Culture Jam: Dangers of Weight Loss


As weight loss is a huge phenomenon among the world, particularly with women, there is a large market for anything to do with dieting and losing weight. As women are taught at a young age that beauty is equated to the number they see on the scale, this greatly affects the way advertisements bring products into society.


Lard-B-Gone is a product that was introduced in the 20th century, in which you consume live sanitized tape worm eggs in order to use these tape worms to lose weight. As these live worms live in the body, they will consume partially of what you eat, ultimately causing you to use weight in an extremely unhealthy form. Tape worms normally can grow up to 20 feet in size and can be extracted by taking de-worming medications.


This ad is clearly targeted towards women, as the character is a white female with blonde and blue eyes. The box itself is of a skeleton, suggesting that the result would be as thin as a skeleton, particularly shedding light on the type of beauty standards we have today.

This way of losing weight is marketed to be “easy”, that you could eat as much as you wanted without gaining weight. However, this does not take into consideration how un-healthy it is on the body to grow a parasite just to adhere to beauty standards. The aim of this advertisement is solely to lose weight opposed to striving to keep the body healthy and keeping in mind that every person has different types of bodies.


As the advertisement is meant to look for a certain beauty standard, my job is to deconstruct this unrealistic beauty standard from a skeleton-like looking figure to women with different figures and sizes. As weight loss is the biggest focus on the original advertisement, the jammed advertisement’s focus is purely on the healthy state of mind and body in order to stay confident in your own skin no matter what your size.



My reasoning behind changing the words into more encouraging ways. Rather than selling a dangerous item that can potentially ruin someone’s digestive system, I chose to sell “motivation” because it has multi meaning behind it. Someone can be motivated to lose weight, or to love their own body for how it is. There is no chance to become the skeleton that is pictured in the original advertisement, and with self love and motivation, there is a chance for someone to feel more comfortable in their own skin.

The picture used in replacement of the skeleton is of a photo of healthy women’s bodies in all different shapes, sizes and races. They are all smiling and loving their bodies, bringing back against the beauty standards we see today.

This sparks a different way of seeing weight loss – and why do women do it in the first place. Self love is extremely important, and before wanting to use any method possible whether it be “easy” or not, arise the question of why they must adhere to such beauty standards in the first place.