What if one day the few people who have the most influence worldwide decided to experience a dramatic weight loss overnight? How could they achieve such a strong and fast result? That’s exactly what’s happening right now, but the means used are not only unconventional and not at all secret but also damaging in many different ways. Indeed, in the last months, a new drug started making its way into Hollywood’s inner circles.
The drug in question is called Ozempic, which is a once-weekly injection used to improve blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, thanks to a hormone called GLP-1. The issue is that none of the celebrities using them have diabetes or suffer from obesity, they are merely using it to lose those few extra pounds, being indifferent to all the side effects the use of this drug implies. On one hand, it promotes satiation from food and moderates insulin secretion, on the other, it can have many significant side effects such as gastrointestinal phenomena, pancreatitis, changes in vision, low blood sugar, serious allergic reaction, or even kidney failure. But for those who don’t experience any of the more serious side effects, it seems like a great option for controlling blood sugar levels.
The first time we were able to have a first-hand look at the effects of this drug was at this year’s Emmy Awards, around the same time Ozempic went viral on Tiktok as a trend in which people showed their weight-loss journey. We’ve seen the effects of this drug on celebrities such as Elon Musk, Remi Bader, and Chelsea Handler, who openly admitted using Ozempic to trim down some fat, but also many have been rumored to being on it, such as Khloé Kardashian, who has allegedly said to not discredit her years spent working out and taking care of herself.
There are actual statistics saying that 81% of prescriptions for these drugs are written for women, those who are constantly bombarded with messages that they’re not thin enough and are giving in to that pressure.
Ozempic is currently being supplied by doctors and nutritionists, and it obviously is not cheap either; as a product only very few can afford, given that the list price is about $1500 a month. Moreover, the overwhelming demand has led to insurance companies taking measures, such as covering only those who actually need Ozempic to stay alive and healthy. Indeed, the great supply for Hollywood celebrities has led to a shortage since the officers of the company didn’t expect this drug to do so well, otherwise, they would have built the supply chain differently.
It has become the topic of conversation at parties, and it has become part of the ritual before any major event, next to hair and makeup there is now a shot of Ozempic.
The issue related to the use of this drug is not only on a physical level since people taking it must be informed of the risks but mostly on a social level. Since celebrities receive outrageous public attention and often represent the embodiment of media cultural beauty ideals, they must be the ones to pay the most attention to the messages they spread through the changes they experience.
Hollywood’s latest glorification of thin bodies is worrying and harmful to more than just the millions of impressionable young people who idolize these celebrities. Even though how they reach it is so no secret since Ozempic use is the worst-kept secret in Hollywood, it still is a significant issue. This implies that people who already have an eating disorder are being triggered and furthermore even a younger audience can be easily impressed and develop an ED. Some have openly declared making use of this drug, wanting to be completely transparent and admitting that it was their nutritionist prescribing it to them “off the page”, some even declaring “I did what all the people are doing, and lying about. I’m just not gonna lie about it”. Still, it is pretty evident when celebrities are making use of it, since losing a lot of weight in a very short time, inevitably leads to the so-called “Ozempic face”, which is a loss of volume in the face and it’s not necessarily a great look since it makes people seem older, tired, and gaunt.
Using this expensive means to satisfy the latest thinness obsession is a double-edged sword; it helps to lose those “extra” pounds but also, as soon as the injections are stopped, the extra weight is going to come back, since this is not a healthy nor sustainable way to lose weight. Celebrities in particular are the influential ones, thus they should use the influence they have to promote a healthy lifestyle instead of promoting an unreachable standard.