Perpetual waiting: Analyzing dieters’ time in WW’s Instagram posts

Or Glicklich, Sara Cohen Shabot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) is one of the biggest and most successful diet companies in the world, and its social media presence, showcasing the company’s mostly female clientele, is saturated with messages regarding time and temporality. Unlike many descriptions of dieters’ experiences from their own points of view, this article examines WW’s corporate perception of dieters’ time as evidenced in its Instagram publications. We argue that WW presents to its online audience a dual conception of dieters’ time, in which the present is both missing and at the same time present in hyperfocus. It is missing in that the fat body is seen as an obstruction to a life of fulfillment and happiness, as merely a step on the way to unlocking one’s true potential via thinness; it is present in hyperfocus in that the monitoring and disciplining of the body through the program’s point system requires constant vigilance and preoccupation with food and eating. Since, as the research indicates, the promise that dieting will result in a thin body is rarely realized, dieters are thus left in a cycle of dissatisfaction, an existence taken over by calculations, and a perpetual state of expectation and waiting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalFat Studies
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation under grant No. 328/19. We thank our reviewrs for their insightful recommendations. We also thank Marie F. Deer, Dr. Sharon Ringel and Dr. Cat Paus??for their helpful comments given during the writing of this article. This research was performed at the University of Haifa as part of the fulfilment of requirements for achieving a master?s degree.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Instagram
  • WW
  • Weight Watchers
  • diet
  • temporality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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