I hate diet pills. Hate ’em.
And recently, I was approached by a certain diet pill manufacturer offering me a pretty hefty amount of money to plug them on here.
By hefty, I mean more than my salary. Considerably more. Enough to give this perpetually-poor girl a moment’s stunned reflection, until I remembered I do, in fact, have a soul – and it ain’t for sale.
Now, I like to think I’m pretty friendly to PRs and such – generally, they’re lovely, friendly people who like to offer me free stuff, and free stuff makes me happy. Also, I’m in marketing. I get it. And when I do review things, I speak as I find. If it doesn’t cut the mustard, I’ll say that.
But this? This was a whole different kettle o’fish. This was – and I quote – an offer ‘to represent [the product] and award it credit for all future and past weight loss success.’
Naturally, I told them (politely, for me) where they could stick their endorsement package. As a guide, it’s somewhere the sun never shines.
And then, I got swept up in my own lil’ whirlwind of work and the like, and put it to the back of my mind – until yesterday, one of my lovely Twitter followers mentioned how irritating she finds these celebrity endorsements, and I realised I was hella mad. Furious, you might say.
Because not only are diet products like this something I’ve said time and again I’m against – but it gave me a horrible, sudden realisation that my paranoia around bought and sold endorsements wasn’t just something I’d dreamed up in my war on the diet industry. Nope – it turns out people really are for sale, and it’s one hell of a buyer’s market.
I mean – when I started trying to lose weight the first, second, third and forty-seventh times, I looked at every option. I tried every option in my budget, from the Atkins to the Master Cleanse – because I’d seen the success stories, the glowing celebrities promoting this, that and the other as the secret to their perfect figures, and hoped, in spite of everything, that they’d work for me. This, from the age of seventeen to twenty-two, was my reality – a kind of sad, desperate hope, that resulted in nothing but messed up eating habits and a through-the-floor sense of self-esteem.
So to be on the receiving end of an offer to become one of the faces of those products was, for me, shocking and – quite frankly – offensive.
I refuse – angrily, passionately and with every single bone in my body – to be the kind of person that would sell any kind of ‘magic pill’ or ‘quick fix’ for weight loss, knowing that the only way that works is the one that’s free and available to all: real food, and exercise.
And I’d encourage you to think critically – not just critically, but with real skepticism and preferably, mild rage – about any product with a price tag that comes with a celebrity-or-otherwise endorsement attached. Hell, any endorsement. Don’t trust me, if you feel so inclined – because if it seems too good to be true… It probably is.
The fact is, the information and resources anybody needs to lose weight are out there, and freely available if you’re able to navigate through the ocean of bullshit – but the only things that’ll ever lead to success, in any real form, are your ability to have confidence in your own decisions, and your faith in the fact that time and willpower are the only magic bullets that exist.
And with that in mind, you should be angry at the culture we live in that masks this fact in the interest of making a quick buck out of you.
There are so many endorsements out there, and in a marketing landscape where advertising ain’t just on billboards and TV, how in the hell are we supposed to know when a certain someone’s received a wad of cash to spew any line they’re fed?
Where’s the criticism, when we’re told someone – whose job, usually, is to look a certain way, and whose lifestyle permits time to work on that as almost their sole focus – uses one particular product to be that image of perfection?
And – most worryingly of all, to my mind – if it isn’t just celebrities that are endorsing products, but normal folks like yours truly – who the hell are we supposed to believe?
Now, I’m aware that I sound like one of those people that stands in the middle of town shouting nothing in particular at passers-by. I get it. But seriously – when it comes to diet products, I’d say ‘trust no-one’ is a pretty sensible approach.
To be clear, it’s my feeling that you can be awesome and happy at whatever size you choose – because happiness is everybody’s right. But I also get that losing weight – whether for aesthetic purposes, or for your health – is a goal for a heck of a lot of people, including my ol’ previous self. And so, with that in mind, I cannot possibly beg you enough not to buy into any kind of quick fix, magic pill, or easy option – no matter how hard you may want to believe it works.
I’m on my knees, here, y’all. Please don’t.
Because there’s a reason I don’t charge a penny for the information on this site. I run advertising, and I do reviews, but this blog still leaves me about £60-100 short every month in running costs, and that is fine – because nobody, nowhere should be making money off anyone else’s insecurities. And really, when it comes to weight loss, the most obvious answer is the right one. Eating real food, and exercising as much as you’re able to do (within reason), is the only way to go.
There you have it. Right there. Totally free.
And thus I say, to the company that offered me money to promote their bullshit and frankly tackily-packaged nasty-ass evil diet pills – who I’m not naming, partly to encourage you never to buy any diet pills, and also partly because I can’t afford to get sued – piss off. Shove your offer, and your product – and I hope you enjoy that sinking feeling that’ll come to you, late in the night, when you realise you’ve been complicit in a culture of bullshit, shaming and disordered, miserable lifestyles.
I raise a glass to your long, miserable lives. Asshats.