Is it appropriate for Sailor Moon to be partnering with weight loss shake Slim Up Slim?

Sailor Moon x Slim Up Slim

We’ve seen some odd things associated with the Sailor Moon brand over the past few years including condoms and tampons but this latest partnership with Slim Up Slim weight loss shakes seems inappropriate to me. The image above shows Usagi and Mamoru promoting the shakes with an image accentuating her unrealistically long and slender legs. This just makes me wonder if it’s really appropriate for a 14 year old character from a children’s manga and anime to be used to sell weight loss shakes.

What exactly is Slim Up Slim? It’s a weight loss shake. It’s marketed not just as a diet or weight loss shake but also as a “beauty diet” shake. The purpose of this product does not seem to be weight loss for the sake of health but rather weight loss for the sake of beauty. Many of these products contain collagen, which is not there to help with healthy weight loss but with skin beauty, though there is no evidence that ingesting collagen actually does anything. While calorie reduction will surely result in weight loss, these shakes containing collagen and lactic acid bacteria share many qualities with the type of scam weight loss products such as those promoted by snake oil salesmen like Doctor Oz.

This collaboration strikes me as something which could encourage unrealistic standards for women and girls and potentially lead to eating disorders, something which may be more of a concern to western audiences. Certainly I am aware that I am putting a North American lens on these things. As a Canadian I understand that we have certain body image ideas displayed in the media but also that most people are sensitive to these and ultimately encourage the idea that girls should not be told that they need to be thin to be beautiful as such pressures can be damaging. The other consideration of course is that there is an obesity epidemic in North America, which includes child obesity, and that this is a health concern. Encouraging healthy eating and exercise habits at all stages of life is genially positive, as long as it doesn’t get to the extent of shaming. Obesity is a factor in a large number of health risks, the most obvious ones being heart disease and diabetes, but also many others. That said programs asking children to eat healthy and exercise generally don’t tell them they should do so to be pretty, even if media, advertisement and other pressures may at the same time present a different image.

So much to say, I don’t think the same can be said about Japan or Asia in general. There seem to be strong pressures to be thin in many countries and this campaign as well as what we’ve seen in the series seems to reflect this. Sailor Moon gives many positive messages to girls but the characters in the series are slender, pretty and all fitting to a very similar, albeit not terribly realistic, body type. We expect some liberties in things that are drawn, after all people don’t actually have eyes that big and noses that small, but still this is what we see.

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Usagi worries about getting big

There have been many times in the Sailor Moon anime and manga in which weight gain was stigmatized. In the original Sailor Moon anime the main episode in which this comes up in is episode 4 “Learn How to be Skinny From Usagi” in which Usagi is worried she’s gaining weight and instead of telling her that as a thin 14 year old who shouldn’t worry about this, her family and Luna all agree that this is bad and encourage her to go on a diet. The Dark Kingdom opens up a gym, Shapely, which includes these pods which cause weight loss by draining energy. I found some of this troubling even when I watched this back in 1995, but the episode does have some redeeming ideas. Excessive exercise, starving and binging are generally presented as being bad, and so a reasonable diet seems to be what is argued in the end, but still Usagi’s is repeatedly teased about her weight by pretty much all characters and the takeaway message really is that it’s good to be thin. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to skip dubbing this one and giving us episode 5 or 6 instead!

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Chubby Usagi drawing

That episode originally aired in March of 1992. It’s funny that in the episode Usagi comments, while walking by a Sailor V poster, that Sailor V probably never has to diet. She’d actually been through almost the exact same situation in the manga! Canonically the Sailor V manga takes place before the Sailor Moon manga, though many of the stories were actually written later. Two years after episode 4 aired, in March of 1994, Naoko Takeuchi would write Codename Sailor V Volume 9 – Sailor V vs. deVleene!, which has such striking similarities to this episode that there must have been some inspiration.

Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight

In the Sailor V story the Dark Agency plots to gather energy in a slightly more elaborate way. They sell cheap and delicious Rainbow Chocolate around the time of Valentine’s Day which causes rates of obesity amongst young girls to rise. Minako is included as those affected by this weight gain and Artemis criticizes her for this. All of the girls who are gaining weight are concerned and look for a solution. The two pronged strategy of the Dark Agency also includes the spa deVleene which includes the same sort of energy draining pods that we saw in episode 4 of the Sailor Moon anime. Compare the images below to see just how similar these were. The story takes an even worse turn when the Dark Agency’s deVleene is defeated leaving the girls of town obese. Kaitou Ace comes in to save them from their weight gain by raining diet candy from the skies as well as giving them flyers promoting weight loss tea (a scam product which doesn’t work in the real world) as well as tips on exercising and dieting. While the anime left us with a somewhat ambiguous takeaway the Sailor V manga certainly does not. The salvation for the girls affected is to lose the weight.

