Shut Up, Special K

It's "bathing suit season" again, and you know what that means: it's time for Special K to make you feel bad about your body while pushing their ridiculously unrealistic cereal-based meal plan. Whatever, Special K.

Special K is the Cosmopolitan of cereals, a product that has survived for years by making women feel about themselves and offering incredibly stupid tips on how to lessen that self-hate. If Special K was a woman, she'd be that bitch who says things like, "You could be so pretty if you just lost a few pounds." She'd probably also hang out with MeMe Roth and try to make you feel bad about ordering dessert after dinner. Special K is a total buzzkill, and her reign of terror has lasted long enough.

The product thrives by being marketed as a diet product: the "Special K Challenge" has been deceiving women for years, pushing a crash diet as a realistic nutritional plan and making promises about how many inches one will lose over a few weeks, simply by dropping actual meals in favor of low-calorie cereals and supplements. Meal 1: a bowl of cereal. Meal 2: A Meal Replacement bar. Meal 3: a "normal" dinner (the site shows lean meat and greens), and snacks: more bars! That's a healthy attitude, no? For nothing says, "this isn't a complete set-up for failure" quite like dropping whole grains, healthy fats, and balanced meals in favor of a bowl of cardboard-esque flakes swimming in watery skim milk. Mmm...healthy!

The major problem with Special K is that it pushes weight loss for all the wrong reasons: there is always an emphasis on a bathing suit, or a bikini, or, in terms of their New Year's advertising, a need to make up for the "bad" behavior of the holiday season, when you allowed yourself to—gasp—eat food and enjoy it. It's typical crash diet fare: restrict, restrict, restrict in order to hit a goal. There's no emphasis on changing the way you eat in a realistic, healthy, life-long way. It's all about the damn bikini. The Special K website is currently running a banner that reads "Get Two-Piece Ready!" Awesome! All I have to do is starve myself to look sexy. Thanks, stupid cereal!

I say we finally give Special K the ol' heave-ho. Please stop buying into this unhealthy bullshit, ladies. The only true way to be "two-piece ready" is to have the confidence to rock a two-piece no matter what you weigh. Confidence is the beautiful thing- and you're not going to find it at the bottom of a cereal box, no matter how "special" that cereal claims to be.