PHOTO ABOVE: The scale is no laughing matter, say professionals who treat those with eating disorders.
Sometimes in an attempt to to be funny, retailers end up being anything but.
This time it’s The Loft that’s stirred a furor with a video on its Facebook page about a woman and her reaction to an invitation to a wedding. She immediately wraps herself in plastic wrap and starts exercising non-stop and obsessively keeps jumping on the scale.
The idea behind the video, which is part of a series done by Lyle Friedman and Ashley Skidmore — who created the popular web series #hotmess moves — was to show that most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions and maybe the best idea is to stay the same.
While the intention might sound good, the ad failed at delivering that message (BTW it didn’t do such a hot job of selling Loft clothing, either) and worse, has many calling the retailer out on social media for body shaming.
The problem is the scale obsession and crazed exercising are two behaviors common to those with eating disorders, according to Julie Kabat Friedman, director of the CORE (Compulsive Overeating Recovery Effort) program at Insight Behavioral Health Centers in Chicago.
“Typically anyone with weight, diet or eating disorder issues will weigh themselves excessively,” Friedman said, and also pointed out that at some point in their lives, some 20 million American women and 10 million men have an eating disorder.
While the idea of showing a woman suddenly motivated to get in shape before a wedding may seem harmless, it really packs a powerful negative message, according to Friedman.
“The orthorexia mentality is that you can always be healthier, amp up your workouts even more and that you are never good enough,” she said. “We need to change that mentality.”
NOTE: Story was edited to correct Julie Kabat Friedman’s name to Friedman, not Kabat Friedman, on second reference.