It’s a special day for me – I just got my first e-mail from a company trying to make money by making me terrified that “the holidays” are coming and I’m somehow too fat for them. Thus begins the next stop on the dieting Axis of Evil marketing tour (the holidays are coming, New Year’s Resolutions, and Bikini Season is coming.)
Of course there’s the fact that ye olde diet company assumes that everyone celebrates holidays at the end of the year which is messed up. Then we have their wanton disregard for people actually enjoying the holidays. The message they sent to me:”The holidays are just around the corner, will you have a body you can be proud of?” is a disgusting attempt to create insecurities and then play on them for profit. Here I was nervous that I would have to call my mom 14 times and still screw up the holiday dinner and embarrass myself, now I’m supposed to worry that I’ll embarrass myself just by existing in a body that hasn’t been manipulated to some size I can be “proud of” which, based on the picture that accompanied the message, would require me to lose about 150 pounds and grow 6 inches in the next two months.
If they were honest their ad copy would have read “The holidays are coming so it would be great if you would hate your body and make a desperate bid to change it that won’t work but will make us a boatload of money so that our last quarter numbers look good.”
Since I was a kid I’ve seen what now seem like unending permutations of the message “you’re too fat” delivered to me by those who hope to profit from my believing it. The holidays are coming and you’re too fat. It’s New Years and you’re too fat. Bikini season is coming and you’re too fat.
We may not be able to stop the diet companies from trying to ruin the next three months (and the month after that with their New Year’s Resolution, and the months after that with whatever they try to use to create a giant chasm between us and loving ourselves) but we can decide that they aren’t going to succeed. I recommend a secret little mantra that I’ve created that I say whenever I see diet industry ads. My mantra is “HEY, THAT’S BULLSHIT!” Works like a charm to remind me not to buy into any of this.
The holidays are coming and I’m just fine. New Year’s is coming and I’m just fine. Bikini season is coming and I’m just fine. This diet industry that spends so much time and money oppressing me with a product that doesn’t do anything successfully except make them money, runs on our time and money energy. We take the fuel away and the machine stops. It happens as one person at a time changes the channel, throws out the postcard, or rolls their eyes and says “No more. I’m done with this.”
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