried to put mica in my Lindt (I prefer the 70% bars and the balls), I would kick their ass.

    Also, Green & Black makes ice cream, and it is NOM; I did not know this until recently.

  47. WAIT! HOLD EVERYTHING! (Sound effect of needle scratching record.)
    Must. Have!

    OK, having gotten that out of my system, I, too giggled at “chocolate fingers,” gagged at the ad, and am curious to know if these will give one sparkly feces.
    This is even worse than the 100 calorie pack oreo cakesters, where grown women throw their belongings in the street and run screaming after the delivery truck

    “Target: Women” has a great take on the way chocolate is marketed to women, btw.

  48. Killed By Llamas, my “rock star name” is SPARKLESHINE! (you have to say it enthusiastically and make Fosse-style “jazz hands” too). I love glitter.

    I just don’t wanna EAT it. Yuck!

  49. SugarLeigh, I just said it out loud with jazz hands. (As opposed to spirit fingers.) Awesome.

    And I’ve only had the Green & Black dark chocolate flavor, but I think they make several variations. I got it at Giant Eagle.

  50. And to actually be on topic for approximately three seconds, Alyssa reminded me of my inevitable first thought when any of the women-wetting-themselves-about-diet-snackfoods commercials come on: Priorities. Get some. Seriously, do they think that female viewers are so diet-obsessed that they could actually relate to the excitement shown by the women in the commercials?

    Shit. I nearly just deleted this comment, because upon thinking about it, I know a few who would. That’s kinda sad.

  51. I’m with you, SugarLeigh. Look at it, fine — eat it, you gotta be kidding.

    What kills me is that it’s mica. I was a rock hound as a kid, and I keep thinking of mica as these…ROCKS. That kind of peel off if you pick at them. Attractive in their own way, perhaps, but I never wanted to eat one.

    I’m thinking eventually they’ll just go all the way and put a little battery powered motor in each piece so it will actually vibrate.

    If the whole thing’s not a put-on, that is.

  52. ugh. I remember seeing these reviewed on candy blog and thinking the actual product sound like something I would really enjoy. I love meringue, and I love hazelnut chocolate. But there’s no fucking way I’m going to buy something marketed this way. Not when I have a giant box of baby ruth bars that I carry with me to snack on because a significant portion of calories and protein is the only way I can stay functional in an evening class. I’m not “indulging” anything I’m fucking taking care of myself. And 85 calories won’t cut it anyway. 170 won’t either, for a 2-hour class. Sell larger bars for the women who aren’t afraid of their food plz.

    I should probably write them and tell them their marketing is actively losing an interested customer.

  53. This has me thinking, some day they’re going to come up with a way to make yogurt sparkle, and the advertisers of America are going to have a collective orgasm in anticipation of the campaign that will produce.


    (Give me a Twix – caramel or peanut butter – any day over this nonsense.)


  54. y’know, if I want shiny chocolate I’ll roll my rolo in some polyester micro-glitter.

    that mica statement especially eeps me out– I’ve done a lot of stage makeup, and most of the mica says to keep it away from eyes and other mucus membranes b/c it can scratch them. I’m pretty sure my mouth and my pooper both count as mucus membranes!

  55. “I remember seeing these reviewed on candy blog and thinking the actual product sound like something I would really enjoy.”

    That’s the really sad part. The things sound fucking delicious. I would love meringue and truffle. Yum. But I can’t get behind the shit being marketed as this “naughty but nice diet food for simple lady brains.”

    Perhaps I will endeavor to make my own meringue and truffle concoction. Without any glitter. I’ll be happy to share the recipe should it be a success.

  56. The glutten free part was also really …ugh. “Is it glutten free, and what is that?” It is like as women, of course we would not know what that was, even if asked if the product had it. so condesending.

  57. I haven’t read the ad yet, or all that comments in detail… I just want to indulge in a mini-rant. WTF is up with all those mini version of chocolate bars, which cost as much as the regular bars but are skinny and teeny and 100 calories? Okay, no, I KNOW what’s up with them, obviously, but… oh, I don’t have anything intelligent to say about it… I just hate that phenomenon. We get to pay more for less because it won’t make us (as) fat. We GET TO do that. Like it’s some sort of improvement.

    Another thing I hate are the foods with ‘ZERO’ written all over them. Well, yoghurt, mainly. All the 0% yoghurt. Why would I want to pay for ZERO? If I’m going to pay for food, I want it to have something in it. Not zero. Something. Something more than nil.

