I understand the attraction to Ozempic, a prescription medication used for the management of Type 2 diabetes that’s gone mainstream. The weekly injection offers the seemingly impossible: making and keeping you thin. You don’t have to be careful or eat clean or even mindfully—you just jab and go. It’s not unlike other drugs that have started out medicinal before turning recreational. (A reminder here to club kids that some horses do actually need tranquilizing.)
We’ll all enthralled, enjoying the hype, the who’s-on-it sleuth-ery of Ozempic. I too am guilty of zooming in on selfies, Poirot-ing for signs of meds-induced shrinkage. We’re absorbing the telltale faces, caved in from a body that’s changing too quickly.
But then there’s the insidious ideology that this latest weight-loss drug pushes. Societal misconceptions about obesity and un-slimness abound: Anyone bigger than you eats more than you, moves less that you, can’t control themselves. We ignore the correlation between obesity and wealth—the time and money it takes to dodge processed foods. We’re still tangled up in the idea that restraint is willpower, that weight is as simple as what calories you put into your body versus what you work off.
At the same time, we’ve paid lip service to body acceptance, we’ve go-girl-ed larger women, we’ve celebrated curves, we’ve recognized the gargantuan societal factors in how people look, we quote-unquote did the work. But now with Ozempic, being overweight can instantly (if expensively) be fixed. Larger people can swiftly transition to a more societally acceptable size. Ozempic is a miracle drug, a cure for the fatness we’ve begrudgingly forced ourselves to accept.
I know I’m being glib, but in recent times we’ve watched the conversation around bodies change for the better, for the more understanding, for the more realistic…and now we’re all, erm, excited to fix the problem ASAP? A problem we all agreed wasn’t a problem? We’ve yo-yoed our progression.
I guess, depressingly, that the power of thin hasn’t waned. I hate the idea, pushed by this jab, that your best self is thinner, leaner, than your current self. I hate the idea that fat is fine for other people, but not for me. That yass girl, I accept your decisions—but I’m gonna jab myself to stay thin. That fatness is something to work on and eventually overcome. Ozempic encourages us to focus on a mantra of eat, but for God’s sake, don’t grow. It’s all quite grim.