Back in the 2000’s, celebrity fitness veterans like Davina McCall, Coleen Nolan and Claire Richards used to dominate the health and fitness industry through their workout DVDs.
The self-pro-claimed “fitness DVD queen” Davina McCall has sold two million DVDs since 2004-2013, with the 11 series of workout DVDs. But now, in courtesy of social media and press promotions, both supermodels and reality stars have challenged that achievement by doing their own workout DVD or promoting their collection of gym-wear/weight-loss pills.💊🔩
The question is whether it is to inspire and encourage people to be healthier, or it is just another way to cash in more money, and gain more popularity by doing so.
Besides you have to look at the celebrity’s reasons of doing it. Some of them want to help themselves as well as other, because of their unhealthy bodyweight being the issue. One in four British adults are obese, and the UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe according to various reports, which includes the NHS. So, to say that obesity is one of the major problem in this society would be the understatement of the entire century.
The other reason they could give is to help the really insecure people gain their confidence back, which can create this relatable persona with their audience. Obesity can lead a person to have a serious lack of confidence, wearing size 20 clothes for a girl would not be the best feeling. Some celebrities actually have been in that position that the obese person is in now.
Like Katie Hopkins, the brutally honest columnist we love to hate, maybe express her “very strong” feelings about obesity, BUT the woman has been there, done that and wore the very large T-shirt.
So by being that role model, that commander-in-chief, of campaigning this life-changing fitness regime/ gym-wear/ weight-loss pill etc. They are obviously going to listen and buy into everything that is being told. It’s like Jesus and the people in Israel or Mohammed the Prophet; technically the celebrity can say anything they want, within reason, and the individual will change everything in their life, to fit what they have been told into their daily routine.
However, taking that point into consideration and how many fitness related things that are going on now, people can deem that, and the entire endorsement that the celebrity is promoting, as another manipulating and exploiting excuse to make more cash.
The fact that they can say anything that would be deemed believable to the audience, can instantly increase their product sales and gain more popularity by the circulation of people’s recommendation. Think back to the business equation of product selling:
Product + promotion + place + people + process + physical Evidence/Price = Value (money)
Speaking of promotions and places, this is where the power of social media and media influence come into play. It would be the biggest lie to say that the media does not play a part in selling products and getting the people talking about it.
For instance, go on Instagram and you search for #fitness, at the moment there is 95,357,690 posts, which is bound to grow even higher. Filled with gym products (protein shakes, weight pills, gym-wear etc.) and ambitious quotes, the gym addicts are joining Instagram to get their daily fix, so it can help them get through the tiresome exercise.
But with the constant pictures of fitness stuff, comes the vanity and borderline narcissistic ways of promotion.
Supermodels and celebrities would endorse the product and bombard the public and social media with the constant selfies in gym-wear/ with the product in hand. Let’s not forget that they are in full make-up, tanned and basically looking too good to get their hands dirty in sweat, setting an unrealistic scenario of being fit and doing exercise, and instead glamourizing the beauty of looking good rather than the fitness side of things.
Are you seriously going to go to the gym, fully glammed up, and undergo a full session of weights, legs and abs? That is literally someone just going there to take a selfie just for the likes. Not to be controversial, but the usual culprits for the “selfie endorsement gang” are mostly the reality stars like Amy Childs, Vicky Pattison, Charlotte Crosby etc.
Even though they look amazing and they have massively changed their lives for the better, the question is their underlying intentions. They are celebrities, who have a product/endorsement.
In a way, it is their job to sell the item and get their name and the product into as many people’s minds, mouths and also media outlets as possible, in whatever needs necessary.
Overtime, it has come apparent that social media has become the Messiah of marketing strategies and selling brands. Considering the three mentioned above actually have a workout DVD, it is not surprising to see that they have use this platform, to advertise what they intend to sell or the intended message to people. Using the “selfie strategy” so it can circulate around the web, and get the people actually talking more about how good they look than the product.
But in the word of Sigmund Freud, and many other theorist, “sex sells.” This is a classic example of Marxism. The simplest way to make easy money.
By using the assets of a girl’s/boy’s body, it would attract the audience into the product because it looks good on the model. Then, the money will just keep on rolling for the bosses, aka the bourgeoisies.
But in the process it kind of exploits the model and the audience into investing in the product. Realistically if the money is growing, then the owners would not care less. So, if you see a good-looking bulk guy lifting weights and a container of a protein shake brand is next to them, or a girl posing in gym wear and exposing those slender abs, you know why.
Also, with the idea of commodification, which is stemmed by Postmodernism, when the idea of fitness is used for the physical creation of the cheap mass marketed goods, in other words, using it for fashion and beauty instead of its main purpose of being healthier.
Despite the fact that we desire to have that summer body, sometimes the adverts and how to promote the product/ the intended message can overstep the moral boundaries.
Put it this way, there’s a fine line between fit and exercising efficiently and encouraging the effects of over-exercising, such as being too skinny. Many posters have been seen to be inappropriate, due to the model’s body frame. With many reports suggesting a correlation with media influence and eating disorders, media and communication regulators weren’t going to take any chances.
Remember this infamous billboard:
This got highly criticised because, according to many reports, especially The London Evening Standard, the brand was “targeting individuals, aiming to make them feel inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.”
Well, let’s be honest, will everyone that use this product would have a thigh gap by the end of it? The problem with this poster, is that the model they used only defines a body type that a small proportion has, either they were blessed by birth to have a high metabolism to get that body frame, or they really did push themselves to the EXTREME limit to get that.
Besides that, the brand was supposed to set a positive outlook of using their product, and by using this model, doesn’t help sales because of the improbable chances of achieving the type of body look that the model is portraying.
So, the next time you want to buy a celebrity’s workout DVD for £10, just think, is it worth the money? Or can I lose the weight for a cheaper price?