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Energy draining pods at Shapely Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Energy draining pods

There are other one off mentions of weight in the series and they’re usually the same. For example in Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 “Become a Prima: Usagi’s Ballet” there are a number of comments about Usagi’s weight gain, as a small bulge is shown protruding from her tutu. This is similar to what we see in Sailor V. Throughout the episode of course Usagi and Sailor Moon keep their normal character designs of a very thin 15 year old. Another minor mention is in the first episode of the live action series where Usagi and Naru show envious attention to a model commenting on how she has a thin waist.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 - Chibiusa calls Usagi fat

I guess my views on this must be fairly obvious at this point. I’m not terribly pleased with this promotion. Ultimately I think it’s just indicative of a culture which is different from the one I am used to. I don’t say this to defend it but simply to explain it. The other examples from Sailor Moon which similarly push this idea are not directly tied to this campaign. TOEI or Naoko Takeuchi likely aren’t outliers in Japanese culture to push the idea that it’s good to be thin, but both are likely simply reflective of what has been going on in the country for at least the past 27 years. No doubt these kinds of products and pressures exist around the globe, but I’m not seeing them promoted with children’s cartoons here in North America. Obesity is a big problem here but I don’t think the solution is a culture of fat shaming and telling children that being thin is beautiful. For better or for worse pressures to be thin and beautiful do still exist here and they have not managed to reverse the obesity epidemic. I think the trend is mostly related to access to cheap, habit forming high reward value foods. Last year I read a book about this topic, The Hungry Brain by Stephane Guyenet, and found it very enlightening. It discusses the various things which make us wired to gain weight in an environment full of the kinds of food we have around us. You’re probably better off checking out the book than buying some pseudoscience inspired “beauty diet” shakes.

What do you think?

Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Sailor V loses a button

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62 thoughts on “Is it appropriate for Sailor Moon to be partnering with weight loss shake Slim Up Slim?

  1. Why should Japan care about tjhe US policy of body positive. There is nothig positive of overweight and its encouragement.

    • I don’t think that’s what he is saying.
      I also disagree with the body positivity movement when it tries to say “all bodies are healthy”, which is just not true. Feelings getting hurt, or not.

      But I believe this article is pointing out the flipside of the issue which can be just as unhealthy, unrealistic standards that drive people (men and women) to starve themselves or use products that could be damaging to their bodies.

      This company is using Sailor Moon to push a product, not to promote health.

    • I agree with Saintfighteraqua. Also, being thin in some Asian countries has turned to an obsession which is the result of an unhealthy fantasy, a de-realized standard, a will of death rather than of life… But we could also say the same of our Western views upon this matter…

      Obesity and overweight are a real problem. Aside from that, it is normal for a lot of women to have curves: this is how the female body is, most of the time, “designed” by nature, if I may say (sorry, my English is limited). And, if obesity and being overweighted are dangerous, having curves is nothing than normal. I’m afraid, though, that the result of this marketing campaign will lead young girls and women who have natural curves to try to remove them through unhealthy and unrealistic practices (starvation, an obsessional practice of gym, etc.) which will put their health at risks. The same remark applies for young girls and women who are obese and “abnormally” overweighted.

      Also, this campaign is purely marketing, as Saintfighteraqua said. A commercial company tries to sell a product only to earn money. And we all know that commercial companies are not philanthropic at all. They want to sell and to make money, whatever is the cost to pay for their customers. Thus, using the image of Sailor Moon, the company is sure to captivate young girls and to pass their message on in a very subliminal way.

      • I agree with what you said.

        I’d also rather see the Sailor Senshi promoting an active lifestyle.

        Also, Aurelia, your English is always so good, you don’t have to worry about that!
        I’m sure there are some idioms that differ in French and English, but the same is true even in different dialects of English. :)
        Trust me, you are perfectly fine.

        • Thank you for your kind words, Saintfighteraqua! I’m flattered :) .

          In fact, I simply had a concern about whether the verb “to design” was correct or not to talk about human body and what “Mother Nature” “designed” it for…

          The point is, when you stop taking courses of something (language, music…), you easily and naturally rest on your laurels. It bounds you to stagnation, and, in the end, you become unable to see where you are right and wrong in your practice. I know, for instance, that my English is far from perfect, but I’ve come to a point where I don’t know where my mistakes are. So, yes, I feel limited. I also feel limited in the fact of reading a lot in English, but being unable to reproduce some complex grammatical structures (which allow nuances to express) in my own writtings in English. In the end, I fail to express some speech nuances in English, and I eventually surrender and turn to loan translation XD (the basic cheating for desperate multilingual people. And you hope, of course, that no one will notice, haha). But, well, this is the point where a lot a multilingual people who stopped taking courses converge. That, plus the fact of slowly forgetting a language once learned, if not actively practiced, or to confuse several languages of a same family with each other… For sure, I’d rather forget how to ride a bike instead!

  2. I have to agree.
    While I am against the latest body positivity movement trying to say all women are healthy no matter their weight/state of wellbeing, I do support women accepting and embracing their body type. No one should ever feel ashamed of how they are born.

