Social media has become a quick way for companies to sell health and diet products to the masses. Behind many perfectly edited posts, are direct advertisements with a monetary incentive, leaving negative effects on consumers who fall for the trap.
These companies turn to instagram and reality TV celebrities with thousands or even millions of followers to sell their supplements. Social media influencers can make a living off using their platform to endorse products such as detox teas, diet pills and other quick fixes for weight loss. These filtered ads are heavily influencing kids, teens, and even adults to buy into the idea that whatever is being marketed will positively change their appearance.
Diet culture has been a social issue since the beginning of the 19th century. This is the idea that the traditional society worships thinness and endorses weight-loss. Diet culture is especially dangerous for kids as their bodies are still developing, yet they feel pressure to stop growing and do anything they can to remain fit and skinny. Diet culture attitudes that build up at a young age can lead to toxic mental behaviors, eating disorders, and poor body image.
With the daily pressures added by social media, there is an even greater stress on individuals to have the perfect body type. Subliminal ads follow consumers, instagram users, and just about anyone who has access to the internet, tv and the mainstream media. Social media emphasizes and further exploits young consumers to feel the need to look like these celebrities, who often have unrealistic and unmaintainable body ideals in the first place.
Instagram is tailored to let users filter, edit and share the most perfected versions of themselves. Thus, leading followers of these instagram famous accounts, like the Kardashians, to believe that everything they see online is real. When in actuality, that model’s body could have been easily photoshopped.
This tactic is not a new one. Most companies and businesses have been using these manipulations to falsely advertise their products and services to capture their targeted consumers.
Companies, such as FitTea, are selling products that advertise detoxing, weight-loss, and appetite suppressants. Kylie Jenner posts ads for this company on her personal instagram.
With over 148 million followers and a young demographic, Jenner is highly encouraging young kids and teens to partake in these unhealthy and toxic ways of living. With just this one post alone, FitTea will sell thousands of product.
The Kardashian family is one of the most influential groups of people in the world. With just one quick instagram story or a paid promotion post with links to these supplements and weight loss teas, consumers can jump on the bandwagon faster than ever. Many times these posts come with a coupon code for a percentage off, giving individuals even more reason to purchase.
Kim Kardashian, went as far as to endorse lollipops that claim to serve as appetite suppressants. This type of endorsement is especially dangerous as it uses business motives to sell to young kids who love lollipops and feel safe buying them.
The message being sent out to the millions of people is that you don’t need to eat, just lick this lollipop and you will be healthy. This is a prime example of the toxicity of diet culture being spread by main stream media.
Not only are these products harmful to consumers and may lead to negative body image and mental health issues, but these products are also a huge waste of money. The 28 Day Detox runs at $44.99 comparable to the $50 for 30 lollipops, plus shipping and taxes.
This is just one example of the price that comes with trying to look like Kardashians, and most everyone knows that these celebrities are not even using the products they endorse. Plastic surgery is a more honest explanation to how they look so “perfect.”
Social media can be used for good, however when it comes to spreading messages regarding body image, fitness and over-all health and well-being, there is an overwhelming amount of posts that are irresponsible, negative and provide false information.
Healthy living will look and feel different for each person. There is a line that should not be crossed when it comes to promoting products like these to impressionable or young audiences.