So, today I was at the grocery store with a friend of mine and she stopped in pharmacy section and picked up a pretty popular diet pill I’ve previously seen promoted by the Kardashian’s on Instagram. Naturally, this started a conversation between us and she told me she’s been taking this supplement for years. This baffled me.
This is obviously my opinion but, diet culture is a monster that preys on the naive, insecure and those lacking confidence in themselves. It worships thinness and equates health to mortal virtue, oppressing people who don’t meet these standards of what ‘the picture of perfect health’ is supposed to be. It’s quite literally an industry that capitalizes on one’s fears and insecurities.
Societal standards are such that… if you’re thin, you’re healthy. It doesn’t take into consideration body-type, it doesn’t take into consideration height, bone density, genetics (because yes, genetics play a big role in it as well), or any of the things that play a role in true health, it just believes that if you are skinny, you are healthy and that is the ideal.
The thing is, there is no picture of perfect health. Why? Because health isn’t one-size-fits-all. You can be thin and be unhealthy. You can be thick and be perfectly healthy. You can be a professional athlete and look like you’ve got an amazing body meanwhile you’re supplementing with illegal substances to make yourself look that way. I guess that’s what I wish people would take more time to understand… Being thin is not the sole and only criteria for health.
These pills that promise you can lose 30 pounds without diet and exercise, they’re lying. Actually, any substance or procedure that says you’re going to lose weight without diet and exercise is full of shit. Why? Because that’s not how our bodies work on the inside. Our bodies are fully functioning machines on the inside, they need proper diet and exercise to be fueled at their finest.
There’s a well-known Youtube personality, Dr. Mike, who explains it in a way that I think makes the most sense. Think about all of the time Doctors spend with patients trying to teach them about how to lead a healthier life, about the importance of exercise, about how they can institute these tactics in their own lives, the things they can eat to help lose weight, the things they can avoid to keep them from gaining weight. Doctors spend hundreds (if not thousands) of hours per year just trying to teach patients about how to live healthier lives. If these pills were all they’re cracked up to be, why wouldn’t they just tell patients to take these pills? Why would they waste their time trying to teach people about healthy eating and exercise? Why would they follow up? Why wouldn’t they just throw a bottle of “Diet Pill name” at you and tell you to GTFO.
Because health has nothing to do with thinness. Health is about how you treat your body, what you put into your body and making sure that you look after your mind and your soul. Health is how you feel about yourself, how you feel on the inside and how you feel you look on the outside. Health literally looks different for every single person on earth.
In summation: equating health with thinness is a mischaracterization of the true definition of health. Diet culture is big business, and in a world where money talks, can you really trust the companies pushing diet pills on you to have your best interests at heart?