The Celebrity Weight Loss DVD Phenomenon

A wellbeing expert I know has several definitions for what amounts to a fad diet. One of them is ‘a celebrity has done it’.

He’s got a point. Every year, we see the same thing happen.  Someone in the public eye will lose a lot of weight and then produce a weight loss DVD (plus additional magazine articles and the like) sharing how they did it, their secret, how you can get the same results.  Etc.  The cynic in me says the weight loss and the DVD deal are not separate events.

The magazines queue up for the relevant article. The celebrity concerned is praised for their amazing new figure and all their hard work.  Fast forward a month or two.  The poor individual has put some of the weight back on. So the narrative turns to their ‘weight hell’ and their fall from skinny grace.  It’s only the beginning of February and a particular example from this year (DVD still available) is already been picked apart in this week’s magazine rack.

I am deliberately not naming anyone. There is enough fat shaming and female shaming (because they usually are) taking place without me joining in.  I don’t blame any of the individuals involved.  If someone offered me a DVD deal along with support to lose some weight, I’d sign on the line in a heartbeat.  And you could call me what you like once I had spent all the cash (on chocolate probably).

Instead, it is the system I don’t like. Building someone up and then knocking them down.  Rinsing the general public for their cash with another story, another gimmick.  The tantalising potential of easy weight loss.  After all, an ordinary girl off the television can do it – so why can’t you?

Here’s the thing. Weight loss is hard. Maintaining it is harder still – and I should know.  I did the former and I am struggling with the latter – and I know that I always will.  There are no quick fixes.  But that’s not a popular story.  So instead, we will just keep buying the DVDs and perpetuating the cycle.

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