No, this is not a scale that measures how much of a diva you are, or how strong your singing pipes may be – oh, don’t be silly now – this is the latest absolutely ludicrous thing to fall from Planet Beauty, and it’s got my blood boiling so much that I’ve paid £6 for train wi-fi to write about it. Now, on the surface, this looks like a pretty amusing novelty gift that you’d send your best mate for a laugh, right? However, the connotations behind it have got anyone with an ounce of nonce absolutely shitting themselves – or wanting to beat up Superdrug execs. These scales work by calibrating a celebrity’s name up to your weight – e.g. if you’re 14 stone – go you: you’re Adele. If you’re 8 stone: you’re a Cheryl Cole. Now again, when we just look at the very surface, this isn’t too outrageous, surely? Just a bit of fun?
I disagree, solely due to one incredibly influential factor: comparison. The media makes life absolutely rife with comparison, especially with regards to the beauty industry, and its consequential effects on the esteem of women young and old. This comparison sets us up for feelings of inferiority and the sense that we’re not trying our best which, in turn, often creates a sense of competition. Said sense of competition is fine, when we’re thinking about sports games and school grades – but when this product which, let’s face it, is clearly marketed to the younger generations, unleashes an element of weight competition: we’re in big fudging trouble. As a young teenager, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and believe me, nothing made me feel more motivated to starve myself that little bit more than reading forums where girls would compare and boast about their tiny BMIs. I used to bore the shit out of my school friends by enquiring about how much they’d eaten that day, or trying to find out their clothes size – just so I could feel accomplished at something. This is what we’re now marketing and manifesting into products for young girls. No wonder B-eat are going insane about it.
Of course, the element of competition that can be garnered from a standard set of scales will always be there, it’s practically inescapable. But, when most women are unprepared to divulge the actual figure of their weight, this element remains happily under the carpet for most – whereas, these scales are set to undoubtedly cause a social craze. Picture it: one schoolgirl gets the scales as a silly gift from a friend or unknowing parent – cue the next sleepover, everyone’s having a go on the scales and finding out ‘who they are’. The girl that’s stuck in between Ellie Goulding and Beyonce (or whatever other celebrities it uses) is jealous of the girl just below Ellie Goulding – so she goes home, internalises this and hey ho, potential low self-esteem and a potential consequential eating disorder. In eating disorder documentaries I’ve watched in the past, which focus on child inpatient carehomes, a girl cited a playground weight-loss competition as the trigger for her eating disorder. And now folks, we’re getting that packaged up in a little box from Superdrug and we’re making eating disorders even more marketable. Well fucking done Superdrug – well fucking done.
Am I being over the top because it’s a personal issue, or do you think Superdrug are clearly thinking out of their arses this week, too?