Over the last year, it seems like Black celebrities have shifted into the limelight in terms of representing weight loss products. With Charles Barkley joining Jennifer Hudson as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and Janet Jackson repping Nutrisystem, it’s clear that weight loss companies are beginning to target the Black American demographic for its consumer potential. As Black Americans continue to have high obesity rates and weight-related illnesses, there’s a dire need for effective, inspiring weight loss programs that can catalyze a shift in health consciousness. However, most of these programs are not affordable for the average family. And thus, it’s unlikely for Black celebrity spokespersons, regardless of status, to inspire the average individual to purchase these products.
The majority of people struggling with weight issues are underprivileged with limited access to fresh food and fitness programs. Thus, how likely is it for a thousand-dollar weight loss program to make it into the hands of those who need it most? Of course, celebrities primarily take on endorsement contracts for financial gain. But it’s also possible that Barkley, Hudson, and Jackson truly have an affinity for promoting healthy lifestyles and want to help people take back control of their bodies.
The problem is that many of these celebrity campaigns aren’t realistic in terms of what the average person can do, afford, and get from participating in these weight loss systems. Yes, these celebrities have used the weight loss programs that they’re promoting, and their bodies have benefited from the products. But they also have thousand-dollar celebrity trainers that have complemented their new dietary lifestyles, and helped them shed numerous extra pounds.
To truly shift the health consciousness of the average community, celebrity spokespersons would be better served volunteering their voices for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign or local community programs. Or taking notes from social entrepreneurs, if they created their own businesses that catered to low-income demographics that have high obesity rates, not only would they benefit financially from their investments, but they’d also save lives.
Indeed, “saving the world” is no easy feat, and likely not the ultimate goal for any of the celebrities above. It’s certainly easier to collect a check, smile for the cameras, get press, and flaunt their new figures, as they certainly have earned them and paid for the benefits. But for once, it’d be wonderful to see a celebrity promoting accessible health solutions for weight loss, not something that’s once again unaffordable for the communities that need weight loss inspiration the most.
Are you inspired by celebrity weight loss spokespersons? Can you afford any of the products that they’re promoting? Or do you believe that your health is an investment and these weight loss systems are worth the price? Weigh in.