Can you promote an active lifestyle and healthy diet while also serving as a spokesperson for the sugary drink Pepsi? Beyoncé Knowles Carter certainly thinks so. Her decision to sign a $50 million promotional deal with Pepsi after being a big part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign was recently called into question. “Knowles is renting her image to a product that may one day be ranked with cigarettes as a killer we were too slow to rein in,” New York Times journalist Mark Bittman said. “From saying, as she once did in referring to Let’s Move, that she was ‘excited to be part of this effort that addresses a public health crisis,’ she’s become part of an effort that promotes a public health crisis.” Pepsi has long been criticized for promoting drinks that have negative effects in long term health when consumed in excess.
However, in a new interview with Flaunt, Beyoncé responded, saying that there is no controversy and that it’s “all about the choices.” Flaunt asked the 31-year-old singer, “Some were critical at your participating in a Pepsi campaign after you moved your body for childhood obesity. Where is the balance between your career objectives and your philanthropy?” She responded, “Pepsi is a brand I’ve grown up seeing my heroes collaborate with. The company respects musicians and artistry. I wouldn’t encourage any person, especially a child, to live life without balance.” ~Naomi Leanage