    Using Sailor Moon to promote a beauty product is one thing, but using it to push a company’s agenda when they are selling a potentially harmful product is another thing completely.

    I do think we need more positive role models for a healthy lifestyle, promoting exercise and healthy eating habits. (Usagi is actually a bad role model for this unless you count her mad dash to school as real exercise).

    I don’t believe they are purposefully trying to use Usagi to fat shame so much as taking advantage of a thin, popular character.

    Both extremes in this are bad and we should all help promote healthy lifestyles for teens and adults alike.

    • It is generally untrue that one can be “healthy at any size”. Surely some heavier person can be healthy than some thinner person but all things being equal, anything above a healthy weight comes with health risks for any person. So I agree that a healthy weight should be encouraged in a positive and realistic way. That advise or pressure also needs to be done in a way which can actually help someone, keeping in mind how much trouble people usually have with dieting. All said I’m just not a fan of it being sold as a beauty standard, which this seems to be.

    • It’s not just about accepting yourself for how you were born. What you don’t seem to understand is that when someone is obese, or even what is considered “fat” by people like you, is often a symptom of deeper issues, whether that be something like a problem with your thyroid, depression, any number of health issues that have absolutely nothing to do with whether someone is deemed “lazy” or “fat”.

      Also it’s a classic way of blaming the victim – people who are “fat” can often be that way because of how oppressive our societies are. Your comment shows a complete lack of understanding about that.

      The point of the body positivity movement is to move society away from the needlessly cruel, destructive culture of shaming people for gaining weight.

      I’d also like to say that you have absolutely no right whatsoever to dictate to others how they should look, or how they should live their lives. If you spend your time writing comments such as this regarding an anime aimed at girls, then I really have to question what your motives actually are and maybe you ought to consider whether this is actually a valuable way for you to spend your time.

  3. Basically just retail marketing. That’s it.
    I don’t think they’re trying to make anyone feel “ugly”, but just trying to aim for their niche.

  4. I am not sure when using fictional characters to sell questionable products became a marketing trend.

    Supplements aren’t FDA regulated here in the states and its really up to the consumer to be vigilant. The question I think is who is this company targeting?
    Teenagers are already impulse driven because of hormones.
    Would it be better if Usagi was wearing a work out ourfit ?
    Maybe ..maybe not..

    The manga and anime both address the dangers of fads and obessive consumerism and the brainwashing effects they can have.
    A hero you trust selling you a product?
    Thats a clever ploy

    On a personal side note I found myself almost buying a sanrio charactee facemaak
    because I like the character. When i flipped it over I noticed it used snail by product which I’m not accostomed to.
    If I hadn’t done that the marketing alone would have done its job.

    I think that applies to this as well :)

  5. Totally agree with you Noname! Fat positivity is ridiculous and unhealthy.

    Very few ppl are fat bc of genetics. So yes, embrace your body type, but try to stay healthy and fit. And don’t shame the “skinny bitches” XD

    • The point of not shaming fat people isn’t because of what you say. You have no idea what could be causing someone to gain weight, it could be illness, it could be genetic, it could be any number of things and it isn’t always because someone “eats too much” or is “lazy”.

      Also, what gives you the right to tell women or anyone for that matter how they should look? Focus on your own life!

  6. I wabt Toei dead and annihilated!!! We are waiting for Crystal films for 3 years abd they are announcing that shit DoReMi film! Who cares about their baby shitty trassh!!! This is too much. Really too much.

    • I do like Ojamajo Doremi, so yes, I care about that movie, while complaining, at the same time, that we still don’t have any news about the Crystal movie ;) .

      • Sorry, I got frustrated. Yes I guess it has its fans, but it is extremaly unfair, to get the better treatment just because it is Toei original. It has been 3 years waiting for Crystal and this was announced yesterday. Nobody waited for it to happen for years, novody asked for it. Nobody knew it is happening and it is announced for 2020,while Crystal is still in limbo.

        • Don’t worry, I didn’t take it badly ;) . I understand your frustration and agree 100% with your second comment. To be fair with you, I didn’t even know Toei was producing an Ojamajo Doremi film. I learned the news thanks to your post. Ojamajo Doremi is less popular than Sailor Moon, and yes, it seems like this Doremi’s film is getting out of nowhere, while we’ve been waiting Crystal sequel for 3 years. So you are right. I don’t know neither what’s going on in Toei’s head.

      • I love S words, so fun to say, unless you have a bad lisp, I guess. (Maybe it’s more fun, then?)

        Shiny, Silver Millenium, Sailor, Star, Soul, Shitake Mushrooms.

          • I have better: shiny salmon sushi with shimmering salted soja sauce served with splendid shiitake shrooms. You definitively can’t beat that, guys. (Nor you can’t beat my tendancy to go off topic everytime. I feel so guilty!)

