Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Diet Industry: Stop Insulting My Intelligence

Just once I'd like to see an honest set of before and after weight loss photos.
Is it too much to ask?
I suspect it is.
Before and after photos insult my intelligence.
The before pics are commonly blurry, often of poor, faded colour, and very badly lit. Our subject is usually well away from the camera.
She (it's usually a female) loses the weight with the fantastic new miracle product/diet that you can't live another minute without.
The after photo is a thing of wonder.
Not only is she a veritable sylph, her hair is a new style, often a new colour. If she had glasses, they're gone.
Her smile is bigger than her waist.
Not only is she standing closer to the camera, but she is posing with a slight turn of the hip to look even slimmer.
Could this really be the same person?
Anything is possible.
If the photos are good enough I try to compare noses. I can't say for sure, but I have an honest belief they rarely match.
So here's my challenge to diet industry purveyors:
Get yourselves a weight loss candidate.
Get professional, studio pics done before the diet.
Get them done after the diet in the same studio, with the same photographer, with the same lighting, and at the same distance.
Put the woman is similar clothing in each photo. Give her the same hairstyle, and ensure, as part of the contract, that it is the same length and colour.
Put her in the same pose for each set. If the before picture is of her entire body, so should be the after picture.
If she wears glasses in the before photo, put them on her for the after shot.
Stop insulting my intelligence.
I dare you.


the Bag Lady said...

But... but... you want them to actually use the same person??
I'd like to see that, too!

Reb said...

Well, that certainly would require a miracle! But, wouldn't it be nice to be able to eat whatever you wanted and know that there is a magic pill that would keep you svelte and fabulous like a shiny new penny? And if wishes were horses...

Leah J. Utas said...

Bag Lady, I'm a cock-eyed optimist.

Reb, but there is. Just ask the diet industry. They wouldn't lie.

messymimi said...

But don't you read the disclaimer in print so tiny at the bottom you need a magnifying glass to catch it? It always says "Results not typical." They think that should be enough.

They insult us to make a buck, and i agree, it's time for them to make the "fine print" the same size type, and do the photos the way you say, but i won't hold my breath.

Tabor said...

They photoshop everything these days. YOu can no longer believe your eyes.

Barbara Martin said...

I'm not much for diets. I just eat less each meal for weight loss, and if I need to gain some back, then I just eat something healthy between meals that will put on a few extra pounds.

Photos of before and after ... why bother even looking at the results and why would anyone want to join whatever organization is trying to seduce the reading public into purchasing some product, when a little common sense in one's eating habits would do the trick in the first place. Plus a little advice from one's family physician on dieting.

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, yes about the fine print. Disclaimers do their job as no one reads them.

Tabor, so very true.

Barbara, that's a good, healthy approach. "Common sense" is the last thing most of us have when it comes to eating.

Hilary said...

Sadly, it's not your intelligence they're trying to reach. It's those who can't see how obviously wrong these before and afters are who they are happy to reach. You're a lost cause in their eyes.

Leah J. Utas said...

I've never been so pleased to be called a lost cause. Thanks, Hilary.