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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"I was so embarrassed!"

So I go up to the staff room for break and the tv is on, but no one is watching. I switch it to the listings channel (reminding myself, yet again, why we don't bother paying to get tv at home) to see what's worth watching for the next 10 minutes or so. As the listings go by one side of the scene, commercials are played on the other. They are overwhelmingly for weight lost products - pills "available at your nearest Walmart."

A new commercial comes on. A bikini clad woman is shown walking away from the camera into deeper water. The scene is in slow-mo, with every wiggle and jiggle emphasized and exaggerated. The voice-over has a female voice saying "I was over weight. It was to embarrassing!" The scene then cuts to what is supposedly the same woman (she's wearing the same bikini, after all), this time walking towards the camera in normal speed. She, of course, is thin. Now the voice over is saying something along the lines of, but then I started taking X pills and lost Y lbs in a ridiculously short amount of time. I'm so much happier now.

The thing is, the woman in the before scene WASN'T FAT. She wasn't even anywhere near fat. Heck, the curves on the before looked a whole lot better than the 2x4 with no ass and inflated boobs in the after scene (normally, I prefer to use proper terms for body parts, but when it comes to enhancements, "breasts" just doesn't seem to be the right word anymore).

So here we have a commercial promoting the use of drugs to loose weight, using a person who didn't need to loose weight in the first place as an example of being fat, because *gasp* it's embarrassing! Forget about eating healthy, being active and living a healthy lifestyle. That won't make you skinny. Only these pills will. Go to Walmart and buy some now!!!!

The last time I was at Walmart, I decided to check out their display of these weight loss pills. It was a surprisingly small, hard to find section. A few labels specified that they helped lose belly fat. All promised fast weight loss with no need to exercise. Then I saw them, boldly labeled. Ephedra.

Now, that last I heard, it was illegal to sell ephedra in Canada. Something to do with all those people dying of heart failure and strokes. Now, I happen to be a big supporter of herbal remedies and natural vs. Pharmaceutical products for the most part, but I also recognize that herbal products, like pharmaceuticals, need to be used responsibly and judiciously. That's not happening when ephedra is used for weight loss purposes.

It reminds me of a poll my daughter did on Quizilla some months ago. Her questions basically boiled down to, would you rather be somewhat fat and healthy and live a long time, or unhealthy with a shorter life, but be thin. Respondents (over 1200 of them) overwhelmingly chose to be thin and unhealthy with a shorter life span.

There's something very wrong with this picture.



  1. The poll has since been taken down, but I had to mention the fact that by the time of the poll being disabled, I had over 2000 votes. A little more then 75% chose to live with a shorter lifespan and bad health, rather then a prosperous life, and being even somewhat overweight.

    I love society, don't you?


  2. Oh, right - I forgot that you'd included prosperity in there, too.


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