Saturday, 4 December 2010

Where do you draw the line?

This is my third attempt at writing this post. I don't know whether I don't know where to start or just that there isn't enough room to vent everything in one post...

This week I received details sent to retailers regarding the new line from Rodial named 'Crash Diet' being released in January.

Yes. 'Crash Diet.'  This shouldn't be surprising seeing as it came from a brand that gave us 'Tummy Tuck', 'Boob Job', 'Stretch Mark Eraser', 'Bum Lift' and 'Skinny Beach' (more of which later), but surprised I was. Or maybe that should be horrified.

'Crash Diet' is undoubtedly aimed at women. It is packaged in fuschia/hot/bubblegum pink. It wouldn't look amiss with Hello Kitty or Barbie sticking out of the top of it (I am not showing any visuals or linking to the website). And releasing it in January is great marketing - how many people don't start a diet for the New Year? Well, me, but.....

The full kit contains:

Crash Diet Sticks
Crash Diet Smoothie
Crash Diet (body gel)

and retails for £149.00.

The recommendation is that you do this for two weeks during which you can 'lose up to 6"!'  It doesn't say where you lose the inches from so if you're a man I would definitely think this through.

There are a LOT of claims listed in this PDF. I'm sure they have full scientific backing that Rodial would make available if asked. *eyebrow*

Some text lifted straight from the page:

'Over-indulged this holiday season? Need to shift some weight on a hurry? Desperate to squeeze into a dress for that special occasion?'
'This super easy and nutritionally balanced 2-week programme helps you look fabulous - fast!'
'Melt fat fast and drain away excess water retention and toxins with crash diet sticks'
'Smooth your way to a firmer and slimmer silhouette with crash diet'

And my favourite:

'We're happy skipping meals with this tasty banana and strawberry flavoured crash diet smoothie'

Really? 'Happy skipping meals'?

There is no full ingredient listing but it does list the following:

Smoothie: Milk proteins, banana, strawberry, grape dry extract - £48 for 10 sachets - take 1-2 sachets a day. To be fair I'm sure there's more in it than milk - after all who would pay 4.80 for a milkshake?

Sticks: Cherry stalk, Meadowsweet, Ash Leaf dry extract, Green coffee seed dry extract, guarana, green tea leaf dry extract - £48 for 14 sticks - to be fair I'm sure there's more in it than diuretics - after all who would pay £3.43 for a stick when you can have a cup of tea and buy a can of Red Bull for under a quid?

Crash Diet body sculpting gel: Redulite and Iso-Slim complex - both trademarked names to Rodial which means I've absolutely no idea what they contain but to be fair I'm sure they're excellent and again, scientifically proven. *eyebrow*

All that aside, it's not the claims I'm interested in.  It's the message. The words 'fat' and 'weight' are used 16 times with a negative connotation in this presentation. The diet industry is estimated to be worth 100 million dollars this year. I don't blame Rodial for wanting a slice of that pie. Nor do I blame Rodial for jumping on the celebrity bandwagon (they have a whole tab devoted to them on their website). The Western World is addicted to celebrity - especially skinny celebrities that just 'eat a lot of veggies!' Likewise, I too eat a lot of veggies, accompanied by a lot of protein and a lot of carbs. And butter. And preferably cheese. Melted.

But where do we draw the line? When is it too much? As far as I am aware and according to medical professionals, crash diets (the un-trademarked type) are only recommended under medical supervision pre-surgery for medically obese people.

So, as the mother of a daughter and an aunt to 15 gorgeous nieces, and as its my blog, and you've clearly been kind enough to read thus far, allow me to share with you my message:

I love my boobs. They've breastfed 4 babies and look like it. And I love'em.

My tummy was flat as a pancake until I had a c-section. So now I have a muffin top tummy - and a gorgeous 6 year old son. I call that a more than fair trade-off.

I have stretch marks. Not loads but they're there. What of it?

I have a big bum. I love it. And if I want it to 'lift', I walk. Problem solved. Works every time.

And the only way I would be a skinny 'bitch' is if I stopped eating and was grumpy. Which I would be. G.R.U.M.P.Y.

Please, I beg you, for the LOVE OF CARBS, be sensible, don't skip meals, and if you need to 'fit into that dress!'?, buy A NEW DRESS THAT FITS YOU.


  1. Love this post xx Can't stand that sort of marketing :( The media and the beauty industry have so much to answer for in terms of the utter mess that is the self esteem and relation to body image of pretty much every young (and a lot of not so young) woman.

  2. Well said Caroline. I don't like expensive gimmicks either!!

  3. I didn't know it was actually possible for me to love you more, but I do.

    Received the press release, deleted it straight away. I'm a keep-fit nut (we're still friends though, right?) and I think the branding and the message are extremely badly thought through, and not anything I want associated with my blog, ever.

