💉The Wizard Of Oz(empic)💉
Win tickets to The 1975, introducing our new breakup podcast, and a personal story about why I hate this fucking weightloss drug 🙃
Omg HI to all our hot new besties from Instagram!! This is a way cuter/cooler/safer space to hang out, so I’m SOOOO pumped to have you here. You’ve also joined on a GREAT day because we’ve got a giveaway for The 1975 AND a new podcast announcement in here today! Woosh - lots happening!
Today’s newsy is also a lil different - I wrote a bit more of a personal piece about my 💘feelings💘 towards the whole Ozempic craze rn, so it’s a lil lighter on news than usual. Hope that’s ok.
Love you the mooooost,
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The Wizard Of Oz(empic)
WE'RE GIVING AWAY TICKETS TO THE 1975!!
Introducing… Our New Breakup Podcast ❤️🩹
When using a bar of soap do you wash it straight onto your body or do you lather it in your hands first?
The Wizard Of Oz(empic)
Content warning: disordered eating
One of the first memories I have of my weight being something I should care/worry/ think about was in the first house I remember living in. I attended kindergarten & primary school in that house, which means I could have been anywhere from 2-6 years old when this happened. Mum sat me down in the sunroom and told me I was going to the doctor to get some “tests” done. She said that they were to see whether I had something called ‘diabetes’ - a word I did NOT compute when I was that young - but that she would buy me a toy when it was all over. She held up her end of the deal (I think she bought me a Sabrina The Teenage Witch magazine) and I held up mine (and the tests showed that I didn’t have diabetes, I was just a chunky kid.)
From that moment on came years of going to doctors about eating, going to the doctors about not eating, doing every different ‘challenge’ or ‘programme’ you could imagine, having a monthly subscription to ‘Healthy Food Guide,’ and sporadically cutting out food groups like gluten and dairy and everything good in this world.
Dad would take me to fitness bootcamps at 5am before school, and Mum cooked me completely separate meals from my brothers, all while I was dealing with social media making me hate myself more and more with every sickening reblog and turning me into the most depressed Head Girl my high school had ever seen (except they didn’t see it until my besties called the guidance counsellor - but that’s for another time.)
Somehow, on the other side of all of that, I’ve become someone with a pretty healthy relationship with food (AKA the literal thing that keeps us all alive.) God knows how, because in my short 25 years, I’ve lived through the Tumblr ‘thinspiration’ era, the body positivity era, the body acceptance era, the ‘fitspiration’ green smoothie & apple cider vinegar era, the BBL era, the BBL removal era, and now the Ozempic era. Fuck, I’m exhausted.
Last year I met a woman who told me she had been using this “new weight-loss injection,” but after being on it for a few weeks she started having some weird side effects. Her heart was racing and she thought she was having a heart attack, so she rang her brother (a doctor) who said that she was actually experiencing an anxiety attack. I didn’t ask her if she was still on the drug - I assumed the self-inflicted anxiety attack would NOT be worth losing a few pounds - but then again, I can be an optimist sometimes. Turns out that six months later, this drug (or ones like it) would be all I’d be hearing about.
For those of you who haven't heard of Ozempic (or its counterparts Wegovy and Mounjaro and probably a bunch of others by now) it’s a drug that you inject into yourself weekly that’s been approved to help people with type-2 diabetes. For diabetics, it lowers blood-sugar levels and is a necessary drug in maintaining their livelihood, but a feature (and not the purpose) of this drug is slowing down gastric emptying and suppressing your appetite.
You can imagine, then, that this new ‘miracle weight loss drug’ has made its foray into the celebrity world in a similar way that Botox and Viagra did (just look at this year’s Oscars) - but I can’t help but feel like this is more insidious. Once celebrities, or just general rich people, and their “anti-ageing doctors” (yes - they exist) got a whiff of this, it started taking off everywhere and has led to entire countries seeing shortages of something that diabetics literally need.
“To get hers, Allison calls up a Los Angeles–based provider she has never seen or met, sends over $625, and is shipped a monthly supply. What she calls Ozempic is not the brand-name product pre-packaged in a sky-blue injector pen by Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical company that makes and markets the drug. She receives generic semaglutide, the active ingredient in the medication, and has to mix and prepare it for injection herself, which — since semaglutide is under patent by Novo Nordisk until 2032 in the U.S. — suggests her meds are likely coming from a compounding pharmacy or a vendor selling research-grade ingredients. The lower price is also a tell: Ozempic retails for about $900 a month if your insurance doesn’t cover it.”
Drugs like these aren’t just changing people’s appetites for food. They’re changing our appetites for what is deemed ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ or ‘worthy’ all over again. The Ozempic craze is telling us that thin, is once again “in” but only if you can access it, afford it, and continue to take it (doctors refer to this as a ‘lifelong medication’ yet we don’t actually know the side-effects of being on it long term for someone who doesn’t “need” it - eek!)
