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Culture > News

How a Fitness Influencer Scammed Her Followers

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

Some of you may be familiar with Brittany Dawn Fitness, the influencer on Instagram and YouTube. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her, she is a typical fitness influencer that uploads videos and pictures related to her diet, as well as, workout tips for people to get in shape. As Brittany Dawn became more well known through her videos and instagram posts, she started her own website where she claimed to sell “Individualized Macro and Training” plans that lasted from 30 to 90 days. These plans ranged from $145.00 to $300.00 each, but in addition to your “Individualized Macro and Training” plan, you would have access to communicate directly with Brittany Dawn to ask questions or make adjustments to your plan.


Now you may be wondering why is this problematic, we all want to get in our best shape and why wouldn’t we listen to someone that shows off their athletic body? Well, Brittany Dawn’s followers bought these “Individualized” plans to start their fitness journey, but it was not what they expected, nor were promised. One of the issues after purchasing the plan was that some of her customers never received anything from Brittany Dawn and when they complained, they were ignored. Imagine spending $145.00 – $300.00 on a personalized plan where you don’t even receive the product and get ignored after months have passed since you made the payment.


The second issue was that those who did receive their plans were upset with the “individualized” aspect of the plan. As fans communicate to one another often on social media, through social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, people started to realize each of their “individualized” plans were exactly the same. After this realization, a community formed on Facebook for people who were scammed by Brittany Dawn. When people contacted Brittany about their disappointment in the plan they received or mentioned how it was ineffective for them, it caused the third issue of poor communication.


Having access to talk to Brittany 24/7 seems very helpful and beneficial, but many people claim when contacting her she would always send a generalized response and would not directly answer customer questions. An example of a generic response her customers received through email was “Doing great girl, keep going girl!” Other people also said that she would not respond for long periods of time. When people would send complaints about the plans and requested refunds, she would block them from contacting her. Her offering direct communication was one of the best aspects of her plan, but in the end she did not provide exactly what she claimed.


As this issue has recently come to light, Brittany Dawn has removed these plans from her website. She also recently made an apology video on her YouTube channel for negligence and mentions how the issue has been occuring within recent months, but in reality these issues can be traced back to a few years ago. After all this, Brittany has finally allowed people to request a refund, but the catch is you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for the refund. A non-disclosure agreement is between two parties and it basically binds you to keep information confidential between you and the other party. By signing her agreement, it will prevent people from speaking and complaining about the controversy in return for a refund. Watch this video for further information and sourcing. 


Fitness influencers online may motivate you to reach your fitness and health goals, but if you are spending money to get help reaching these goals, make sure to reach out to a professional. It is illegal to make a personalized or “prescriptive” meal plan in various states unless you are a registered dietitian. If you want to learn how to change your diet, make an appointment with a registered dietitian and if you want to learn more workout techniques, contact a personal trainer. Most of these social influencers are just normal people who got their body through personalized fitness and nutrition plans, but this does not mean they can help you with your personalized plan.

Gabriella Durand is a senior at Florida International University pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition. When not in class, she can be found at club meetings, participating in campus events, or hanging around campus studying with friends. Her goal is to become a Registered Dietitian, but her passions extend to art, fashion, makeup, and food.