How Celebrity Endorsements Can Foster a Negative Body Image

Clara Sorkin

Whether it be a celebrity’s post on Instagram, a politician’s tweet on Twitter, or even a friend’s status update on Facebook, social media has a major influence on us. It’s easy to compare yourself to people you see through a screen—unintentionally. Many celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, and Chrissy Teigen, have used their social media accounts as a platform to share their body-image struggles, and advocate for fighting against unrealistic body standards. On the other hand, celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, and Iggy Azalea have been known to endorse products and strategies that encourage unhealthy weight loss. These products include meal replacement milkshakes, appetite suppressant lollipops, detox tea, and numerous other products that can be detrimental to one’s health and eating habits. 

Many people look up to, and are inspired by, celebrity role models. When your favorite celebrity is pushing for change, or working hard to better themselves, it can motivate you to do the same. However, seeing celebrities with “perfect” bodies endorsing unhealthy methods of weight loss can promote a harmful diet and lifestyle. Although it appears that these weight loss supplements and appetite suppressants are a quicker and easier way to reach your goals, according to nutritionist and personal trainer, Amanda Carneiro, they can send people “down a path to an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies.” Even though celebrities’ paid sponsorships are a big influence on those struggling with weight loss, our peers and people within our inner circle can impact our habits as well. 

A new trend on the popular social media app, TikTok has many people uneasy and concerned. The new trend involves metabolism drops, a so-called “wellness solution” by the brand rae. Teenage TikTokers had started to promote rae by sharing how much weight they had lost after they began adding the drops to their diets. The rae drops are advertised to speed up metabolism, give users an energy boost, and even reduce bloating after meals. Although rae may have had the customers’ best intentions in mind when they released this product, in the end, it’s just another rebranded appetite suppressant. In the past, appetite suppressants have had negative side effects, such as insomnia, seizures, palpitations, and more. 

On most social media platforms, not everything is what it seems. Unhealthy weight loss products endorsed by celebrities and peers are just one of the many ways in which social media can foster a negative body image. The best methods to lose weight are via exercise and a balanced diet, not through products that obliterate your natural cravings.