Monday, August 30, 2004

"Wellness"

Was enjoying my post-lunch read of the newspapers, and every other page I turned seemed to have a slimming, weight-loss, bust-enhancement, or "wellness" ad on it. A quick and rough count showed 10 ads in the 44-page print edition of today's Streats were beauty/slimming related (and even the beauty/wellness ads were primarily about slimming), of which 8 were full page, and 1 was a double-page centrefold spread. That's 10 whole pages out of a 44 page newspaper, or almost 25% of the visual space. Not only that, but these ads also were in prime locations - the back page was one entire ad, and the others were in the first half of the newspaper. Oddly enough, few were in the sports section, which seems odd until you consider that most of these ads target people who don't want to work up a sweat to reduce weight, but who would rather take a pill, get some funny oil massaged into them, or get strapped into a machine to lose weight.

That's scary. It seems like some vicious, reinforcing cycle - "thin" is becoming synonymous with "beautiful". The other day, I was walking down Scotts road when I saw a woman wearing a button that read "Ask Me How I Lost Weight": advertising for one of these companies, presumably. She looked skeletal. She was a walking, breathing, moving slice of irony made flesh, except that there wasn't much of that either.

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