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Let’s Unfollow Celebrities Promoting Dangerous Diet Products

The beginning of a new year is filled with so many amazing things: fresh starts, refreshed inspiration and new goals. The new year is also, unfortunately, very closely associated with diets. Diet culture has been a significant, toxic aspect of society since its popularization in 1863 and modernly finds the majority of its victims in women, especially young and teenage women. 

Each day, these women scroll through Instagram to connect with their interests, friends and family, and celebrities. These women view posts from celebrities in order to understand and relate to them, but instead are often met with advertisements and promotions of toxic products from role models they trust, with bodies and lifestyles they desire. 

In a social media world filled with “stans” and “#goals,” let’s make a real goal to change social media for the better; let’s take a stand. Let’s not click the links in their bios, let’s not like their posed photos, and let’s say no to toxic, dangerous ideals. Let’s unfollow. 

Let’s listen to the research: these products are dangerous. 

After doing an extensive amount of research, here is what we can conclude about these diet products: they are not FDA approved, appetite suppressants are incredibly dangerous, and often the teas, coffees and shakes are simply extreme laxatives, which have just the negative, unhealthy results you think they would.

Let’s not lead our fellow women into eating disorders.

In addition to being horrible for physical health, these items and practices can also negatively affect one’s mental health. These products promote and form habits leading to eating disorders, such as skipping meals (associated with anorexia nervosa) and taking strong laxatives (anorexia bulimia).

Let’s acknowledge that celebrities don’t get their amazing bodies solely from these products. 

As Jameela Jamil said, “Give us the discount codes to your nutritionists, personal chefs, personal trainers, airbrushers and plastic surgeons [instead].” While there is nothing wrong with celebrities doing whatever they please with their own bodies, it isn’t right to tell their young followers that their perfectly toned and curvy bodies are the result of these products and practices alone… and getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for saying it. 

Let’s support positive change. 

Instagram has begun taking action against this issue and created a policy in September of 2019 which restricts the promotion of these products to minors. While this is a positive change, it is just the beginning of creating an inclusive, supportive and healthy social media.

Jameela Jamil, the witty “feminist-in-progress,” activist and founder of the body positive I WEIGH Movement (@i_weigh on Instagram), has created a petition to ban the promotion of dangerous diet products on social media. (You can sign it here). I also recommend following @jameelajamil for more information on this topic, if not just for her hilarious, relevant, unfiltered content, such as, “Maybe don’t take appetite suppressants and eat enough to fuel your BRAIN and work hard and be successful. And to play with your kids. And to have fun with your friends. And to have something to say about your life at the end, other than ‘I had a flat stomach.’”

So, let’s unfollow.

All images via Instagram

Let’s unfollow celebrities and influencers promoting dangerous diet products to the very people that support and idolize them. Let’s promote body positivity and end the subliminal messages that imply negative and outdated views. Let’s contribute to a future where women can feel beautiful, but know that they are so much more than that.

Sign Jameela Jamil’s petition here.

For more information visit: 

National Eating Disorders Association

Beware of Products Promising Miracle Weight Loss (FDA)

Instagram Addressing the Problem of Diet Teas (The Lafayette Ledger)

An Age-Old Battle: The FDA Versus the Shill (The Atlantic)

Maddie is a recently graduated English major and is excited to enter the publishing industry.