Beautiful women eat for free at this restaurant, but it’s not as bad as it sounds

Hilary Hagerman
Shine On

It isn’t a pick-up line: Beautiful women eat for free.

At least, they did at Spoleto, a Brazilian fast food restaurant on International Women’s Day.

Spoleto made a point of confronting body image by asking its female customers a challenging question: “Are you beautiful?” If they could say yes, their meals were free of charge.

A recently-released YouTube video shows Spoleto’s stunt – which was one of many worldwide efforts done in an effort to boost and reward women’s confidence on International Women’s Day – March 8.

Also see: Are we actually less attractive than we think?

Spoleto – which operates under the slogan “Create good moments here” – opted for having its employees hold up a mirror to test its female customers’ self-esteem.

ths “I’m beautiful – marvelous,” one woman says in the video, giggling at the counter.

Another featured customer takes the challenge one step further.

“I am gorgeous, beautiful, hot and powerful,” she says.

One woman smiles and tosses her hair from side to side as she admits she, too, is beautiful.

Also see: Dove's new ad campaign tells women they're more beautiful than they think

While the video aims to help “each woman realize that beauty comes from within,” it also falls into the trap of focusing on outward beauty.

The campaign comes in the wake of a tumultuous series of relationships between corporate ads and the messages they send to women: Dove’s most recent “Real Beauty Sketches” ad went viral and received ample backlash for reinforcing preconceived beauty standards like having a thin face and few wrinkles. Abercrombie and Fitch’s plus-size fiasco and H&M’s statement about their models having been “too skinny” in the past have also thrust these corporate giants under the body image spotlight.

But Spoleto’s celebration wasn’t all about body image: the company’s video proclaims 500 women at the store had what the team calls “an intense brand experience,” and contributed to the reported 35 per cent increase in sales the company enjoyed that day.

A free meal and a compliment can go a long way. But do you think Spoleto’s campaign simply reinforces the “beauty is only skin deep” mantra? Or was it a nice gesture to help women remember they are beautiful? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.