The obsession to be skinny is an ever-present force in pop culture. Diet culture is promoted by celebs and influencers in every which way. We all remember the skinny tea phase, right?
A new fad has hit once again, this time through Tik Tok. The app has recently seen an increase in videos that are glorifying eating disorders and other unhealthy mental health habits. Particularly, teens are obsessing over so-called “holistic health” brand, Rae Wellness’ metabolism drops.
Meant to stunt your appetite, young Tik Tokkers rushed to Target to buy the so-called “magic weight loss drops.” The drops retail for $14.99 and were sold online and in stores, until their recent recall. The drops contain ingredients like caffeine, raspberry ketones, and taurine the drops were promoted as appetite suppressants and as a natural weight-loss stimulant.
Since their blow-up, Target has pulled the product off the shelves and the Rae Wellness website has made it unavailable for purchase. This has caused panic among the users of the drops who wonder if the product they have been using has harmful effects. Those who purchased the product were left in the dark with no response from the company or from Target employees regarding why the drops were recalled.
After much speculation, Rae released a statement in reference to the recall. “There are no safety concerns with any of our products whatsoever. We took this action simply because we feel it’s the right thing to do as a company.”
Why did it take a month for the company to take action? Before the recall, the metabolism drops were on a 3 month backorder at Target. This indicates that the brand was aware of the popularity of the product but didn’t feel the need to remove it.
Women are constantly being targeted with weight loss tactics and supplements. The dieting industry is one that preys on the insecurities of (particularly) women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “45% of teen girls have tried dieting, including detox or weight loss products.”
Through the years I too have experienced my fair share of body shaming through things like magazines and fashion shows. For example, the Victoria Secret fashion show, that sells a toxic ideology of what women and young girls should look like to be considered beautiful.
Luckily the body positivity movement is widely embraced in mainstream media. Still, the idea that one has to be stick thin to qualify as attractive, still lingers.
Promoting products like wellness drops and other dietary supplements to teenagers isn’t new, and this won’t be the last time something like this will happen. Hopefully, more people will start to speak up about eating and body issues, and raise mental health awareness instead of shaming our youth.