WW Is Capitalising From Teaching Young Girls How To Hate Their Bodies
The only weight young girls need to lose is the weight of a capitalist agenda that preys on the insecurity we teach them to have.
I was eight years old the first time I was called fat.
What was a passing comment from a family friend sparked an obsession that damaged my relationship with food for life.
Last week WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) released an app that effectively did the same thing to all girls from ages eight to 17. The ‘Kurbo’ app is one that is designed to teach children how to diet, keeping kids accountable for what they eat so ‘you don’t have to’.
If an app like this was released when I was eight, I don’t think I would have made it. Full stop.
Like most girls I know, I grew up hating my body – and I mean HATING it.
I was taller than the other girls my age and was picked on for having ‘skinny legs’. Embarrassed of the nickname, I ate and ate until a family friend took it upon herself to tell me I was fat and that no boy would love me with a tummy like mine.
Thus began a dangerous cycle of yo-yo dieting that still plagues me to this day.
My friends and I swap war stories of the destructive behaviors we engaged in as teenagers to hit our ideal weights. We all like to pretend we have outgrown the self-hatred we were taught to have as girls but the cracks are easy to see. Sure, now we (sometimes) eat three meals a day and can indulge every once in a while but I still hear my best mate speak poorly of herself when an outfit doesn’t work out and I’ll admit to skipping a meal every time I feel a bit bloated.
The Kurbo app won’t just teach young girls how to eat healthy and lose weight, it will teach them how to hate themselves. It will teach them that restriction and dieting is the only way to be accepted and that to be hungry is to be healthy. It will teach them that calories must be counted and let me tell you, once that calculator starts up in your head it’s impossible to turn it off.
For just $70 a month you can teach young girls dieting habits that are scarily close to eating disorder behaviors. That’s right, WW will happily profit off an eight-year-old girls insecurity and return the favor by damaging the relationship she has with her body for life.
This app categorizes food into three colors; green for fruits and veggies, yellow for lean proteins and pasta and red for just about everything else. It promises that tracking calories is a ‘good habit’ that will help you stay on track and accountable for what you eat but it’s all a false pretense. These colors will train girls into demonizing food that isn’t green. It teaches literal children to compensate for the calories in their birthday cake and provides a full-time coach to call them out if they indulge.
There is a dark place on the internet that is the home of dieting propaganda not too far from this. The Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia websites that littered my bookmarked pages as a teenager promoted behaviors just like this – and it cost people their lives.
WW is a company that convinces women they aren’t good enough as they are and promises that if you pay them enough, you’ll end up small enough for society to accept you. They prey on insecure women and capitalize off the vulnerabilities they have created themselves. They make serious bank from kicking women while they are down and enough is bloody enough.
Somehow, Kurbo has created a business model that has young girls literally paying the money to shrink. We are teaching them from age eight that the smaller they are, the better they are.
What hope do these kids have? What chance do they have of ever feeling comfortable in their skin when we keep telling them they need to be smaller?
WW continues to thrive but we need to start asking the hard questions. Is it really worth the health of young girls? Is it worth self-love and mental stability of children?
My blood boils to think that corporations like this are still thriving.
Here’s the thing.
Women who are starving, aren’t able to speak up.
These corporations are manipulating us into self-destruction so they can continue to get away with objectifying and degrading us – all while making a tidy profit.
While we are counting our calories, they are counting their cash. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m just about ready for a refund of all the time I’ve wasted letting them convince me I’m not good enough.
Companies like WW can’t make money off women who are secure in their skin. Women who love their bodies won’t throw money at companies that convince them they shouldn’t.
The biggest middle finger we can give to weight-loss corporations is to love ourselves. As women, the most rebellious thing we can do is be empowered by our bodies, no matter what they look like.
We can run these companies out of business, we can take them down with a revolution that promotes self-love. Once we learn that food is medicine, we will be able to embrace our bodies as the vessels that take us through this life.
I don’t care what your body looks like, or how much weight a company like WW thinks you should lose.
You are goddamn beautiful.
The loudest act of rebellion you can commit is to believe that.