At this point, I’m sort of relieved that different publications keep putting up these hand-wringing editorials concerning people guiltily taking Ozempic for reasons that ,they painfully admit, include vanity. This week, the Washington Post rolled its own version, which was very long and surprisingly thorough. But once again, one of these “Wegovy/Ozempic/Mounjaro/tirazepatide etc. as reasonable solution” pieces fall victim to the same classic blunders they all do:
- Citing with your best troubled-face expression that “70% of the country is overweight or obese." This just is not the silver-bullet argument for weight loss that everyone still appears to think it is. This is a bias that people are fundamentally unwilling to question, and they are also unwilling to question why they are unwilling to question it. This is not even to say everything is made up and nothing matters and all should be anarchy. But I can always feel people turning awkwardly away when anyone suggests that the current health lines drawn around BMI, overweight, and obese may not be biological gospel, and it is ass, frankly.
- Not engaging at all with the fact that these medications precipitate the kind of lean mass loss that causes weight cycling/yo-yo’ing. This means that, not only do these medications not work, in a meaningful way, but they can worsen health in the long run and invisibly make every subsequent attempt at losing weight more difficult and frustrating. This is true of virtually all crash dieting, and it is one of the most insidious things about the weight-loss industry. Body fat loss is possible, but indiscriminate weight loss (done too fast, with no other protections of lean body mass) is a losing (ha) game almost every time.
- Fine, you want to play the BMI game: Most people on these medications don’t lose an amount of weight that would really meaningfully affect their BMI status (here, play around and do the math!). Not only that, they regain the weight if they don’t keep taking these medications forever, and per the previous point, this is a more serious issue than these drugs ultimately being the same there-and-back-again as all weight-loss products.
As long as no one on the Wegovy/Ozempic/Mounjaro/whatever train is not meaningfully engaging with any of the above, I feel secure in that they just don’t want to know what they don’t know. And that’s fine! Who among us, deep in the throes of received bias about where our self-worth lies, has not been on an ill-advised, hardheaded journey of self-harm only to learn at significant personal expense that we weren’t going to win against the twin demons of capitalism and misogyny? I don’t think this is all great for most[^1] of the people caught up in this. I empathize with them, I don’t blame them, and I don’t think turning this tide a personal burden on the participants or spectators. Novo Nordisk, however: Rawt in hail.
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~Discord Pick of the Week: As one Beastie put it, billionaires becoming swole does not mean we don’t eat the rich; it just means the billionaires’ bodies have better macros now, hashtag Yellowjackets~
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito swinging for the fences:
SCHWARZENEGGER: When people talk about, “I will see them again in heaven,” it sounds so good, but the reality is that we won’t see each other again after we’re gone. That’s the sad part. I know people feel comfortable with death, but I don’t.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Because I will fucking miss the shit out of everything. To sit with you here, that will one day be gone?
SCHWARZENEGGER: And to have fun and to go to the gym and to pump up, to ride my bike on the beach, to travel around, to see interesting things all over the world. What the fuck?
DEVITO: Life! It’s the best!
SCHWARZENEGGER: Exactly. What’s that all about?… I don’t know what the deal is, but in any case, it’s a reality, and it truly pisses me off.
DEVITO: You don’t want to die.
SCHWARZENEGGER: No. What the fuck? What kind of deal is that?
The “go to the gym and pump up” here rings clear as a bell in the mind, which is how you know what will happen to Arnold when he is gone (he will live forever in our hearts).
Celebrities are killing it this week. Bebe Rexha: “Yes I’m in my fat era and what?” Eric Andre: “If you see any middle aged person with abs know that they're either psychotic or unemployed, because it is a full time job.”
YES: Bottoms, a movie about a fight club for women.
We hate bras now. In this vein, I have a rec: the Cosabella curvy bralette. It’s breathtakingly expensive, but so are all large-boob bras. If you, too, made the pivot to full-time soft bra and haven’t been quite able to bring yourself back to wired-bra life, this is what you are looking for.
Praying that the competitive instinct takes over for these women vying to be the lady version of toxic man influencer Andrew Tate, and they all eat each other. (A good primer on how weird and sad Andrew Tate and his influence is.) (Also relevant: Know Your Enemy: the “crisis of masculinity.”)
The patronizing, bullshit narrative of “the fearless girl.” This piece articulates so well how a woman will try to convey a coherent, smart, urgent message, and instead of engaging with the message itself, everyone is like, “It’s so cute how you believe in yourself! How hopeful :) How do you manage to have so much hope and belief in yourself, when I’m sitting here before you, desperately grasping for purchase to take you seriously?”
Soccer commentator Jeff Stelling: “Eating disorders are being swept under the carpet. No one should be dying of an eating disorder in 2023. Those with eating disorders need action and help and they need it now.”
How some people get away with doing nothing at work. Here is the thing: If you are a W2, I believe it is your God-given right to do as little as possible, to the extent it doesn’t affect your fellow laborer.
That’s all for this week! I love you for reading, thank you, let’s go—
[F1] I know, I know, I know these medications are used for other things, and can be genuinely helpful to some people. If that’s you, or your friend, or you mom, or whoever, that’s not what we’re talking about! Be well