If I’m being a cynic, I’d say that the work we’ve done to start seeing through the ‘Instagram face-ness’ of our fave influencers (and the move towards them being transparent about all the subtle work they’ve had done to help them look how they do) is about to be reversed. Normal people - and if I were to hazard a guess, particularly young women - are ✨once again✨ going to take extreme measures to try and attain something that costs over $1000 a month (and requires literal weekly injections) to achieve (sorry - I hate using the words ‘attain’ and ‘achieve’ but you get me.) We can’t win.
“Which celebrities are or aren’t on Ozempic became a new blind-item staple. The drug’s breakout moment was the discussion of whether Kim Kardashian used it to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s dress for the 2022 Met Gala. (She denied it.) Only a few admit it openly, as Elon Musk did about using Wegovy. Rumors flew of Hollywood “Ozempic parties,” and there were passionate denunciations by Real Housewives who swore they’ve never touched it. Chelsea Handler attempted to split the difference by claiming, on the Call Her Daddy podcast, that she had been on semaglutide, didn’t realize it was akin to Ozempic, and stopped when she found out.”
Some other things to note:
Ozempic (and similar drugs) need to be used for life. Doctors call this a ‘lifelong medication’ meaning for it to be ‘effective,’ once you start using it you’re not supposed to stop. This makes you a lifelong customer AND a lifelong patient.
This drug is also now included in guidelines for treating childhood obesity, meaning that kids could be using this for life from the age of 12, and neglecting the need to learn about a balanced diet.
Ozempic has been approved for type 2 diabetes and for people with a body mass index in the obese range (or just under that range but with weight-related health issues) - not for general weight loss/ for people who want to lose a few pounds. We don’t know the long-term effects this will have on people who are taking it that don’t need to be.
On average it costs about $1,000 to $1,200(USD) per month, so only certain people will be able to reach the new ‘standards’ of beauty 🙃
In the first song from The 1975’s latest album, Matty Healy sings over and over and over: “I’m sorry if you’re living and you’re 17,” and truly, I am. But, in life you do things - like lose a little brother, or start a media company with your besties (and invite millions of other people into that universe with you) - that show you that there are things that matter far more than how you look or how much you weigh. Find those things. Hold them tight. Exist, as you are, in defiance of the latest trend.
WE'RE GIVING AWAY TICKETS TO THE 1975!!
I am still DEEP in my Matty Healy/ The 1975 obsession - so much so that I'm going to BOTH of their New Zealand shows - and I want you to have the chance to go too!!! Thanks to our literal besties at Live Nation (who support us in all our obsessions) we have a double pass to their Wellington show (April 19th 2023) AND two double passes to their Auckland show (April 21st 2023) show to give away!!!
All you need to do is make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter, fill out the form below, and we'll announce the winner in a week's time xxxx
We’re launching a breakup podcast!!
New podcast alert!!! Next Monday we’re launching a brand new podcast series (within our Culture Vulture feed) all about how to break up better. It’s called ‘Own The Feels,’ it’s brought to you by Love Better, and it’s based around YOUR breakup stories. We cover it all - from ghosting, to revenge, to stalking - you all provided us with some juicy stuff!
Listen to Own The Feels in our Culture Vulture feed, wherever you get your podcasts, from next Monday!!!
🗺Around the world🗺
(I’m running out the door so you’re just getting headlines today angels!)
Ex-US President Donald Trump expects to be arrested on Tuesday (BBC)
International Criminal Court members issue arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes (USA Today)
Vladimir Putin pays surprise visit to occupied Mariupol in Ukraine (The Guardian)
Samoa PM urges world to save Pacific people from climate crisis obliteration (The Guardian)
Today’s mundane poll:
To get my Friday diary entry, a whole bunch of links and recommendations, and Bel’s Sunday morning newsy ‘No News Is Good News’ become a paying supporter 💌
Luce, that bit on ozempic was the best thing I have read anywhere for a good while (and I have read a lot of great things) it can’t be easy to put so much of yourself out there, even for a gorgeously honest and sharing gal like yourself, but I know your words will resonate and bring comfort and resolve to those who need to hear them. Beautifully done 👏
On the insistence of the aged mother-in-law, we took our daughter to have a diabetic check. The MIL had taken to surprising our child with snap finger pricking to test her blood/sugar levels. Scared the crap out of here! And yes, surprise surprise, she wasn't diabetic, just healthy, normal child. She's always been on the larger side, bigger baby, strong and vibrant. I hate that my daughter will be faced with this shit when she starts secondary school and gets on social media. Until then, we will continue to reinforce how special and unique and wonderful she is as a person.