Diet Lipgloss: Sign of Fatpocalypse or Just Stupid?

I love the show Sharktank.  It features a group of wealthy Angel Investor/Venture Capitalist types.  People come on the show, pitch their business, and the “sharks” decide whether or not to invest.

I was watching an episode and a women came on to talk about her business. According to her story (and just for you I went back to listen to this again and get the quote exactly right):

Several years ago I attended a Christmas Party and I discovered that two ladies at the party that I had met referred to me as chubby.  So I began to take diet pills.

What with the who now?  You read that right and I didn’t leave anything out of the quote – she heard that two people she had JUST MET called her chubby so she went out and bought diet pills.

I’m all for people making whatever choices they want about their own health and I respect her choice, but I do think it’s worth it to note that we live in a world where someone goes from getting second-hand knowledge of being called chubby by perfect strangers to taking diet pills.

Ok, so it turns out that the pills had side effects (shocking, I know) and so she stopped taking them.  The one day

I began to re-apply my lipgloss in the rear view mirror… and I thought oh my gosh, I wonder if there’s a smell or an herb or something that you can put in a lipgloss that may help to curb my appetite”

Long story short, she developed a lip gloss that you smell and then apply and it’s supposed to help you lose weight.

What followed made me endlessly happy:

A shark asked her if she had any clinical trials.

She said “I’ve spoken to an FDA attorney to ensure that what I’m talking about [pause[ in talking about [product name] as a cosmetic is that it enhances the appearance of women”.

A shark followed up and asked if she could put a sign up in a store that said “Lose weight” .

She responded “No, that’s exactly what I won’t say but what I will say is that I invite my customers to try the product for themselves”.

I did a little research and it turns out that her main ingredient was judged not safe enough by big pharma (the people who were comfortable putting a diet pill on the market with a label warning that  you should wear dark pants and bring an extra pair to work because of anal leakage).  That wasn’t on the show – it’s just a fun bonus fact for you readers.

There was some sad (at least sad to me) news.  So far she has $44,000 in sales.

What?

At $28 a tube (nope, you read that right $28 magical lipgloss) that’s a little over 1,500 tubes.

Happily (at least happily to me) she did not get funding from the sharks.

I looked it up online and she is now selling it  2 for $19.99 with a “7-day detox kit” which includes “nutrition guide, 12 min exercise video, and subconscious mindset audio”.  She’s also billing herself as a motivational speaker.

With that I return to my original question.  Is the fact that someone can sell $44,000 of a “weight loss” product with absolutely no proof of efficacy, using marketing that is legally required NOT to say that it causes weight loss, proof that the OMGDeathFatPanic has actually become a fatpocalypse, or is it just stupid?

I’ll leave it for you to decide.  I’m going to go squeegee my third eye and apply brain bleach until I forget all about this.

Published in: on April 18, 2011 at 7:04 am  Comments (17)  

17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ll stick to my ever favourite vanilla lip smacker thanks!

    I don’t have enough words to adequately describe how incredibly stupid the whole idea of a diet lipgloss is. I mean, really?? Really???

    Brilliant post!

  2. I am actually speechless. A part of me is disdainful over this womanand that she basically is cashing in on other people’s self-loathing. Another (admittedly bigger) part of me feels for this woman.

    With the fat hate that seems to go on and go on, I wouldn’t be surprised that it takes just one comment from a stranger to unravel a person.

  3. I think I’ll go with “just stupid.”

    Thank you, Ragen, for being a witty and very appropriately sarcastic voice of reason.

    Have a great week!

    Mary-Ellin

    • Hey Mary-Ellin,

      Thanks, I’m glad that you liked it and I hope that you are having a fabulous week. I’ glad that you voted for “just stupid”. I’m not sure I’ve stored up enough diet soda and tic-tacs to survive the fatpocalypse :)

      ~Ragen

  4. I like that she’s morphed into a motivational speaker.

    But I really wonder who would pay $28 for a tube of lip gloss. No matter what it does…

    xo Susie

  5. My friends and I used to have a long standing joke about how we were going to start marketing “diet water” because people will buy anything that has “diet” associated with it.

    I liked it better when that was just a JOKE amongst us and not something I now actually think would sell…

    • Yeah, The Hubster’s and my joke is along that lines of “Diet (Insert name of water here). It has less calories than air!” “Air has calories? I’m never breathing again!”

      • Hey Karen,

        That would be even more funny if I didn’t think that conversation happens for real!

        ~Ragen

    • Alynn,

      Sorry – it’s already been done: http://www.strangenewproducts.com/2005/08/diet-drinking-water.html

      Maybe you could market “Diet Oxygen”?

      ~Ragen

  6. I love the phrase “squeegee my third eye.”

    • Hi Michele,

      Feel free to use it, I don’t remember where it came from :)

      ~Ragen

  7. I just about had a rage fit listening to that woman talk! The way she was trying to be so sneaky about the percieved weightloss was horrible. I don’t care how many times you say “I don’t claim blah blah blah…” calling your product by a name that blatantly advertises the thin ideal and using promotional materials with before and after pictures means you’re pedaling a gimcky weightloss product that won’t accomplish 1/8 of what you say.

    I’m glad the sharks had enough sense to run from that product.

  8. That is seriously twisted. What about a lip gloss that guarantees once you’ve finished the tube, you can fit into the tube? Though I guess she wouldn’t have many repeat customers. Well, she’s definitely smells which way the wind is blowing… the fauxbesity epidemic IS a huge moneymaker.

    • Kimber,

      I’m going to be using the phrase fauxbesity epidemic early and often if that’s cool with you?

      ~Ragen

  9. I’m new to your blog and just love it.

    A flavored lip gloss for weight loss seems very similar to the flavored mouth sprays that were sold to suppress your appetite. I don’t think they worked very well either.

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the lady marketing the lip gloss actually lost any weight by using her own product?

    • Hi there,

      I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog :) On the show she claimed that she had lost 18 lbs in two years. Now on her website she claims that she lost 20lbs in 10 weeks. Either way she hasn’t passed the five year threshold required to prove long-term efficacy so it doesn’t mean anything to me.

      ~Ragen

  10. beautiful powerful strong healthy RAGEN, you inspire me beyond words. i am soooooo sad for those folks who wrote such non sense. such a crazy mixed up mentality. i am soooooo proud of you for speaking your truth, you encourage me to do the same ! much love from sacramento !!!!


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