On a late Saturday night, I flipped through the guide on my television, excited about finding one of my favorite shows from the ‘90s. Lucky me, I managed to click on Nickelodeon just as a diet pill commercial started. Having seen the 30-second segment correlating sex and a thin body numerous times, I zoned out and merely laughed to myself, wondering how proud the parents of the young man and woman must be as the actors flaunted their sexuality by holding each other topless.
As the commercial started to end, the company flashed its name a few more times, promising “rapid weight loss” and a 100 percent guarantee. Even though I had seen the ad a countless number of times, nothing could prepare me for the final line I had never noticed before: “It’s great to be thin!”
Normally, this blatant stab at the self-esteems of young girls everywhere wouldn’t have bothered me. I’m used to seeing ridiculous dieting commercials that encourage people to take unknown pills to lose weight, throwing any side effects to the wind. But this one hit me deep.
Zantrex isn’t just stuffing its product down viewer throats — it is perpetuating an ideal that not only makes millions sick, and kills thousands a year.
The slogan and commercial displaying the sexualized and glistening bodies of a man and woman aren’t telling us that being skinny is healthy. Instead the message is that taking Zantrex makes us thin and only when we are thin, are we sexually appealing and worthy of any sexual gratification.
By the third diet pill advertisement by the same company 10 minutes later, I was nauseated.
I have to wonder — do people really buy into this commercial and the crap this company is hawking? When did we make the decision that being thin is the “great” way to be?
But when society is telling models that being a size four is “too fat,” what other idea are young girls supposed get?
According to an article by Christine Lagorio for CBS News, approximately 45 million Americans diet each year and spend between $1 and $2 billion on weight-loss programs. The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness reports that dieting and practicing diet –related programs are the most common behaviors that leads to an eating disorder.
When the Journal of the American Dietetic Association is reporting that more than 50 percent of nine and 10 year olds reported that they feel better about themselves while on a diet, I’d say we have a problem. And Zantrex is not helping the matter with their patented slogan.
I’m all for being healthy, working out and eating right if that is what a person is into. Not stuffing yourself daily with fatty foods, candy and alcohol is essential to keeping your minds and bodies in top shape.
But where is the line?
Elementary school girls are dieting, size six models are considered “plus-sized,” and men can now purchase slimming shirts that criss-cross in the back, support their love handles and reduce their pants size by two.
Scientists and nutritionists report that America has an eating and weight epidemic and every year a new state is named the fattest in America. I agree there is a problem, but maybe it’s about time these knowledgeable scientists and nutritionists take a look around and notice a whole new epidemic that is starving for our attention.
Until then, thank you, Zantrex, for making me feel unattractive and not worthy. I’ll be in my room. Eating my feelings.