The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Desperation Makes Us Dumb

on September 1, 2012

I was poking around the CBC website and I found this: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/08/08/advertising-claims-regulations.html

It gives eight examples of companies which have had to pay hefty fines as the result of making false claims.  The one that caught my eye was about the manufacturer of Nivea products who had made claims that regular use of its “My Silhouette” cream would reshape, reduce and slim those troublesome areas like thighs, hips, waist and tummy.  I’m not sure which part of this shocked me more.  The part where someone either in product development or advertising thought this was a good idea or the part where consumers walked through their local drugstore and thought that rubbing a cream on themselves would actually help with weight loss or possibly toning.

I don’t recall ever seeing or hearing about this product, and I hope that I would have the sense to question its claims, but then I thought about how unhappy I’ve been with my weight at different points in my life and how desperately I have wished for a magic cream or pill or potion that would suddenly and irreversibly make me slim.  Someone very close to me recently told me that she’d once told her husband, who was hard on her about her weight, that she wished she had cancer and then all her weight would drop off as a result of the illness and the treatment.  Her husband was horrified that she’d even imagined such a thing, but then continued to harass her about her weight throughout their marriage.  Twenty years of ridicule might just make me want to purchase a magical cream from a seemingly respectable manufacturer too.

Manufacturers who prey on desperate consumers are loathsome and I will not be buying Nivea products any time soon, but they are making money by filling a “need” in the market.  Obese men and women want so badly, so desperately, to be thin that we are willing to ignore the part of our brain that is screaming “this is complete poppycock!” .  If we don’t buy such products then they will stop making them because there will be no financial benefit from doing so.   We just need to remember on our worst days that magic didn’t put the weight on, and magic won’t take it off.

– the Goddess

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One response to “Desperation Makes Us Dumb

  1. Thinking a cream will help with toning or weight loss is no weirder or more deluded than thinking that one (not prescribed by a doctor) will do anything other than temporarily relieve symptoms of dry skin. I mean, they are all snake oil, but we still but them on the off chance that one of them will reduce wrinkles or cellulite. None of them do, but that just makes us buy more. If people, women especially, didn’t feel the need to look slim and young at all times and at any cost, then there wouldn’t be a market for these products, but we do feel the need so there is. Teach your daughters to not give a shit about any of that stuff if you want to put Nivea and the like out of business. Not easy to do though 🙂

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