An industry whose product is legally required to state that it doesn’t work every time they try to sell it doesn’t make sixty-billion dollars a year without some pretty good marketing. You might think losing every deceptive trade practice lawsuit that has been brought by the Federal Trade Commission would slow down sales a little bit. But the diet industry has managed to slap a “results not typical” label on all of their stuff and just keep raking in the dough.
Part of it is because the diet industry knows that biology dictates that almost everyone can lose weight short term and almost everyone will gain it back long term, and they’ve done a tremendous job of taking credit for the first part and blaming their client for the second part - though neither is accurate. This is what leads fat people to argue vehemently that Weight Watchers works because they did it six times and they lost weight at the beginning every time – of course they also gained it back but they don’t associate Weight Watchers with that. Part of it is because fat people are subject to a tremendous amount of shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression and so people are desperate to find a way out of that and if they can’t lose weight, at least they might get partial credit and a temporary pass if they are perceived as “trying to do something.”
One of the marketing ploys that the Diet Industry uses is the Dieting Trifecta of Doom. They have set up three “seasons” a year to market around that allow them to constantly remind us that we will never look good enough. The events are:
- The holidays are coming
- The new year is here
- Bikini season is coming
Right now we are in “The holidays are coming.” I know that because I received an advertisement from a local diet company affiliate that suggested that I might want to lose weight so as not to embarrass my husband at his company Christmas party. Looking past the fact that it’s not 1950, I have a girlfriend, and we’re both self-employed, this one seems like a particularly low blow – it sounds like they realize that more and more of us realize that beauty, health, and happiness come in sizes that include ours – so they want to make us fear that we’ll be an embarrassment to our partners so that we’ll buckle and give them our money. I guess this is what you stoop to when your product doesn’t work.
Soon we’ll start hearing about weight loss New Year’s Resolutions and every diet company in the world will run some sort of special. When that wears off we’ll start hearing about how we have to get ready for bikini season. When summer is over it will be “the holidays are coming” all over again.
I think it’s important to notice that the diet industry has purposefully created a cycle of three artificial seasons to make us spend the whole year sure that we don’t look good enough now and terrified that we won’t look good enough for the next artificial season. Happily, we can opt out of the cycle. For example, it’s November, I’m fat, and my body is already “bikini season ready” and the way I know is that I have both a body and bikini, so there you go. I will not be sucked into the vortex of the Diet Company Trifecta of Doom.
Happy HAES Holidays Teleconference Workshop – Registration is Name Your Own Price – Nov 13 and 15
During the holiday season I get a ton of e-mail from people asking about everything from how to set resolutions that aren’t about weight loss to how to deal with the family food police or their partner’s office party. I’ve put together a group of speakers to give you information to support you through the holiday season and into the new year. All calls will be recorded so registrants can listen Details and registration are here, registration is name your own price.
Like the blog? Check this stuff out (and you can help support my work which I would really appreciate):
The Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here to order
The Dance Class DVDs: Buy the Dance Class DVDs (hint: Free shipping was supposed to end on Monday but I haven’t had a chance to make the changes to the pricing so there’s still free shipping until I get it done)! Click here for the details
Become a Member and Get Special Deals from Size Positive Businesses
I do size acceptance activism full time. A lot what I do, like answering over 4,000 e-mails from readers each month, giving talks to groups who can’t afford to pay, and running projects like the Georgia Billboard Campaign etc. is unpaid, so I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.