Weight Watchers has officially shortened its name to WW in an attempt to rebrand as a proprietor of wellness, not just weight loss.
The company’s CEO, Mindy Grossman, made the announcement on the Today Show, where host Hoda Kotb was literally rubbing her hands together in excitement!
“We will never abdicate our leadership in the best healthy eating program for weight loss in the world, but we can be so much more today,” said Grossman. “We can inspire people for healthy habits, to help them eat better, move better, use their mind to help support their efforts, and really be about total wellness.”
Along with the new name comes a new tagline: “Wellness that Works.” Grossman says that it, in fact, “affirms what we’ve been doing for 55 years.”
Other changes to the WW universe includes a partnership with popular meditation and mindfulness app Headspace, which will be incorporated into the WW app. WW will also launch “Connect Groups,” giving users the ability to share and swap tips and information about common interests, from going vegan to hiking.
Despite the rebrand, the iconic point system apparently isn’t going anywhere, though Grossman said there will be revisions made to the FitPoints program.
It makes perfect sense for Weight Watchers to try to hold on to waning relevancy by pivoting to “wellness,” a trendy term that means a lot (or absolutely nothing), and makes a lot of money. While it’s become somewhat gauche to rave on about a diet, proselytizing about a path to so-called wellness is very much in.
Grossman told Today that, “This idea of going from weight to wellness is more sustainable for people, because we’re giving them more than just a short term solution.”
But wellness isn’t very sustainable when the definition of wellness is so varying. Wellness to an Instagram famous fruitarian is going to be very different from wellness as told by a personal trainer who swears by a keto meal plan, or someone recovering from anorexia, or a fat-positive lifestyle blogger, or that coworker who won’t shut the fuck up about how nice her skin looks ever since she stopped eating sugar.
Wellness is defined by whoever’s selling it, and in Americans’s constant search for some kind of holy grail product that will transform them into their best—fittest, happiest, thinnest—selves, WW is providing a road to providence. But here’s hoping that WW’s approach does less harm than than the folks at Goop telling their customers to stick rose quartz eggs up their vaginas.