  58. Shouldn’t chocolate pretty much sell itself? This type of ridiculous advertising always makes me think right away that they are trying to make up for a crappy product.

    I can’t eat American chocolate anymore. I can taste the wax, I got spoiled when a bunch of my roommates friends started sending us chocolate when they studied overseas.

  59. Also, did anyone else see the headline “Fling candy bars” and think the first word was a verb? I was all, “Who are we flinging them at?”

  60. Why is it that I feel that a good part of my life is devoted to making sure that my child doesn’t eat things that sparkle? This friggin’ candy bar is undermining my efforts in this area.

  61. Advertising equating food with sex has started to really freak me out and piss me off.

    You know, according to culture, we aren’t supposed to indulge in EITHER wanton fucking or wanton eating. But we HAVE to indulge in a little bit of it or we aren’t any FUN.

    Isn’t it NICE that we have advertising to tell us how much fucking, food, and fun is enough? I mean, I’m so busy being a shallow consumer I sure as fuck don’t have the brainpower to figure it out on our own.

    Excuse me, I have to go watch TV for three hours to see what my “getting done in the ass” forecast is.

  62. Mica? Mica. And they say it like people of course don’t know what mica is. It’s FDA approved!
    I have a rock left from my childhood rock collecting that is mostly mica. It peels off in big flakes. I took bits off it to embed in a lampworked glass bead at one point.
    Despite being a fatty who obviously must want to eat everything all the time, I have never, ever had the desire to eat any of it. I do not really want to eat scratchy indigestible things that can be encased in molten glass without being damaged. If you can cover it in molten glass without burning, melting, or otherwise affecting it, it’s probably not a food item. That seems like a good rule to me.
    Sorry. I am irritated as fuck by the entire thing, yes. But I am sort of stuck on “mica in food what the fuck?”.

  63. I love the fact they go on about their 85 calories per finger when they’re sold in pairs. And the sexual language really turns me off. But I’m all for posh glittery chocolate: just in individual chocolates rather than a mass market bar.

  64. I live in the UK and the Fling ad reminds me of an ad I have seen here for a smaller, lower calorie kitkat bar. The caption above the bar reads “Goodwill to all women.” Argh…

  65. Public Service Chocolate Announcement: Polidori chocolates are simply the best I’ve had. Keep an eye on the website for when it’s possible to order them (seems to happen every couple of months or so). This is a business so new and small that your chocolates are made by the mad genius who invented them.

    Rococo is available in the US from, but I don’t know if they’ll get you the hand-painted chocolate trout.

    Teuscher’s is very nice, but they seem to orient towards milk chocolate, and I prefer dark.

    Vosges– I just got around to trying out their Mo’s Bacon Bar. It really is chocolate and bacon, and it really is very good.

    Naked Chocolate, 1317 Walnut St Philadelphia, PA– a cafe that sells very good chocolate and smoothies and cakes.

    Golosa Chocolates I’ve had their saffron chocolate, and it was wonderful. The balsamic vinegar wasn’t what I’d call successful, though.

    I’ve been intrigued by Chocolate Deities, but haven’t tried them out. Has anyone?

    I tried to post this last night, but it didn’t show up. When I tried to repost it, I was told I’d already posted it. I’m hoping it was a problem with too many links, so I’ve taken most of them out.

    Also, I recently saw a comment (possibly here) from a woman who was dangerously thin (from illness I think), and not only was she getting lots of compliments, the exercise classes she was in would get extra members. Anyone remember where this was?

  66. Mara – seriously! I went to the grocery store to buy some single serving soups to bring to work for lunch the other day, and they were all advertising: “Less than 100 calories!” Like that was a good thing. I’m supposed to be happy that this soup I’m paying for only has enough calories to sustain me for an hour or so before I get hungry again because otherwise it would make me fat. The way we treat calories as units of fat creating evil is freaking insane. Calories are fuel people! Fuel for your body is a good thing!

  67. Meowser – hehe! The first thing I thought about was ‘Fling’ in the verb sense too…

    Funnily enough, when I was at college ‘Fling’ was used to desribe the act of being sick when you’d had too much to drink. You could excuse yourself from the night club, for example, for a brief Fling ’round the back (my college was well classy, honest!)

    Therefore, it’s quite ironic for me that a choccy bar called Fling is being marketed in conspiracy with attitudes to disordered eating. May as well call it “Barf” or “Hurl” or “Puke”….or even LadyChuck!!

    “New LadyChuck, with sparkles!! Oooh go on, you know you want it. Now with handy fold out wrapper to catch the regurge!”

