Wellness Wednesday: Celebrity Diets, Trashy Magazines and Snark

The diet industry hit a goldmine with celebrity endorsements. Today we're talking celebrity diets with a healthy dose of sarcasm. 

Show of hands (and let's be honest here), who has done something, a diet, supplement, beauty routine or otherwise, simply because a celebrity has endorsed it?

Please know my hands are right up there with yours.

First, I became a vegetarian in middle school because I read Drew Barrymore was a vegetarian (and also because my best friend became a vegetarian, and she is just as cool as Drew Barrymore). In college, I set a goal of doing 500 sit ups a day because I read somewhere that Brittany Spears did 500 sit ups a day, and who hasn't glanced at her abs with envy. I think I made it to 42 then promptly gave up. Even as an adult, I haven't been immune. A few months ago, I tried using coconut oil to wash my face because Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it and damnit if she doesn't have glowing skin. It took a month for my skin to clear up.

The diet industry hit gold with celebrity endorsements. Time and time again, we fall for it, because secretly or not so secretly, we would all like to look like the heavily styled, professionally made up and photoshopped celebrity images. It's hard to escape the allure of it because it's everywhere.

The other night, I was curled up on the coach and pulled out the latest issue of Us Weekly (sidebar: please don't judge me. Our subscription is the byproduct of 3 year inside joke/gag gift from my stepmom. But maybe judge me a little because I read it cover to cover). The headline...


I burst out into laughter.

In the past, I would have ripped out pages for advice and tips, but now, I can't read it without thinking 'bullshit' and giggling at the absurdity of it all.  It made me realize, if we could just learn to read between the lines and laugh it's silliness and stupidity, then maybe diet culture wouldn't have such a powerful draw.

So throw on some sweatpants, pull up a comfy chair, and come read a trashy magazine with me!

First, let's discuss this cover, which very much depends on your definition of work. If you mean "helps you lose a ton of weight really fast by starving your body of calories and turning you into a generally miserable human being until you plunge face first into a bowl of ice cream and promptly regain aforementioned weight and more," then sure! I also love the choice of Khloe Kardashian as the cover model. I can totally picture the magazine editors self righteously patting themselves on the back for being 'body positive' and putting someone with curves on the front. Too bad despite the fact Khloe has lost 35 lbs this year, she has gone on record saying this has been the worst year of her life (which I know because I can't help myself and click all the Kardashian headlines and then hate myself for it). Do we really want to glorify someone who is skinny but miserable?

On Kate Hudson: "Her diet, meanwhile, remains steady: no meat, dairy or gluten. As she says, "I'm as healthy as I can be." Except for the fact that you smoke. Apparently in Hollywood, gluten is more dangerous than cigarettes. How about you eat a little meat, dairy and gluten, stop smoking, and THEN you'll be about as healthy as you can be!

This does not make me laugh. It actually breaks my heart a little bit. Why are we glorifying the fact that Demi Lovato, a 23 year old girl, who has publicly admitted to suffering from an eating disorder, is on a 'high protein, low carb' diet? Dieting is the most common precipitating factor for an eating disorder, so think how dangerous this is for someone who has a history of one? I would love to fly to LA and give whatever celebrity nutritionist she's working with a swift kick in the kneecap.

Why, why, WHY are pregnant women's bodies constantly shown in 'before' style photo montages?? I don't exactly have any experience with pregnancy, but I'm pretty positive your body is supposed to change both when you're pregnant, and after. I also appreciate the dates listed under the pregnancy pictures, a subtle reminder that within a year, your body should look the same as it did before, if not better.

This riveting interview opens with a discussion of how she's 'cheating' (a term I just LOVE) with tacos at lunch, but offsetting it with a 'boring' breakfast of oatmeal and greens, then calls that 'balance'. Umm, balance is not paying penance for splurging on foods you love, just like balance is not compensating for indulging over the holidays by starting a juice cleanse or setting an unrealistic resolution.

My absolute favorite page! Us staffers tried favorite juice cleanses of the stars and I found myself actually laughing out loud, yelling quotes and snarky remarks to my husband in the other room. Here's the highlights:

"After 2 weeks on Dr. Frank Lipman's cleanse, I had lost 3 lbs of water weight and my arms looked tinier." I LOVE that she admits this is water weight. Seriously, 2 weeks without gluten, dairy, or high sugar fruit and you get the same results as an hour in the sauna?

"Salma Hayek tells Us she 'always' loses weight on the 1,200 calorie a day plan." Well duh. It's 1200 calories!

"I didn't lose weight, but by day three, my skin was glowing" So maybe save the $200 bucks you spent on juice and get a nice facial instead?

"The juices get better as the day goes on, so by 5 PM, I was happily guzzling a raspberry and chia blend." Cause you're starving. If I hadn't had solid food by 5 PM, I would happily guzzle my dog's pee.

Apparently Lea Michele is 'always up by 9 am 'and I never hit snooze.'  Way to go Lea, I set my alarm for 6 am and I always hit snooze.

Okay, so I'm fresh out of snark at this point. Hope you got a few giggles, but more importantly, I hope you got a dose of reality. Seriously though, I challenge you to put on your critical thinking helmet when you read celebrity diet news, because I think what you'll find is pretty superficial.