Times Square billboard ignites fat-shaming controversy

A billboard smack in the middle of Times Square, reading in part: "Feeling fat and lazy?" has caught just about everyone’s attention, but not necessarily for its intended purpose.

Buffalo-based wellness coach Deborah Capaccio, mastermind of the controversial advertisement and ‘getyoursparklebackgirl.com,’ says the message is supposed to be rhetorical.

"It has drawn attention to the silent epidemic that’s going on amongst millions of women’s minds," she explains.

Capaccio says her mission is to help women permanently solve the problem of losing weight by changing the way they think about themselves.

However, the billboard has stirred up lots of social media backlash.

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Actress Jameela Jamil called the fifty-foot-billboard "blatantly fat-phobic" on Instagram, and opera singer Matthew Anchel wants to petition to have it taken down.

Mark DiMassimo, Founder and Creative Chief of DiMassimo Goldstein, had the following suggestion to make:

"I would never associate a negative statement with an image of someone and risk depressing all the people who identify with that image," he advised.

While Capaccio is disappointed by all of the negative feedback, she says she’ll take the good with the bad if it helps her clients.

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"I am very happy to be at the forefront, get the backlash, take it, if it gets the word out that women no longer need to feel this way," she adds.

The price tag on Capaccio’s billboard is $13,000 a month, but as long as the space is available, she says she’s open to keeping it there even longer.

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