          • “Soja” = soy. Sorry, some French showed up. And now I stop messing up the comment thread!

          • Sauteed Sea-Salted Sausage Simmered in Soy and Sprinkled with Sesame Seed Served Steamed with a Salad and Sealed in Saran wrap.
            *drops the SOUND recording instrument* (mic)


          • Ok, well, well, I surrender, bro! That was presomptuous of me thinking I could beat a native speaker of English. And, I have to say, your restaurant has a better menu than mine :D .

            Welcome at the Sailor Sea restautant!

          • Aw, it’s okay. Trust me, you speak English 9999 X better than I do French.

          • Yes but I would not have been able to served a “S” dish as long as yours in English ;) . I lack vocabulary, and it’s normal.

        • “Aw, it’s okay. Trust me, you speak English 9999 X better than I do French.”

          This reminded me of a dialog exchange from the first Broken Sword game.

          “You speak very good English for a French girl.”

          “Thanks! You speak very good English for an American.”

          • Hahaha, I love that, this is going to make my day, thank you, Joe :D !
            (It is currently 9:47 am here.)

        • Well, if you’re gonna use that word for anything Sailor Moon-related, I don’t blame you for using it in that context! Bwaha!

          Okay, I’ve meaning to write an actual, serious comment to your post, so I’ve been busy, and my mind wanders while writing it. It may come out very rambly and poorly written, but I’ll try to have it ready very soon. *tips hat*

        • To be honest, though “Shitennou” is a Japanese word, these guys’ lives are so shitty that calling them “Shitennou” is even more meaningful in English than in Japanese :) .

          • Being a gentleman, I will refrain from saying the profane S word in English. So… merde!

          • Cher Monsieur, sachez que je suis infiniment choquée par tant de laisser-aller, indigne d’un gentilhomme tel que vous et ce, quelle que soit la langue !


          • I haven’t slept a wink of sleep last night because of my treachery. I can’t live with myself anymore. … Give me another hour and I’ll feel happy again!

          • Well, Joseph, I think you will be easily forgiven if you bring smelling salts to our fainted Saintfighteraqua :D .

          • Well, I don’t have *smelling* salts on me, per se, but I have a bucket of salt from upset Sailor Moon fans demanding news about Crystal! But we fans shall prevail!

  7. I’ve noticed that Sanrio (or at least their U.S. branch) has used plus sized models before to advertise their Hello Kitty clothing lines.

    Anyways, it is troublesome that Usagi is drawn fairly thin with very long legs (especially in the manga/Crystal) and yet she’s been said to be the most chubby out of all of the Sailor Soldiers (the original term, I DESPISE guardians).

    • I’m a “Soldier” man, myself! I wonder what prompted the change. I don’t know Japanese, so I can only wonder.

  8. I meant to write an earnest comment about Adam’s nice, interesting post for days now, but I kept reaching the same problem: My thoughts on this subject are all over the place, with little strings attaching them all together. So, I’ll just write with my heart and, ahead of time, apologize for my flimsy and clumsy approach to this. I certainly have no intention of putting words into anyone’s mouths; these are the rambly, probably aimless thoughts I had while reading, so I’m trying to transcribe them.

    There’s no denying it: If you looked at my graduation photo from not so long ago, you’ll plainly see that I’m a confirmed fat guy. Howdy! Despite being a big guy, I never actually got furious over that old anime episode. In fact, I had to be reminded of its notoriety when I rewatched the series, a few years ago. While associating Sailor Moon with a hack product is unfortunate, this isn’t the first time a beloved animated character has pitched a dubious product. My go-to example will always be The Flintstones pitching Winston cigarettes. No joke. lol Keep in mind, this is just something I thought while reading the post.

    Call me biased because of, heh, reasons, but I agree that fat-shaming is bad, bullying is lame, and that no one should ever be abused, attacked, slandered, or otherwise insulted just for how they look, how they physically appear. It’s also a two-way street: Don’t give skinny people a hard time just for being skinny, dummies.

    HOWEVER, and I’m echoing some others here, I believe it’s also wrong to say, “people are healthy no matter what they weigh,” because that’s not true. Big’uns, like myself, should not be held up on a pedestal when it comes to health. There’s a clear-cut difference between loving yourself for who you are and being comfortable and okay with it, and expecting a “free pass” in life.

    Sure, I’m a big guy, if you saw that photo of me, but believe it or not, that was me “slimmed.” I used to weigh 50 pounds (3.57143 stone) more. Although I’ve had my share (and how) of insults, abuse, and other mean-spirited words and attitudes thrown at me because of my longstanding obesity, I accuse no one and nothing other than myself, for being that big. I don’t like going to the gym, straight-up! Working out with a bunch of strangers? Ewwwww. I’d much rather cook my own meals, indulge in them, and just snack away while reading comic books! I was happy with myself (despite the abuse) until I realized I couldn’t keep up with my friends. I shouldn’t pant for breath just for walking up some stairs, and I wasn’t invited to disc golf. That, and I decided I wanted to extend my life. So, I lost weight, because I wanted to, not to appease anyone or be a better citizen in society. And I lost a lot of weight, and I’m still going strong! (Yeah, I go to the gym, but I much prefer hiking!)

