Weight loss campaigns push wrong message

Published by adviser, Date: January 27, 2012

While watching television, I saw many different versions of the same concept. There are so many commercials about weight loss programs airing these days I can hardly keep up with them all. These commercials are more popular than ever this time of year with the close proximity to New Year’s Eve and the ever-so popular resolution to lose weight. The signs of these hastily made resolutions are all over SRU’s campus as well. All of a sudden the wait for a treadmill is incredibly long, and there is hardly any room to think out loud, let alone work out. Soon these resolutioners will get over their newfound gym-rat self, and the gym will once again be filled with the same familiar faces it has always had.

My least favorite of these current weight loss campaigns is for Special K cereal. This campaign insists that you need to lose weight to gain things. The things that the Special K campaign claims you can gain by losing weight are not better health (lower cholesterol, etc.) but they are personality traits (sassy, etc.). I find it absolutely ridiculous that Special K is claiming that you can gain personality by losing weight and being thinner. By stating that, Special K is essentially saying that it is not possible to have great personality traits unless you’re thin.

The sad fact is that many women will buy into these campaigns and go in search of their sassiest and more personable side by trying to lose weight. Losing weight can help someone gain more confidence, but it cannot make someone have an entire personality makeover. By deluding women into thinking that, Special K is exploiting the already low self-esteem of women and making money doing so.

I am not sure whether or not Special K meant for this to be the inferred message of their campaign, but if not, it’s a horrible method of phrasing. Or perhaps the people planning the Special K campaign really believe that being content and full of personality is something only reserved for thin women. Whatever the reason, the type of marketing Special K is using is unhealthy and focuses on losing weight for all of the wrong reasons.

Losing weight and altering your diet to be healthier is a great thing and everyone should try to be the healthiest they can be. But by putting so much pressure and expectations on the outcomes of dieting, you’re losing sight of what is really important. Having a New Year’s resolution is supposed to be something that enriches your life and helps you focus on an area in your life you want to work on. If you want to become a more personable and exciting person in this new year, AWESOME. But don’t expect to gain this newfound glory by having a bowl of cereal in the morning.


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