For the past few months, ads for Skinny Teatox (the all-natural detox tea) have been incessantly popping up on my Facebook feed. This kind of sponsored post doesn’t usually have much of an effect on me, as proven by the fact that I have not yet enrolled in school to become an addictions counsellor, but the Skinny Teatox ad was different. It awakened a Gollum-like voice in the back of my mind. I NEEDED Skinny Teatox. The girls in the ad were perfectly tanned and highlighted, and they held mugs of tea with their twig arms while laughing pleasantly. A detox that was just TEA, the lifeblood of twenty-three year old girls from east van? I could do that! What if the only thing between me and my future twig arms was twenty-eight days worth of delicious hot water?
I tried my best to build up a tolerance to the ad. After a month, I barely noticed it beckoning me with tag lines like “progress comes to those who commit.” I told myself I WAS committed… to not going into credit card debt. Unfortunately my impressive will power was shattered into tiny, pathetic pieces on a tuesday around one thirty, when I received an emotional letter from an ex-boyfriend (and when I say I received a letter, I mean he wrote a letter, photographed it, and sent it to me in a private message via twitter because THIS IS THE FUTURE). The letter/photograph/tweet sent me into an emotional whirlwind. The smart part of my brain checked out and Gollum took over. My precious teatox would arrive in six to eight business days, and I was sure my twig arms weren’t far behind.
When the teatox finally arrived, I looked at the instructions and was disappointed to find that on top of drinking the tea, they also wanted you to avoid certain (awesome) foods. As someone who survives mostly on potatoes and bread, this made the cleanse a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. Another aspect of the cleanse that made things difficult was the nausea, dizziness, and shooting pains that consumed my entire body after my first cup of teatox tea. I couldn’t walk for five minutes without having to sit down and breathe through the pain. My concerned friend suggested that I stop the cleanse (and the pamphlet that came with the teatox suggested the same thing in all capital letters), but I had only just started. I had spent so much money, and WHAT about my TWIG arms???
I still have the possibly poisonous tea in my cupboard. I’ve read enough self-help books and issues of Oprah Magazine to know that making your body parts smaller won’t bring true happiness, but I can’t get rid of the tea. Though the part of me that wants to be able to walk for five minutes without doubling over in pain won this round, the part of me that wants to be skinnier is as strong and mean as ever. As long as my Facebook feed is filled with ads featuring angelic women in crop tops consuming weight loss products, I don’t know if I will ever defeat her.