I’m totally a fad addict. I love kitchy little styles that bloom for a few years or even a few months; only to be whisked into unknown darkness shortly thereafter. I love watching fads bloom and die. Sometimes I even partake in the insanity. My current obsession is listening to oldies, songs from the 50s through the 70s (Mack the Knife, Great Balls of Fire, etc). I grew up obsessed with the color purple (not the book, the actual color), unicorns, mushroom shaped things (I know, strange), bright neon colors, nature water sounds like bubbling brooks, various random movies. Sometimes they would overlap, giving me a predilection one month for anything related to purple unicorns sitting by waterfalls.
But in general even I could recognize the small and fleeting fits of fancy for what they were; momentary obsessions with something new, something novel, something pretty and otherwise unknown. When one little fad was replaced with another, equally silly and equally as powerfully attention-grabbing, I went with the flow willingly. (Unfortunately for those looking to get me gifts this meant that I ended up with unicorn knick-knacks in wrapped boxes long after I had moved on to a calmer acceptance of knowing that unicorns were just cool and not the be-all-end-all best things in the universe). Some things never stopped being interesting to me (yes, I still think about unicorns from time to time and love the sound of water bubbling over rocks) and some make me laugh to think of my past and the highly distracting level of attention that I gave them (Mushrooms? Honestly??? What was I thinking???)
One thing that I could never quite wrap my brain around though was the never ending list of fad diets. The water diet, the grapefruit diet, the no-carbs diet, the all-carbs diet, the bath diet, the Acai Berry diet, the “pick a food and eat all you want of that ONE food” diet, the calorie counting diet, the count fat grams diet, the count carb grams diet, eat at least one bowl of this cereal a day diet, just stay under XXXX calories a day diet, don’t eat sugar diets, take this pill and your fat will “melt away” diets, don’t eat processed foods diets, eat ONLY processed foods so you don’t have to think about cooking your own meals diets….
The list can, I’m sure, go on and on. And even though they seem like obvious fads now, I will admit to having followed more than one throughout my own life. The point being that looking at each of these sorts of things with any sort of critical eye or hind-sight, gives me the same laughingly head-shaking response I get when I think back on my own previous little fad obsessions. I mean, if the Gallery of Regrettable Foods has taught me anything, it is that 20 years from now (or less) we might be amazed to look back and see how we considered food. And while I still snort when people respond to such fad advice with “Well this is crap, what you REALLY need to do to lose weight is ____insert other stupid advice here; perhaps: Eat less, Exercise More____”; it is good to see at least that some people DO recognize these fads for what they are: Fads. And yet people still insist on trying them! No matter what the understood consequences might be; people are still unerringly drawn in by the latest, greatest pitch trying to sell Thin Beauty to the masses. Even KNOWING it is a fad that won’t give them the results they desire; even knowing we are playing a shell game with con-masters, we still insist on putting down the money. I can’t really wrap my brain around this phenomenon!
Anyone else have any insights into our human tendency to insist on believing that THIS time, with THIS miracle product/plan, weight loss will somehow manifest? Despite the axiom “Don’t believe everything you hear” people insist that diets and weight-loss will somehow equal better health, in some sort of manic effort to insist that THIS old wives’ tale is the honest truth. That THIS time, THIS fad, THIS plan will render that 90-98% failure rate obsolete. Talk about setting yourself up for mental anguish.