Real Stories

Ignoring Targeted Diet Ads

This past Christmas, I asked my mom for a Gorilla Bow, which is this collapsible exercise device that you can lift with. It uses resistance bands instead of weight, making it great for apartment workouts. But, because my mom decided to purchase the Gorilla Bow on eBay, she never looked up what the product actually was supposed to be.

On Christmas, I opened a yellow shipping package full of long, noodly resistance bands, but no bow to use them on. She essentially sent me a replacement pack.

On the bright side, now I have several long and wiggly cat toys I can use until I shell out the money to buy the actual bow that they go with. But other than that, I was really upset to not have my apartment weight lifting tool. My gym has been closed for a long time, and even if it were open, it’s so crowded and takes forever to get a free machine. Not to mention getting there requires making a series of left turns across many lanes of traffic and sometimes the anxiety itself is enough of a workout for me.

It’s the new year, which means targeted ads for weight loss, fitness programs, detoxes, all that junk. I’m actually starting to miss seeing the Wish ads for weird sex toys and realistic poop sculptures. Like, excuse me, I’d much rather be targeted with a life-size pillow of a magical girl than the ads intended to make me feel like a huge blob.

There’s so much content on the internet for women intended to make us feel less than perfect. Or even less than passable. I always find it frustrating getting caught in the thought spiral, bouncing from “they have a point” to “maybe I need this…” all the way to “you’re on a downwards spiral,” and back up to “maybe I’m okay.”

A few months ago, I was in a car on the way to get chicken fries with my boyfriend, Justin. I felt sick to my stomach like I’d have to puke before we got home. I grabbed the trusty glove box puke bag just in case. As we sat at a red light, me with the bag around my head like horse feed, Justin said to me, “You’re not sick, you’re just feeling guilty. You always feel sick before we get food.”

Now, sometimes when we want food, I stay home while Justin brings it back to avoid nausea. What does it say about me that the thought of getting food makes my body feel like I have to reject it before I even consume it? I guess being aware of the sensation is one thing, but making it stop is another story.

All of these factors are piling up, making me feel mad at the internet for knowing I’m weak, mad at the people who sell the stuff, and mad at myself for feeling bad in the first place. But above all, I’m just really tired of feeling bad.

I hope this year I can silence those feelings in a more successful way. I hope I can do yoga at home and work on making my body healthier, not thinner. I hope I can make exercise fun with dancing and being silly, not doing it out of guilt. And I hope, for all of us, that we can take these targeted ads in and peacefully pass not just on the product, but on the message that we aren’t enough.

Now, while I decide what to do about a Gorilla Bow, I’m gonna go on Wish to see if those Nicholas Cage pants are still available.


by April Yanko

My name's April, but Post March is my fun riddle alias.

Lover of cats, eater of pasta. Hoping to make you laugh with silly things that come from the heart.


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