I noticed it started earlier than usual in 2020. Normally it hits the media and socials on Boxing Day quicker than the hot cross buns hit the supermarket shelves, but this little beauty below showed up on my feed early December. You will find they quieten down a little in February, only to ramp up again just after Easter. Why these times? They are cashing in on periods where traditionally people over indulge, and then feel sorry for themselves. Then of course there is the push in spring to suggest you need to get your “summer body” ready.
Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but it's highly unlikely that your are going to look like that in 12 days.... not unless you pretty much look like that from day 1.
I dislike these ads for 3 reasons; They feed on our insecurities, reinforce the societal expectation that you have to be or look a certain way, and make unrealistic promises and expectations.
Pay attention to the wording they use on their ads. Linking weight loss to happiness and feeling beautiful, and referring to “unsightly” fat. “Look good and feel great”. Then of course there are the before and after shots. They show you the end result, but not the deprivation, and it doesn’t guarantee that they feel happy or healthy. Have you seen mine? My after photo was during a time when I was running at least 4 times per week, working full time, side hustling as a Zumba instructor running 7 classes per week, and running a bootcamp at 6am every morning. I wasn’t happy, I was fucking exhausted.
They promises to “fast track” weight loss results, like there is a quick fix. Encourage you to replace normal healthy eating of real food with drinking a shake, which may help you, but is it really sustainable as a healthy way to change or create healthy habits? Then you have the “skinny” drinks which are essentially liquid laxatives.
Why are these advertisements concerning? This article back in 2006 demonstrates just 1 of them. It highlights that A content analysis of weight-loss advertising in 2001 found that more than half of all advertising for weight-loss products made use of false, unsubstantiated claims, and aimed to identify what impact these sorts of ads have on adolescent girls. One alarming outcome for me was that, the claim that ‘weight-loss products yield rapid weight loss’ was recognized as inaccurate by 57% of participants in the study. But that to me means that the other 43% believed that was achievable. Those women will now be in their 30s, and they are still being bombarded with these claims.
Could these claims be as detrimental to our health than the claims that smoking was healthy? I can’t help but draw a comparison to this. If so, how long did it take for these claims to be accepted and for promotion of these products to be removed? According to the Cancer Council, the earliest indication of smoking having an impact on health was 1602, with widespread acknowledgement of the tobacco industry’s efforts to mislead the public about the health effects of smoking and to manipulate public policy for the short-term interests of the industry not happening until the late 20th century.
Let’s hope we can catch on to the tricks and false claims quicker this time.
These blogs are just my views of the world. It’s just my opinion and experiences. I will try to be as factually correct as possible, but I am human and I make mistakes. You are completely within your rights to disagree and question. Feel free to do so with dignity and respect, and I will do the same. That’s how we grow. Insults, bullying and blatant disregard for facts and the mental health and wellbeing of contributors will be deleted, and if deemed necessary reported to authorities. I’m not here to put up with bullshit.
“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.”
― Albert Einstein