    Lots of names are also springing to mind for masturbation candy too, but they’re a little too gross to share. I wouldn’t want to make you all feel ‘flingeous’.

    I’m eating chocolate right now by the way :-)

  68. I think the emphasis on 85 calories is misleading when they’re apparently packaged in pairs; obviously the true serving size is both fingers…but 170 doesn’t have the same attractive ring, I suppose. Reese’s peanut butter cups also come two to a package – wonder what the so-called serving size is on those?

  69. Am I the only one who read “chocolate fingers” and immediately thought “euphemism for unfortunate byproduct of ungloved anal play”?

    Um. Maybe I am. *hides*

  70. Omg, you all are so hilarious. My only two observations:

    1. It’s mildly fun to read the website and wherever you see the word “fling,” substitute “independent thought.”

    2. I SO want someone to create a line of candies called, “I’m Female And I Enjoy Sex A Lot, Not That It’s Any Of Your Dadgummed Business, And Anyway, What Does That Have To Do With Chocolate?” chocolate.

  71. I think the emphasis on 85 calories is misleading when they’re apparently packaged in pairs; obviously the true serving size is both fingers

    *gasp* BUT WHAT KIND OF FOOD SLUT would be so UNRESTRAINED as to need – dare I say, want – TWO WHOLE FINGERS? What kind of LOOSE APPETITE must such a one have? God, that’s so hawt. But bad!!! But hawt. But BAD BAD BAD!!

  72. One word: Infantilization. Seems that as ‘sexiness’ works its way further and further down in age group in the girls’ toys market, pink glitter works its way up into the products marketed to adult women. It sometimes seems there’s just one big range of pink, glittery, body-hating, passively-sexualized tat being sold to anyone of any age with a vagina.

    Another, far more pleasant word: Diléttante. Nom nom NOM.

  73. @SugarLeigh

    I once ate a chocolate penis. There’s a candy shop in Amsterdam that has the most amazing display of chocolate penises and boobs and vaginas one could ever hope for. It was a very delicious penis.

  74. I’ve looked and looked and apparently, the reason Fling is aimed at women is not that it’s low-calorie, but that it is very small and made of a mousse that must contain a lot of air. Each finger is about 4 inches long according to a review I’ve found.

    Here is a very detailed review:

    If I really, really had to control what I eat, I’d rather eat a very small amount of real chocolate.

  75. I’ve been lurking here for a while, but this item has prompted me to post for the first time (Hi!). It reminds me of the “mousse-style” yogurt that Yoplait was flogging a while ago (they probably still sell it, I’m just not buying it) that cost the same as their regular yogurt but had OMG FEWER CALORIES! The entire time I was reading the packaging in the store, I was wondering what the hell was so great about me having to pay the same for an item that’s “mousse-style” because it’s been pumped full of air! Air that I *get* to pay for! Great!

    And ever since I read the title of the post I have definitely been wanting to fling chocolates at someone ;)

  76. Oh, Shapelings! What you do for me!

    I had never heard of Green and Black’s before reading your comments this morning. I have no need of chocolate that sparkles like this Fling nonsense, but the G&B chocs sounded divine. So there I was, in my fave health food store for my fave veggie snacks, and lo and behold, G&B bars! With my fat head held high and a cart with veggies AND chocolates (surely that sight would rip a hole in the time and space continuum for some fat hater out there), I bought said chocolate bar (dark choc with orange and spices), proceeded to eat it in public, and make orgasmic noises to boot! Better than sex!

    I am looking forward to trying other brands of nummy REAL chocolates that you mentioned. And no, I won’t be Flinging….

  77. Okay, the infantilization and sexualizing of food and disgusting attitude towards women are infuriating with this product. That includes deciding to make a food sparkly.

    But the mica part is not that big a deal, seriously. Breathing something in as dust, for years on end, is VERY different from eating an indigestible mineral (we eat lots of minerals, you know!). I bet if you own any make-up, you’ve even breathed some mica dust before and you were just fine.

  78. Sparkle-poo was definitely my third thought, after ‘wtf’ and then ‘don’t put mica in my chocolate’. My fourth thought was, if you really want sparkly poo you could just drink Goldschlager and probably have a lot more fun in the process.

  79. Yowza – this is REAL? A friend sent me a link to the Fling website and I thought it was a joke, like the old Saturday Night Live commercials (Colon Blow, Miss Lonelyhearts’ Dinners for One, Happy Fun Ball, etc).

