Kim Kardashian West has been called a “toxic influence” for posting an advert promoting a dieting lollipop. When I saw this post, I was somewhat disgusted and also baffled that it gained millions of likes. The reality TV star shared a photo of herself eating the product onto Instagram; it’s claimed the lolly suppresses your appetite.
I’m all for campaigning body positivity but I really do feel that this post goes totally against this; it really could have a terrible and toxic influence on young girls. My honest opinion is, don’t take appetite suppressors, rather eat enough to fuel your brain and body and work hard.
I now believe that there is so much more to life than having a flat stomach; it is more than likely that people are going to remember you for your successes and achievements, not how your stomach looks!
The product Kim is advertising is from a company which sells diet products, including these appetite suppressant lollipops. Apparently they are designed to be taken when people experience food cravings. But there is a disclaimer which says, “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.” The same company has had social media adverts banned in the UK.
This is just another example of the diet industry forcing dangerous products down our throats. As I’ve suggested, I have a major issue with the Flat Tummy Co as a concept as it is. Their whole brand is centred on achieving a flat stomach and the idea that a flat stomach is something that everyone wants to aspire to have. This sends toxic messages that you’re clearly not beautiful or worthy if you don’t conform to these standards. Disheartening for many I imagine!
Even their ‘skinny’ shakes and teas promote losing weight in an unhealthy and unsustainable way. Replacing meals with shakes may seem fine but what do you do once you’ve lost a few pounds? Probably celebrate and feel pretty chuffed with yourself. But what will happen when you stop taking these shakes and start eating normally again? You definitely can’t continue living your whole life off shakes and teas. It may even be the case that you put more weight on than you lost due to the nutrients your body was craving and your body holding onto reserves in case you start starving it again. Then the vicious cycle starts again. This is why I personally feel that the Flat Tummy Co is encouraging women’s self-hatred towards their bodies and the pressure they feel to fit into society’s standards of how a woman should look.
Going back to the Instagram post, maybe Kim was naive to the extent of the impact her endorsements can have on people. 1.6 million in the UK alone are affected by eating disorders and adverts such as these are doing nothing to aid this. I’m by no means saying adverts like these cause eating disorders but I really do feel it could play a part in adding to unhealthy mental attitudes and eating habits which can in some cases can lead to eating disorders.
I know from my own personal experiences when you are confused about your body and how you should be eating/what you should be doing to be ‘healthy’, messages like these just further complicate the situation. Diet culture, by definition, is a society that focuses and values weight, shape, and size over health and wellbeing. And you’re not telling me there’s not a billion dollar industry that exists because of products like this.
Kim has such a massive following and influence on young people and so I strongly feel she needs to really think about what she posts! I imagine some people take what she says as gospel and therefore these products could be damaging to so many individuals, not to mention the mindset that could be developed around the diet industry and food.