  4. I received this press release. Interestingly I just trashed it without any further thought. But then I consider myself fairly savvy, I just assume diet aids (generally) are utter crap, I also was immediately turned off by the name Crash Diet, it just doesn't sound healthy. I've recently lost 25lbs with Weight Watchers, mostly laying off the pizza and mclardburger (yes I'd like to large that and oooh can I have some of those cheese melt wedges too).

    Crash Diet, bleh. Irresponsible and probably useless.

    I await my letter from their solicitors.

  5. Well said - why do companies keep trying to convince us that we in some way look wrong I have decided I was rather be fat and happy than skinny and miserable x

  6. Fantastic post. It's absolutely ridiculous; terrible name and irresponsible concept. I suppose the only saving grace is that it's so expensive very few people would bother.
    MB x

  7. I've never tried their range, but Rodial are not a brand I would even consider using. From what I've seen their message seems to be quick fix, high price (and erm, minimal results)
    I'm overweight, there, I said. it. I'm perpetually on a diet (aside from times like now, when I've fallen off the wagon *eats curry & swigs vodka*) and as much as I hate being overweight and equally hate being on a diet, I know it's the only sensible, logical way of doing something about it.
    I think it's so irresponsible for a company to promote this kind of message - too many desperate, vulnerable people out there will hand over their hard earned cash.

    P.S - breastfed FOUR babies?! Only one for me, and they,l,./ ain't

  8. Thanks everyone - good to know I'm not alone.

    Gracie London - I love you more.

    Charlie - well done you!

    Emily and Louise - agreed!

    MB - they WILL make a fortune - no doubt.

    And Welsh BB - yes 4 babies. 4 TEN POUND babies. Worth every second. And every slackening tissue!

  9. I'm glad someone found this campaign a bit tasteless. I saw so many people getting excited on Facebook and begging to be part of the trial that I felt a bit churlish.

  10. Your posts always cheer me up!
    My Daughter was also the greatest trade for my muffin top and seeing as She wants to do everything I do and even matches what I'm wearing, I'd say She LoVes Me Lots

  11. Amen sister! And gah! Everything about that product sounds vile.

  12. Fantastic post!!! I'm so glad you put this out there, this company seems to want to tap into female self loathing. I'm totally on the same page with my breastfeeding boobs, stretched tum and melted cheese mmmm cheeeese :D

  13. I think I love you :) You should be in charge of the world xx

  14. Great post, I so agree with you. Prior to taking the pill, I never had a smidge of cellullite, and now I do. Sure, I try to eat healthy and workout quite often, but it's still there. Am I going to loose sleep over it or buy a bunch of expensive creams which are just regular body lotions with a different marketing strategy? Hell no.

  15. I agree with Little Miss H, you SHOULD be in charge of the world!

    Failing that, this is the sort of message that should be being pushed all over the media. Yet it never is. The words "fat" & "overweight" now equate to a bad and unattractive person in this world and that's just plain stupid, as is the idea than "thin" means good & lovely!

    More people need to stand up & say stuff like this, and I'm now going to be one of them with you.

  16. Caroline for President.


    I have had three children and like Charlie have lost weight the old fashioned way. Hard work and exercise. How quaint are we?

    Don't forget companies, BeautyMouth is always watching

  17. Spot on!
    I hate being insulted AND taken for stupid by this sort of mindless rubbish marketing...
    You have my undivided love and devotion :-)))

  18. I think the most sad thing about this is that some women must actually buy into it, or they wouldn't bother.

    £149 to be miserable for 2 weeks, possibly lose 6" which will go straight back on as soon as you eat a sandwich? No thanks.

  19. So that is where I've been going wrong! Instead of cutting back on junk food and getting my arse down to the gym I should just fork out for 'Crash Diet Sticks'.....Whatever!

    I've never been tempted by any of Rodial's stuff as it's so expensive and this is the nail in the coffin for me. I'm not their target audience anyway I've got more sense than money!

  20. Great post, Caroline (as everything that you write). Thank you x

  21. No sense of responsibility. Just a desire to make more money. Shameful and cynical. I wonder if the woman behind Rodial would have developed this if she had teenage daughters? I hope not.

  22. Hi Mrs H!

    Its's Heather from DS - hope you're good!Finally logged on and had a peek - LUUUUURRRVVVVE it!

    FAB post, my 19yr old daughter luckily likes her food too much to fall for this kind of quick fix marketing, but there's plenty willing to spend silly money wherever a slick ad campaign is found.

  23. I could not love you more right now Caroline Hirons. There is gold in these early posts, I am going to have to go back and read every year.

  24. I agree the tactics and products are utter nonsense.

    That said, their cleansing balm is fabulous. I'll hang my head in shame now, darlings.

  25. Reading this six years later and it makes so much sense. Love the last paragraphs. Thanks for your wonderful blog/vids.