    All right, enough about me. I want to directly quote Adam and address it with personal experience: “This collaboration strikes me as something which could encourage unrealistic standards for women and girls and potentially lead to eating disorders, something which may be more of a concern to western audiences.” I have a very close friend–in fact, she is the Mars to my Mercury. She gave me permission to share this, but that’s precisely what happened to her. She’s a recovering sufferer of anorexia nervosa. According to her, part of the reason she had such problems is that she wanted to be just like Sailor Moon characters and Disney Princesses. This… is troubling, of course, because those heroine bodies are stylistically disproportionate, as already stated. Hell, one of my favorite character designs in all of animation is Princess Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty”, and… well, look at her. Her waist is like a freakin’ wasp! I don’t know. I’ve known and read of people who’ve dismissed this kind of thing, but I definitely agree with you on this, sir!

    As for me, I never felt betrayed or angry at the Sailors, Disney characters, or any other beloved animated character, because they are indeed animated, therefore stylized. Pushing bad products is not good, though, and I now understand how people can be influenced or harmed. Much of what I just typed is all about me and my viewpoint, but–arrrgh, I’m really flimsy! Look, if you’re ever bullied for being fat, I sympathize and I definitely know what it’s like, but at the same time, if you want to lose weight, then lose weight. Have the drive.

    Whether you choose to love yourself for who you are, or you want to change anything, the ball is in your court. I love who I am, I just wanted to shed enough to participate in more physical activities.

    Joseph Says… but was he clear?

    • Thank you for your thoughts, Joseph! It’s much appreciated to have a long comment on this matter, especially from someone who can speak from “the inside”, if I may say ;) .

      And you are clever enough not to pay attention to the speech some producers give to their animated characters, because, as you said, they are just not real. This is what I do, too. But still, alas, the unrealistic size standards of our favourite animated ladies may cause real ladies (and real men) to try to reach the same standards. You have known it as well as your dear friend. The point is, anorexia nervosa have always existed, I think. Empress Elizabeth of Austria had this condition. This is just like OCD. I have had OCD condition from the very beginning of my life; it never leaves. The obsessions and compulsions change form, but never the torment of living with that shadow leaves. I’ve been feeling from the very beginning that it was like something “locked” in my brain, that it was part of me, something that I could not control, but that this thing, on the contrary, was controlling me, a little bit like the wooden dummy controlling its ventriloquist in “Batman” (well, I’m not saying that to be pitied, of course, I just take myself as an example for my argumentation, yet I know it’s clumsy). It’s part of you, it is you, yet it’s not you neither, and it’s leading you to a slow but certain autodestruction… Some people who have severe OCD and are resistant to meds and therapies even undergo brain surgery to remove that kind of a psychic tumor, because it is nothing more than that: a psychic tumor. The problem is that this brain surgery is not without risk. If I speak about this, it is because I think that just like OCD, anorexia nervosa may be, in some cases, a possibility of the brain. A possibility that may trigger or not under certain circumstances. And so, what I think is that producers of animated shows, and of shows in general, and of ads, have a responsibility, and should pay attention not to deliver obsessive and guilt-creating messages of thinness. Some people may go past it, but some others not, depending on what part of their brain is the most likely to trigger under some precise circumstances. I’m not saying that, if we lived in a society free of those unrealistic standards, anorexia nervosa would not exist, but that those standards we are endlessly being delivered have a part to play in the spreading of this disease. I once had several female friends who had suffered anorexia nervosa too, and I remember that one of them, who is in her forties now, was completely obsessed with gym, and permanently on diet. She was a tall, thin and very beautiful woman, attracting a lot of men, but she always believed she was fat and always felt horrible. I didn’t understand why she was like that, and thought she was just exaggerating, until one day, she told me she had suffered AN in her youth, and added: “Even when you are out of this thing as I am today, it never really leaves you.” From this day, I understood that her obsessions towards her body were stronger than her (just like my obsessions towards order, symmetry, cleanliness and house chores were stronger than me), and I stopped judging her.

      In fact, what I’ve meant from the beginning of this post is that, despite our genetics and innate brain composition do not explain all of our behaviors, with the help of neuroscience, we can now comprehend that they play, nonetheless, a rather big part in who we are, who we become. But what is the exact proportion of that “rather big part” remains unknown, I guess. Our behaviors remain determined by a complex mixture of innate and acquired, of course, that is yet to be determined by science.

