Last night I was scrolling IG when I got a message, I opened it:
Girl: Hey girl!
Me: Hey! What's up?
Girl: I know this is random, but I was wondering If you'd you like to be a product tester for me! I think you're so pretty and would love our products. You'd get a HUGE discount for doing so. Would you be interested?
**Okay, here's where I'm curious. As someone who works on social media for a living, people do ask that I use their products occasionally. I don't partner with companies I don't 100% love and trust, but I do ask questions to find out if we will mesh. But, the first red flag was raised: she wanted me to buy product. Also, commenting on my physical appearance upset me and raised another flag, yet I remained curious. The final red flag was the fact that the product wasn't clearly addressed yet which again. left me curious.
Me: Thank you so much! What kind of product is it?
Girl: ________ has a whole bunch of different products, but let me know what you're interested in out of these. I still need to try these wraps that firm, tone and contour. Greens for detoxing your body, ________ to help speed up your metabolism and burn calories and _____ for stress management. You'd be my model for 90 days, but within the 90 days you could switch products whenever.
Noooooooooooooo. I was so bummed to wake up this morning and find out that I just been preyed on. Okay, I know preyed is kind of an icky word. Because I get it, this girl is simply trying to make a living and she may truly believe in these products. But I was straight up played. I know this because I too, use to sell challenges and quick fixes and part of me did believe in the products.
Here's What Happened
She didn't want me to be a model, I mean, maybe she wanted to use my progress pictures, but this was a really crafty way for me to begin using her wraps/pills etc. I won't list the company name, but this company claims that their wraps/pills will help you lose weight.
I get bummed when I'm approached with these kinds of messages, not because she was doing her job. Girl, I get you—you're just trying to be a #GIRLBOSS and I admire that. What I don't love is that these products and ways to get consumers to purchase them are preying on women and their insecurities.
She said I was pretty, and I thought wow, I feel special. Has this ever happened to you?
Straight up, 100%, had I not known about this company, not been a personal trainer and been a woman who hates her body and wants to lose weight—I would have actually thought she thought I was pretty (YAY! I would have thought, she picked me), and that she truly wanted me to model.
So I get the excitement to try these products. The quickness of them all, and the promises they make to get you mad weight loss in ____ amount of days is sexy. Learning how to honor your body, takes time and in a world full of instant gratification, you want fast.
Here's What You Need To Know About Cleanses/Challenges/Fixes
1. The humans that are selling the products may be good people (most of the time), heck—I use to be one of them and I know I'm a good human. I'm sure you have a BFF, aunt, mom or co-worker who is part of something trying to sell you the latest and greatest. While they may have a good heart, you shouldn't be lead to believe that weight loss and self love are one in the same. And that through these challenges/fixes, diet culture is only getting bigger and stronger. Making women believe there is something to fix. You aren't broken, society is.
2. The companies/products are purposefully preying on your insecurities. That instant gratification? Well duhhh a 21 day fix sounds amazing. 21 days to a better me? Sign me up! The problem is that these do exactly what they say, they guide you through ____ amount of days of magical weight loss and after that, well sorry Charley, you're f*cked. That's why you keep going back to said program time and time again. Because you aren't learning how to honor your body, how to have a healthy relationship with food or learn to love yourself—you're learning how to take extremes to reach a goal in a short period of time.
How Can You Make Empowered Decisions?
I want to reiterate for the 24572940 time, that I'm not digging on the people selling these products because they are just like you and me. What I do want you to know though is that I get you. I get that you may be frustrated with your body and the appeal to spend even more money on ____ program seems like it'll finally be the winner—and when it's not, you feel like a failure.
You can learn to make empowered decisions about your body and what you do to achieve the goals you want by:
- Asking questions! What are you being sold? Is it a quick fix? If they say no, ask them what the maintenance is like? Are you actually learning how to love and honor your body?
- Ask yourself questions. Do you feel like you're doing the work to learn how to love your body? Or are you relying heavily on the hopes of products to do the work?
- Instead of seeking wraps/cleanses and products: seek coaches that will teach you the foundation of how to workout for your body, how to love your body and how to eat for your body.
- Know you aren't broken. The only thing that needs to be fixed is diet culture, not your body.
- Seek methods that feel like something that genuinely works for you, your life and your body. What feels like something you would recommend to your daughter/future daughter/woman you care dearly about?
As someone who use to be a part of these companies, I'm one—not proud. I had to convince myself to like many of the products because they didn't align with who I was or how I wanted women to feel about their bodies. I always thought, I could do this and be the one who does it different. I could educate women in the process of preying on their insecurities (though to be clear, at the time I didn't feel like I was)...I don't hate myself anymore, but I did for a long time. Granted, when you're 18 and figuring out life, and get cool results from 10 day cleanses, and people want to know what you did—selling those products seems like the cool thing to do and it seems like you're helping. More than anything, I look back on those days and I'm upset and sorry to the women who bought anything from me. I had the same women coming back to me every 60 days because once they found results in whatever challenge or cleanse I was selling, they didn't know how to maintain it, and at the point I was young and uneducated. So I kept selling it to them.
If you're one of those women, know that I'm sorry. Part of me believed I was doing something good, I really did. But part of me knew, at the same time, it wasn't okay. So—years later, my goal is to now educate women. Provide them the tools and coaching they need to learn how to let go of diet mindset, and finally end the war within their body they've been fighting for years.
Knowledge is power, and as women—we aren't taught how to workout, eat in a way that isn't dieting or love our bodies, literally anywhere.
That's what SCR is now, a place for women to learn. Abs & quick fixes aren't the goal or promised here—a community that's safe, bad ass and a place to learn, is.
As you navigate a world where you're trying to learn how to love and trust your body, while being smack dab in the middle of diet culture, know you aren't broken. You can learn to love your body, and honor it, without cleanses, diets and quick fixes. I promise.