Growing up, I remember flipping through the glossy pages of my Seventeen magazine, eagerly devouring how I could get my crush to notice me or deal with my lame-o parents’ ridiculous rules (one of which should have been not to be reading this trash…). In each issue I’d inevitably come across the classic diet ad, usually promoting some weight loss supplement that promised to make you look like Kate Moss by Thanksgiving. There would invariably be the sad, homely looking fat girl on the left in her too-tight bikini and the elated, smiling, oh-so-much-better! version of herself on the right. See what you can have if only you’re willing to send us $39.95 and tolerate your heart beating out of your chest and a few little tremors?
I remember too asking my mom if we could go get a money order. Why, at nine, did I need a money order, she would ask? (Moms… geez. Always so nosy!). In an ironic twist, I told her I was sending a donation to one of those charities that fed starving children across the globe. When she said no, I beseeched, “Are you really going to let those starving children wither away to nothing?”
So I was a bit dramatic at nine.
My mom fortunately saw through my lie and spared me the possible death that could have resulted from these dangerous pills. But it was a long time until I could stop seeing those ads and looking longingly at what they proffered.
Today, I see a diet ad and I revert between dramatic eye-rolls, deep sighs of sadness, and outright laughter. I’ve developed the media literacy skills to see right through the absurdity of these campaigns. Put simply, diets don’t work. So diet ads are selling us tickets to a show that will never happen. I’ll keep my money, time, and sanity, thank you.
The Slim Chance Awards are one of my favorite events of the years. It’s an opportunity to expose those horrifying diet gimmicks to the world for what they are: utter insanity.
I am beyond honored to have the opportunity to serve a judge for this year’s awards! With a panel of pretty stellar colleagues, I’ll be reviewing the nominations to identify the worst offenders. But to do so, we’ll need your help!
Hop over to fitwoman.com/hww to submit the worst diet products and gimmiks you’ve seen this year. You’ll even be entered for a chance to win a week-long stay at Green Mountain Fox Run if you share your story of “The moment I knew I needed to stop dieting…” (I’d personally love to hear your story!).
Help us get the word out there by sharing this page and the nomination page over the next few weeks! The more nominations we receive, the more we can expose the diet industry for what it is: smoke and mirrors.