      In the end, I guess some advertisers and TV show producers use their knowledge in neuroscience to better understand how the human brain works in order to trigger the most primitive parts of it, just to sell us their stuff. For instance, in 2004, Paytrick Le Lay, at this time President and CEO of TF1, one of the main TV channel in France, stated that “There are many ways to speak about TV, but in a business perspective, let’s be realistic: at the basis, TF1’s job is helping Coca-Cola, for example, to sell its product. However, for an advertising message to be perceived, the brain of the viewer must be available. Our programs are intended to make it available: that is to say, to entertain, to relax in order to prepare it between two advertising messages. What we sell to Coca-Cola is available human brain time. Nothing is more difficult than obtaining this availability. This is where permanent change is located. We must always look out for popular programs, follow trends, surf on tendencies, in a context in which information is speeding up, getting manifold and trivialized.”

      Also, it is interesting to notice that the English television series “Black Mirror”, known for pointing out the bad consequences of the use of social media on our brains, is produced for EndemolShine Group, known for producing reality TV shows, like “Big Brother”. Ironic, isn’t it? And it’s all the same with some social network developers, who know how to trigger our most addicitive and compulsive behaviors (see the book written by Nicholas Carr: “What the Internet Is Doing to our Brains”).

      All this to say that I really think that the ad introduced by Adam’s post may be dangerous to some people. And the commercial company selling this product by using the image of Sailor Moon is, I think, aware of it, but do not care: isn’t its goal to sell? Giving some neuroscientific knowledges to some commercial and big media companies is already a dangerous thing. Humain brain is fragile and can be easily manipulated, and if we, in turn, must do our best in order not to fall into their mental traps, we are not equal in the struggle.

      Damn it, that post is really long (2 Word pages almost)! And I’m not sure it is really consistent neither. In fact, I wanted to write a second part to it, but given the length of this first part, I think I’d better refrain.

      • Some good thoughts here. For sure advertisers will do pretty much anything to sell products. There’s a lot of A/B testing type of stuff that can happen these days with the Internet that allows advertisers and those who make apps to design them to have the ultimate appeal. They don’t even need to know why people like it, just have algorithms to tell them what causes people to keep using and remain the most, and that can be seen in every facet of the tools we use. Not everyone needs to use this kind of thinking, but those companies that succeed do and the ones that fail don’t, so that is a sort of evolution itself. We need to be aware that we are always being sold something and to try to counter this when we can.

    • Well, I think I’ll try anyway to write some words for my second part.

      What I wanted to say, also, is that I believe that gym has somehow, nowaydays, become a very religious obsession. Everyone must now go to gym, regardless of their real health condition, of their weight, of the amount of free time they really have, of what they really want and like to do when they, in the end, have some free time… Yes, healthy diet and active lifestyle is important, but too much of this is, to me at least, an attempt to socially control people.

      You said it well, Joe : you don’t like going to the gym and you’d rather read some comic books instead. And you chose to lose weight because you wanted to, and not because you socially felt forced to it. The mean words you were told had no effect on you, you kept walking your own path (and I really admire that!).

      On the other hand, I know some physicians whose obsession for gym is just going beyond good sense. And they are physicians… For instance, I’ve, personnally, not only known OCD for years, but also chronic pain. After 5 years of suffering permanent pain, I still don’t know where it comes from for the most part of it, and the physicians seem not to care at all. Because of pain, exhaustion and subsequent depression, I’ve been unemployed for 4 years. I know this puts me socially in danger, but I also know I’m unable to go back to work again. I live in Paris, have no car, and I should have to walk a lot from my home to my workplace every day if I ever had to get back to work. 5 years ago, this habit of walking 5 days per week from home to work became a torment. In the past, I liked going for long walks.. Nowadays, just going on errands can push me to bed for 2 or 3 days until I’m up on my feet again, but not for too long alas most of the time (again I’m not willing to be pitied, and I’m far from being the only one to be afraid to go on errands just because of the consequences. It’s a very common problem among those who suffer chronic pain, and again I just use my own experience to my argumentation). But the physicians still don’t understand. A lot of people suffering from chronic pain cannot exercise, because pain and exhaustion basically come from physical activity. But still, the physicians’ speech is : “The solution is to go to the gym! The more muscles you will build, the more your pain will ease!” They do not understand and are stuck in their rigorous, religious and obsessive views, not willing to know that the reality is more complex than their black and white schemes… I’m not saying that building muscles is not a solution when you have chronic pain of any origin, but how, in this case, can the poison can be the remedy, especially when you don’t have the adequate medication to chemically ease your pain (although chronic pain never completely goes away), or when your body just can’t stand painkillers? I also remember a word from one of my physician: “When you have free time, you must sacrifice your hobbies to go to the gym.”
      Yeah, no thanks. Because the more you will force yourself into something you feel is not made for you, the more you will eventually push yourself to the edge of sanity. Personally, if I can ever go back to work, walking everyday from home to workplace will be enough exercise. But, if I listen to the physicians, no, it will not be enough, and after work, I will just have to go to the gym. This is madness to me.
      Also, chronic pain has already taken me so much, that I am not willing to give up my hobbies when I have free time and when my mind is clear enough. But it seems that nowadays, the simple fact of walking is no longer sufficient. As if walking was not already physical activity.

