Detox Culture and Celebrities

We live in an influential world surrounded by Instagram and social media influencers who are paid to sell or at least endorse a dream of bodily perfection. Where in the race of must-haves, the aspect of normalising the efforts by the Insta-wellness community with paid deals to promote the usage of detox teas to lose the ‘water weight’ with an aim to give your body a slimmer, flatter and toned look. A weight-loss factor is simply implied and induced to an audience under the veils and numerous euphemisms of being ‘thin’ and promoting the keywords especially, ‘skinny’, ‘detox’ and ‘cleansing’. The retail value of health is sold online to an audience of young womxn who are endorsed to harmful messages in the name of weight loss products.

While we still need to understand the usage of this word, detox means to abstain or get rid of toxic or unhealthy substances from your body and anything else does not make a thing ‘detox’, unless it’s about withdrawal from substance abuse. In a world where we are scarce for our own essential needs, we take up methods to get things done with greater feasibility and detox diets claim to eliminate toxins from our bodies in return for enhanced health and weight loss. While they do sound more alluring and seducing to the mind they aren’t needed as our body already has its own highly efficient detoxification system.

Detox tea is just simply an embellished healthcare drink only with Laxatives (causes the bowels to open up) and Diuretics (causes one to urinate excessively) under excessive dressing. The greater concern with detox culture and celebrities endorsing these products only further normalises the usage of laxatives in everyday lives of many young individuals who have to deal with body image issues and it could worsen eating disorders, thus damaging health with a rather more drastic method of detoxing the body, than what people originally signed up for. Products sold precisely for ‘detoxing’ like teas, juices, shakes, pills, and powders, claim to rid your body of toxins in entirety which is best done by your body itself, naturally. If used for an extended time, these laxatives can irritate the digestive system, cause diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes prevent your body to absorb nutrients naturally. Longer usage can make you reliant on them for the movement of your bowels and dries out your hydrated body, potentially reducing the effects of contraceptive pills.  

Several celebrities endorse products like fitness/detox teas along with ‘hair vitamins’ and ‘appetite suppressant lollipops’. Celebrities, influencers especially the likes of Kardashians have been called out and criticised on numerous occasions for “promoting poisonous rhetorics that are marketed at young girls.” In the words of activist Jameela Jamil, “These weight loss products don’t make you thinner. They give you diarrhoea and induced side effects with your bowels.” The founder of the I- Weigh movement talks about the vulnerable audience that are gullible to the miraculous claims and journeys of individuals who only want to earn through deals and endorsements, through predatory companies and their unethical adverts that promote and normalise these groundless claims of having the guaranteed bodies of these celebrities which are definitely not the product of these laxative-induced products. These quick-fix wellness products are just a way to make so many young people targets of a standardised narrative of beauty, capitalised by these negligent celebrities and giving them what they need to make their bodies more perfect than ever, money. These celebrities do not indulge themselves in these detox diets and claim to have benefitted with only that product with just a picture of it in their hand or sipping it with discount codes, directly shoving it down their millions of followers and would probably never use it or spit it out the very next second.

This shady and sinister side of targeting people with body image issues or eating disorders is completely irresponsible and underhanded. Such cruel intentions and methods to make money over the established empire of insecurities of millions of people who crave to love themselves and who just can’t if they don’t look like these celebrities and otherwise.

It has been spoken about on multiple occasions, “When taken in excess or chronic demand, laxatives can damage the gut lining along with causing nutrient depletion, dehydration and malabsorption”. The human body is completely capable of flushing out bodily toxins naturally and the ways of enhancing this are definitely not available with an Instagram influencer, who knows nothing about nutrition or ethics of advertising. There have been full-fledged campaigns and petitions against companies and individuals who think they can get away from making a fool out of the public, to make them woefully suffer under the hands of exploitation and, maybe sometimes too late to understand what they were really robbed off in their early years by these greedy capitalistic and money-hungry giants. They will and have been building their empire on this platform for years and will not be held accountable for the pains and scars they leave behind in the veneer shadows of your consent, through buying into their narrative of fitness and healthy well-being.