By Naomi Serviss / New York City
When I was 10, my mother’s bingo buddy called me “pleasantly plump.” I knew an insult when I heard it.
In retrospect, that cringy phrase may have been lobbed without malice, but it sure stung a preteen’s self-confidence. In that moment I became self-aware, and thus was my body dysmorphia launched.
But I’m not alone. Women (and girls) have been brainwashed into thinking the only body worth inhabiting is a thin one.
We know this has been going on for generations. Blame mass media,
commercials, television, movies, Hollywood, Fox, magazines, fashion designers, and the ubiquitous Kardashians.
No one gets off with a pass. Not even ourselves. And especially not our mothers!
There have always been amphetamines, SlimFast, Ayds diet chews, grapefruit and Atkins diets galore. Pick your poison.
Which is why it’s been no surprise that the popularity of Ozempic, a new diabetes medication, has been proliferating like drunk bunnies. The drug often results in rapid weight loss. The word got out and the celebrity-obsessed had something else to wonder about.
“Does she or doesn’t she?” has a whole new meaning now than when it referred (in the ‘50s) to a Clairol hair dye commercial.
Ozempic, manufactured by Novo Nordisk, is part of a class of drugs geared towards treating diabetes and obesity.
It’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Type 2 diabetes only and has been available since 2017.
Another new drug on the rapid weight loss bandwagon is Wegovy, which allows a higher maximum dose of semaglutide, Ozempic’s active ingredient, and targets obesity.
How successful and widespread has this phenomenon been? Last year, Novo Nordisk cited a 50 percent worldwide market growth. Almost 40,000 Wegovy prescriptions are written every week.
Are these drugs safe? Are there side effects? Are they worth it?
According to a recent New Yorker article (March 27),
complications can include diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting and/or dizziness. The stomach distress can be so debilitating it has sent folks to the ER. “Ozempic face” is now a thing: a gaunt, unhealthy, sallow-cheeked visage. Usually caused by rapid weight loss.
And adding to the bad news, insurance companies are unlikely to cover the meds. The cost is often more than a $1,000 a month. TikTok should also take partial blame for the so-called designer drug craze. Some people flaunt and post and make snap-fast weight loss cheerful and goal-worthy.
Why not try it? The gaunt look is in again!
We’re obsessed with our perceived imperfections, when they merely
make us more human! Just when I thought self-acceptance was the mantra du jour, Ozempic seeped into the nomenclature.
It cross-pollinated among Hollywood
celebs whose narcissistic lives revolve around the scale and arm weights.
What about this 31-year-old woman from Manhattan? (who chose to remain anonymous) who tried Ozempic?
She gained 20 pounds in 2018. With diabetes and obesity running in her family, she was concerned about following down that path.
Taking the advice of her general practitioner, she consulted with an endocrinologist to rule out thyroid disease. Her thyroid was normal, but she was urged to lose weight.
"My weight has never bothered me emotionally, but always in the back of my mind worried about diabetes I tried diet medications for an incentive to lose more on my own," she says
Her Ozempic journey began in December 2021.
"I was on it for two months and then my insurance stopped covering it," she says. Her co-pay was $15. Adding insult to injury, she neither lost nor gained weight
She's resolved to end her Ozempic journey on an upbeat note .
"I'm happy to be done with it and am pregnant now. I wouldn't want to be on diet medication anyway," she added.
The weight she lost hasn't crept back.
Being thin is no longer a goal.
"I feel fine about myself again. I believe all bodies are beautiful and society sucks when it comes to fatphobia."
One of the many celebrities rumored to have taken one of the rapid weight-loss drugs is Mindy Kaling.
Says the Ozempic veteran, "I WORSHIP Mindy Kaling. I don't care how she lost the weight or why, "
"People will say horrible things if she didn't lose weight and say awful things now that she has,"
"There's no winning when you're overweight."
Or pleasantly plump.
Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including BroadwayWorld.com