      Human being is basically irrational, and need self-construct beliefs in order to live his absurd condition. What does our modern obsession to eat healthy and go to gym even if we don’t like it say of us? That we believe that we’ll live longer and pain-free just because we dutifully respect our diet and exercise time. But there is no certitude. Some people smoke and drink and eat junk-food everyday and they die at an old age, and they don’t feel like they are unhealthy. Some other people do everything they can to be healthy, and a cancer kills them at a young age. Genetic lottery, maybe… What my chronic pain coming from nowhere has taught me is that it’s dangerous to rely on self-righteousness, and that we sometimes suffer for no reason, and that the solution to end this suffering might be out of reach. Through centuries and milleniums, we have not changed and we are still religious creatures, despite the fact we think we live in an atheistic world: we still believe that we will be rewarded if we dutifully perform obsessive and compulsive rites. And that we will be doomed if we don’t (in fact, I do not judge this tendancy: as I said, I have an OCD condition, and I know what it is to perform obsessional tasks to illusorily ease a neverending irrational fear. A fear of death, a fear of disease, a fear of nothingness…). True, the rites change through the times, but not the fear attached to them. This is why I think, like Joseph, that we should first listen to ourselves and follow our path, though it’s not easy to determine what our real path is. If you want to go to gym, then go. If you want to but cannot at the moment, then don’t go, and don’t feel guilty neither. It’s just not the moment. And, if the moment never comes, then it means that maybe, it was a false desire. Being 100% healthy is impossible to anyone. We must try our best to be healthy, but it is not a guarantee. That’s why we also must respect our own limitations and not feel guilty if we don’t (really) do what society tells us what to do. Because excess seems to be the paradigm of our society. And the will to be healthy must not become excessive.

      Well, I’ve been typing in English for 3 hours now, my mind is like potato purée and I feel like this message is even less consistent than the first one :) .

      • I owe you a proper response, but I want you to know that I’ve read both of your pieces, and they are amazing. I’ll reapond when I can. (Also, your English vocabulary is great, if I may say so. Which I just did!)

      • I have a lot of thought on this, not all easy to articulate. People can get obsessed with a number of things but the way that things which need effort are obsessive are less extreme than other low work high reward things. It’s harder to get addicted to gym or reading than TV or binge eating, just because of the physical or mental effort. For sure exercise to its extreme is a form of disorder, as we see with Naru obsessively exercising in episode 4. Most people won’t make it to that extreme but for some its the equivalent of vomiting after a meal. It’s just hard for a human to exercise to the point of damage to oneself without some other factor.

        Generally most physicians are probably right to recommend exercise, but it’s important not to oversell it. Some people just can’t be as active as others, and while getting fit may lead them to a place where they can keep getting fit, it needs to be recommended in a reasonable way. For many simply suggesting a daily walk may be best. It is important for people to do something realistic and maintainable. It’s easy for someone to throw themselves into a hard core workout routine when things go well but abandon it when things aren’t.

        That said I see a cult like obsession with this idea. I did CrossFit for years and over the past year or two I’ve noticed a troubling trend where some who practice it, including the creator of the sport, really talk about it like it’s a cult which can cure any ailment. All things being equal a person who exercises and has a healthy diet is probably better off than one who doesn’t, but you aren’t going to cure every disease with a workout routine. That’s not how the world works. The low hanging fruit are diabetes and heart disease. Mental health is probably next with some benefit. All said no one ever cured cancer or mended a broken limb with a trip to the gym.

        • Thank you for your insight, Adam :) ! I agree with all what you say here, as well as with the comment you posted on April 3.

          I didn’t know CrossFit but, after some research, I found a paper saying, just like you, that it’s creator was selling it as a miraculous method, able to heal absolutely everything. This being said, it’s not only CrossFit that carries this “pharisian” idea of perfection, but all sorts of parallel practices that has flourished during the last decades, trying to fill the normal flaws of scientific medicine.
          There are a lot of ordinary persons that become praticionners of alternative medicines, and, whatever field they have chosen, they are firmly convinced that following the field(s) they chose will cure their customers from any ailment… which cannot be true (well, I guess that some of them are simply dishonest people and, while not believing any single word of what they preach to their customers, do it because their only goal is to not become salary men again… Who, indeed, has ever dreamed of being their own employer?). Those alternative medicines can be a good complement to scientific medicine; but they will not make us completely healthy, neither immortal. Sometimes, they make me think of a secularized sectarianism. But they are good as long as we engage into them with measure and critical thinking.

      • I am very sorry to hear about your chronic pain. I will send prayers your way. If you don’t believe in that sort of thing, just think of it as nice wishes and thoughts coming to you from afar.

