The Skinny Craze

By now everyone knows about the Ozempic skinny craze. A diabetes drug is the new appetite suppressant. It is changing how people get thin and what it takes to get there.

I am not talking about the people who legitimately are obese.

I am talking about our friends, coworkers, neighbors and sisters who are suddenly 20 to 30 pounds lighter and didn’t need to be. I am talking about our friends whose weight loss is unnatural and, in some cases, concerning.

According to Paul Jarrod frank, MD “Other than Viagra and Botox, I’ve seen no other medication so quickly become part of modern cultures social vernacular.”

Ozempic is a medication that while meant to treat Type 2 diabetes, has inspired off label use as a weight loss drug. It limits appetite signaling to our bodies that we feel full.

Thinness is dominating our culture again.

“I worry about the body distortion, dysmorphia, and the example we are setting for young women already so vulnerable to the unrealistically filtered versions of beauty.” says cosmetic dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD.

“Using or abusing these weight loss drugs – not for health reason but simply to achieve their ideal figure – is deeply problematic in its amplification of weight loss culture” -Dr. Rahnama

What happened to the body positive movement?

During the body positive movement, much work was done to increase body diverse representation. We started seeing women with hips and tummies. The conversation was about self-love, acceptance, and strong women as opposed to an emphasis on thinness. In the 2000’s, we started seeing JLO and Kim Kardashian as body types. We did a lot of unlearning and becoming aware of our fatphobias.

Body Dysmorphic disorder is on the rise.

This skinny craze is a slippery slope for anyone who has body image issues.

“A mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. These flaws are often not noticeable to others” according to John Hopkins Medicine. The most common symptom is “spending an excessive amount fixated on one’s appearance.

People with BDD also see an inordinate number of healthcare providers and plastic surgeons, and undergo unnecessary cosmetic procedures. Ozempic is increasing issues of BDD.

What it takes to lose weight

Ozempic is changing the precedence of what it takes to lose weight. Instead of eating well, consistency, discipline, and hard work, we are using a drug that quite literally causes people to forget to eat or to not feel hunger.

I understand that genetics, hormones, and other factors play a role in weight loss and difficulty with weight loss. If you are reading this and that is you, this article is not about you. This isn’t about shaming women for their choices. As a woman with sisters, friends and many female nieces, I am concerned about what message this drug is sending about the female body and what it takes to lose weight.


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