    If there are any chocolate fans on here from Philly, there’s a lovely company called John & Kira’s that makes some great stuff. They use locally sourced ingredients where possible and have some cool initiatives, like working with local kids on a community garden to grow mint.

  80. There’s a Lindt … store? Boylston and what, please?

    BTW for NYC Shapelies, the Vosges store is in the Village.
    You’re welcome.

  81. Nancy, I’m not sure – a friend had them and they were great, and she said they did some cool stuff with local farms/community gardens so I looked up their website (, but that’s about all I know. I don’t actually know where she got them!

  82. Fuzzyoctopus, the WTF blanket is the funniest thing I have seen all week. Have you seen the ones that voice over Billy Mays. I nearly died laughing. I think the “neverscrubber” is my favorite.

  83. Maybe they’re trying to reprogram women to think that something 4 inches long and slender is satisfying.

  84. Advertisers tick me off sometimes. Just because I’m female, don’t automatically assume I like pink sparkly things! As a matter of fact, I kind of hate the color pink. I do like shiny/sparkly things, but not because I’m a woman. I like them because…well, I just do!

    This Fling stuff is crap. Give me a Snickers bar anyday…
    *plots a trip to the snack machine to get a snickers bar*

  85. “Sell larger bars for the women who aren’t afraid of their food plz.”

    Yes! This!

    Okay, and, I finally had a look at the website, and you know what strikes me most about it? How un-foodlike it seems. With the white and pink wrapper.. it looks like the packaging for a Barbie accessory, or that cheapo Bonne-bell-type makeup for pre-teens, or a tampon.

    Is it just me? It looks… like a female implement of some sort. Yes, perHAPS a dildo, but if so… well, it would be a dildo for Barbie dolls, not for .. well, women.

    And I think that the mica glitter is there in order to make it even less food like.

    And, come to think of it, this phenomenon is part of what makes me so averse to buying those little mini 100-calorie chocolate bars. I mean, besides the thought of paying more for less.

    Their packaging is different. There’s more white space.. more words.. they look scientific. Sometimes even vaguely medical.

    The Fling is different, but they all share this in common:

    They do not look much like food.
    The packaging, I think, is aimed at making them look as un-food-like as possible, or, ie., they try to break the visual association with chocolate bars in general. The little mini ‘Aero’ has the ‘Aero’ logo, but… it looks different. Trying to see it in mind’s eye… yes, aside from its wan, shrivelled, anemic size, it has.. more writing, less color, it looks.. uglier… it looks.. yes, like something that’s less like junk food, more like a scientifically formulated something or other.

    The Fling is a bit different, but the same. It’s not an uglified version of something else, it IS pretty, but not in a food-like way. In a Barbie/mascara wand/tampon sort of way. I mean, really, does the thought of mica dust make you salivate? No. Me neither.

    Verrry int-uh-resting. What does it all mean? Well, I think it means that, if women are not actually afraid of their food, they are supposed to be.

    We are supposed to be afraid. Of our food. And therefore primed to purchase and eat something Barbie/scientific instead.

    The little girly aspects of it are very troubling as well. ‘Fling’ is sexualized, but .. fairy dust? Pink wrapper innocence? Yes, it’s a Barbie dildo we can put in our mouths.

    No thank you, dears.

  86. and… oh my goodness… this is from a sort of product review after the Fling bar was launched in New Zealand:

    “FLING has created a special website to let woman have a virtual fling. lets woman flirt online with two digital Lotharios – Fabrizio Adonis, the foreign royal billionaire, and Ridge Switchblade, the reckless bad boy.

    Sultry web surfers can also download a ‘Man-Pet’ that sits on their desktop and interact with him during the day, send a message to someone they fancy, learn fling etiquette, or get an alibi. The Man-Pets demand to be shown a good time, not a long time.

    People wanting to get their hands on a FLING chocolate bar can also request a sampling team visit their workplace – but watch out, the sampling team is made up of Fabrizio Adonis and Ridge Switchblade.”

    This is the site:

  87. How weird is it that Bob Fosse has been mentioned in a thread about chocolate fingers?

    If this doesn’t beat all!

  88. Godless Heathen: I plotzed. Thanks for that one.

    I will confirm ::shifty eyes:: that eating powdered mica does indeed result in sparkly turds.

    What? It’s not like you were going to digest it…

  89. Reminds me of the Christmas the cat ate all the ribbon off the presents (not coincidentally, the last time our presents had ribbons). I spent the next two weeks scooping festive holiday poos out of the box.