        Yes, you bring up good points. The gym is not a solution for all problems, it can help in many ways, but it can also be dangerous, especially when attempted in a haphazard way or with an obsession.
        For me, it has helped a lot, but I have also been injured there from being overzealous or careless.
        The machines can do more harm than good, as I found out when I injured my shoulder.

        I really hope you can walk without pain again soon, walking is such a wonderful release for me and I can imagine how sad that must be to not be able to do it without fear.

        And as for your English, it is always wonderful and if you had never told me it was a second language, I would have never guessed.

        I always enjoy your posts.

        • Saintfighteraqua, I’m late to answer your post, I am very sorry!

          I wanted to say thank you very much for your prayers :) . Prayers are also very important to me. Just like nice thoughts and wishes. I do believe in them; they are powerful yet, if they do not always prevent bad things from happening, at least, they accompany us as a substantial support through the hardship. The prayers add beauty in this world and are here to say that we are never alone, even if we can believe we are when we have to come across the “dark night of the soul”.

          I also wanted to add that both your testimonial, you and Joseph, were really inspiring and motivating. Congratulations to both of you for what you have achieved until now! I really admire people who engage in a self-discipline of their own, regardless of what the others might think of them, though they know they will have to sacrifice their comfort and hobbies. They don’t do that because they are influenced to by outside people, but because it is coming from their inner-self. Personally, I know that this is the kind of testimony I like to read or hear when I’m feeling bad, because people like you are examples I want to follow :) .

          So thank you so much, again, dear friend! I am glad and grateful to know you, great people of Sailor Moon News :) !

          • I’m extremely late with this. I meant to be more in-depth, but then “that” event happened, which I had to deal with. So I’ll give my closing thoughts–this will be my last comment in this article, I swear!

            Thank you all a lot for your kind, inspiring words. :D

            Adam, I still think this post is great and engaging, and I agree with your follow-ups. Anorexia nervosa is a serious, no-joke beast.

            I regret not emphasizing, in my big comment, that exercising, working out, going to the gym, etc., is really not easy. Of course, that’s easier said than done to people across the world.

            Saintfighteraqua: Ah, the McDonald’s body–the McBod. I totally get you, yeah. Nature all the way! I definitely agree with you about the trend. I think a film or show’s art style can get caught in the crosshairs of public opnion.

            Aurélia: I’m really sorry about your chronic pain! That’s unfortunate. :( While SailorMoonNews is the only outlet I know you, I figure you’re a kind, cool person, despite your chronic, difficult pain. I’ve known people who would use any excuse to act like a jackass, but despite having something unfortunate in your life (I don’t have constant pain, but I do have bipolar 2, lol), you do not use it as a reason to be mean-spirited or cruel. And that, to me, is how the *true* strength of a person is measured. ;)

            I may be sloppy with these hasty final words, but this has been an excellent conversation. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the post Joseph. When I was in high school there was another student there who was very into anime. I guess I would say she was the second biggest Sailor Moon fan in the school! She battled with anorexia throughout the whole time I knew her which even landed her in the hospital on a number of occasions. Did her love of anime feed into her eating disorder, did her image of what was thin and beautiful lead her to be interested in anime or is it all too complex than that? Can’t say for sure, but there’s a plausible basis for things like this to be a factor in conditions like this.

      Were Sailor Moon to be a new show today perhaps it would be nice to have a bit more variety in the size of the Sailor Guardians, but it would be awkward to shoehorn that into this existing property.

    • In my mid-twenties I ended up with the dreaded McDonald’s body. I also got to the point where I was getting winded and couldn’t keep up and it made me sad. The fact that some people still wanted me to come along motivated me.

      It finally got to the point where I had to do something and I did it for me as well.
      I was…nervous and skittish of the gym, I am an INFP type so I don’t care for crowds and prefer to do my own thing.
      Thank goodness for headphones! I can daydream and workout all at the same time.
      Now I love the gym, but I still keep to my own corner and keep those headphones in. I go several times a week (results vary) but I will tell you this, if given the choice between a nature hike or a gym trip, I always choose nature (weather allowing) so I know just where you’re coming from.

      I am really proud of you and inspired by your story that you lost that much weight. I admit, there are days when all I want to do is play video games and read or draw, and that’s okay.
      We all need our downtime and we all set our own pace.

      I am thankful to you for sharing your story and I admit I am also a Disney Princess fan. (I am a 36-year-old man if I’ve never stated that before).
      Cinderella is my personal favorite, but I agree that Aurora’s design is just splendid. wasp waist and all.
      And the current trend of hating on the princesses or Senshi for their body types is wrong. They are purposefully stylized and like 0.000001 percent of women can actually achieve that. I’d never expect a woman to reach for such unrealistic standards, but I can see the appeal, especially for cosplayers.
      But there is also a trend in shaming girls who do come close to these standards, which is also sad.

      I am also happy to hear that you didn’t let the bullies win and you did your own thing.
      I hear you, loud and clear.

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