Thursday, April 28, 2016
Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram wishing you looked like Kylie Jenner? Have you ever wondered how your favorite celebrities stay in shape? Do you want to have a Kardashian's body without hitting the gym? According to these Instagram famous celebrities, the secret to their success is drinking a special type of tea for x amount of days. It's that simple. A mug a day, and you'll look like your favorite insta-famous girl in no time.
I get it. Hot girls posting pictures of themselves holding a product boosts sales. In 2016, being Instagram famous has practically become synonymous with promoting various brands of "fit tea" or "detox tea". We're used to these thinly veiled ads on our Instagram feeds. It's no secret that they're sponsored posts. These teas are probably not something the celebrity regularly uses or truly endorses, yet at the same time, when Kylie Jenner claims her body is a result of a 28 day detox tea, millions of impressionable people think "Hmm, might as well try that on the off chance it works." And that's not okay.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by one of these fit tea companies. They wanted to send me their product and pay me to promote it on my Instagram account. All I had to do was post a picture with their tea, and in return, they would give me $50. In all honesty, I considered their proposal. Who wouldn't want a quick $50? It was way too easy. I ultimately decided that $50 or not, quick fix teas that promise "fast weight loss" didn't coincide with my overall message of loving yourself and treating your body with kindness and respect. My body is by no means a result of a weight loss tea, and I was uncomfortable leading my followers to believe otherwise. So I decided to decline their offer.
Time passed, and I turned a blind eye to all the Instagram posts and pictures depicting model-like girls and extremely fit boys claiming astonishing results after drinking these teas. Yet as of recently, I was approached by another detox tea company. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of detox teas when I was originally approached, yet I never discussed it. With these type of sponsored posts become more and more prevalent and another company asking me to promote a new detox tea within the past week, I think it's important to set the record straight about these teas and their side effects.
Detox/fit teas are dietary supplements. Because of this, companies aren't required to prove any of the claims on their labels. Does the tea claim to help weight loss? Is it supposedly a metabolism booster? Is it a calorie burner? None of those claims have been proven. On the contrary, most health and safety sites note that the laxative herbs found in these teas are actually insufficient to aiding weight loss.
While promises of weight loss and an improved metabolism seem fairly harmless, the side effects of these teas can be very harmful. Liver damage, muscle weakness, heart problems, insomnia, constipation, intestinal issues are a few common side effects of drinking these teas. To make matters worse, quite a few of these companies have been shut down after the hospitalization of customers.
Tea doesn't magically make you lose weight. If you're drinking more in general, you'll lose water weight. This type of weight loss is by no means magical, and it can be achieved by simply drinking more water and staying hydrated throughout the day. But side effects and false promises and money aside, the problem with these types of tea goes beyond the tea itself.
Drinking tea isn't going to make you look like Kylie Jenner or another it-girl, which is what the marketing of these products suggests. But you don't need to look like these insta-famous girls who are promoting detox teas. I want you to look like you. Instead of drinking fit teas, I want you to work on bettering yourself. I want you to nourish your body with whole foods and reward it with movement. I want you to go on trail runs early in the morning and eat hummus and carrots at the park in the afternoon. I want you to stop suppressing your appetite and instead fill your body with foods that will give you energy to do all the things you love.
Let's stop promoting detox teas. Let's stop letting toxic mindsets control us. Let's stop giving the diet industry money. If we all woke up and loved our bodies as they are, how many industries would go out of business? Answer: way too many.
So eat pizza at sleepovers, go for bike rides with your dad, eat your weight in peanut butter at 2 AM, and roll your eyes when someone promotes yet another detox tea on Instagram. It's just another clever marketing campaign that you shouldn't take part in. Because you're worth more than a quick fix, empty promises, harmful side effects, and any amount of money received in exchange for a silly Instagram promotion.