  90. am i the only person who wishes she’d thought of this concept sooner, so she could market these things at twilight conventions? chocolate = sex, fingers = phallus, sparkle = OME! i could have been rich.

  91. I’d bet my bottom dollar that 99.9% of heterosexual men (I say that because the advertising is clearly aimed at heterosexual women) either couldn’t give a flying fig if a woman is eating chocolate in public, or would actually enjoy watching a woman eating chocolate in public, preferably with wild abandonment. The other 00.1% are probably personal trainers or something. Its OTHER WOMEN who get narked about a woman eating and ENJOYING FAT CHOCOLATE in public because they are jealous that they can’t do the same as they are on a ‘diet’ or must be seen to be on one, at any rate.

  92. They are clearly marketing this incorrectly. If, indeed, sparkle turds are the result, the natural market is 8-11 year-old boys who would be all apeshit over the chance to so greatly affect said turdage.

    I…can’t believe I just wrote that. But I know my boys would totally do that.

  93. Angellore, I disagree. Men are trained to police women’s eating habits just as much as women are. There may be different dynamics behind it, but I just don’t think it’s helpful to blame only women here.

  94. If you read women’s magazines, you do tend to get the idea that men want to see a woman eat and enjoy herself — but don’t forget that that idea comes from women’s magazines, and should therefore be regarded with suspicion. The “I want to date a girl who eats a burger and enjoys it” meme is just as much a relic of patriarchy and just as much a policing of women’s bodies and eating habits — when combined with the simultaneous policing of fat, the clear indication is that men want a woman with appetites who is nevertheless effortlessly delicate and feminine.

  95. Sweet Machine – I didn’t mean to blame all women, I guess that i’m just lucky in that none of the men I know have ever said to me “You shouldn’t be eating that”, whereas the women DO (talking primarily about the people I work with, both now and in the past). I also know plenty of men who do not expect their women to be delicate and feminine all the time. I guess that we know very different people. Maybe I generalised too much by saying 99.9% of men, but I do genuinely feel that women have more of a problem with ME eating what I fancy, then men do, but of course, not all women. Or maybe the men just don’t say anything to my face. Maybe they are all talking about me eating chocolate behind my back.

  96. Maybe I’m missing something here but isn’t this candy low in calories simply because it’s, you know, small in size? So this makes it special and amazing how?

    Also, sparkly food – do not want. I have to admit that my mind went right to sparkle poop too. I mean what DOES your body do with the sparkles?

    Maybe they’re just hoping to cash in on the Twilight phenomenon.

    “If you can cover it in molten glass without burning, melting, or otherwise affecting it, it’s probably not a food item. That seems like a good rule to me.”

    True that. I prefer my food to be digestible, thanks, I’m just picky that way.

  97. Someone gave me a sample, and yes, they do stay sparkly all the way through.

    Now, if I wanted a sparkly turd then I’d take it to a Michael’s craft class and do it right! Maybe add sequins…

  98. On the subject of actually worth eating chocolate…Dilletante chocolate covered bing cherries. Mmm. I have a tub of those on my desk at all times. Also Lake Champlain – it’s all good really, but the milk chocolate caramel bars are particularly awesome. Can’t go wrong with Scharffen Berger either.

  99. Am I the only one who read the title as a command?

    I immediately had a mental image of a bunch of fat chicks chucking candy bars at passersby as a form of protest. It was awesome. But then I thought “why waste good chocolate like that” and went back to my black and white cookie.

    @ femmina and SugarLeigh – I have never eaten a chocolate penis but I did have chocolate vagina once…they were selling them at the Vagina Monologues…go ahead and insert jokes about eating pussy….here (and about “insert” I suppose)

  100. Sorry. I am irritated as fuck by the entire thing, yes. But I am sort of stuck on “mica in food what the fuck?”.

    I know! The whole thing is insane for reasons well articulated on thris thread but… fucking MICA? My favorite hiking trail is full of mica. The fucking fuck?

  101. “How should I properly care for my FLING™?

    Like the women who crave it, FLING needs to be handled with care — try not to ruffle our delicate truffles and keep them in a cool, dry place. Between 65-75 degrees is ideal. Then you can pleasure yourself with this chocolate sensation time and time again.”

    WTF?? This product’s marketing team is not even pretending to be subtle with the whole “good/skinny, fat/whore” thing… wow. like someone said before, i really expect this to be an SNL skit or something, and pretty soon someone will say, Just kidding! No one’s this ridiculous!

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