Shut Up, Special K

Illustration for article titled 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!

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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.

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DISCUSSION

The Italian commercials for this cereal show a woman who says in voiceover "This year, at last, I'm going to walk towards the water real slow", as opposed to, you know, run as fast as she can so no one will notice how gross she is.