I don’t know about you, but my social media feeds are absolutely bursting with celebrities, influencers, and “friends” trying to sell me stuff.
Most sponsored posts are harmless, plus, if a blogger or influencer is making a few bucks out of offering me a discount code for an online clothing store, then who am I to stop them?
Social media has transformed into a real money maker for many, and that’s really awesome. The problems emerge, however, when what these influencers, celebrities, and bloggers are advertising are being shoved in the wrong people’s faces and inevitably causing more harm than good.
A lot of products being solicited are promoting weight loss and “clean eating”. Pyramid schemes such as Arbonne, Herbalife, It Works!, and so on are constantly flooding my timeline. Listen, I am all about health and wellness, and I think it’s great to promote it to the general population, especially if it means making some extra money for your family.
I do, however, strongly object to the practice of cold-calling (or direct messaging), in which you forward a pre-scripted message to all of your followers, friends, and even complete strangers – trying to persuade them on the latest diet or “30 day challenge” your business is currently marketing. Many sellers don’t even look into or really even learn about the person they are selling to. They promptly type out a pre-scripted message, click send, and then punch in the next name on the list.
I cannot tell you how many messages I receive, trying to solicit some sort of diet or “clean eating” challenge, program, or product. I have even received a pitch asking if I would like to promote a weight-loss product on my own social media and blog. It was completely inappropriate.
I will not buy into your weight-loss scheme.
You see, I am in recovery for an eating disorder. Am I willing to share the “good news” about a new weight loss program/product with the audience who I share with about my recovery journey? ABSOLUTELY NOT! That would be irresponsible and totally hypocritical! If the individuals trying to sell me these toxic treatments would just spend 5 minutes looking into who I am and what I am about before sending me a scripted message, they would see that what they are trying to promote is detrimental to someone who has struggled with anorexia and bulimia.
I have spent way too much time and energy supporting and advocating for mental health and eating disorder awareness to become a mouthpiece for the diet industry. I will not undo all that I have worked so hard to accomplish.
Eating disorders are life-threatening diseases.
I promise you I am NOT the spokesperson (or customer) you are looking for. You picked the wrong girl.
While I am steady in my recovery, I most definitely do not need a little voice whispering in my ear suggesting I go on a diet or a “cleanse”/“detox”.
It is already taking all that I have to try and silence and push out the thoughts that so easily cloud my mind and tell me I’m not enough. I do not want to take a step back, and every time some person tells me a diet would be “good for me”, it brings back all types of self-doubt and insecurity.
Maybe I do need a diet?
Why else would this nice lady be offering this weight-loss package, saying I would be “perfect” for it?
It raises questions I do not have the emotional resources to handle all of the time.
Think about it: How do you know the woman you’re trying to sell your stuff to isn’t actively struggling with one of these diseases? Because you typically can’t tell just by looking at us. Even those who are visibly underweight may be starving themselves, making themselves throw up, or abusing products that are hard on the body in pursuit of an unhealthy ideal.
Is your little side hustle really worth jeopardizing someone else’s mental health?
I really don’t mean to sound harsh, but please, please understand that your product and the way you promote it is not appropriate for all audiences. When you try to sell or market in a forceful fashion, you could easily be pushing your diet products on individuals who may or may not already be slowly hurting themselves with a restrictive diet or harmful products.
Don’t add more fuel to the fire.
I’m sure the training your MLM gave you is not enough for you to learn how to deal with the nutrition needs of a specific group of individuals, like those with histories of an eating disorder. And even if you are actually worried about the condition of my waistline, your good intentions won’t shield me from your harmful underlying message.
Trust me, I understand that everyone’s got to pay the bills. But all I ask is that you please be mindful when you are soliciting your products. If they end up in the wrong hands, they could be dangerous and damaging, and you could end up as an aide to someone else’s self-destruction.