The Big, Bad World of Bogus Fitness Products Promoted on Instagram

This is what snake oil looks like in the 21st century.


A girl’s got to make a living. We get it. Fit celebrities and models are making millions off sponsored Instagram posts, costing companies anywhere from $5,000–$25,000 per post. That kind of money would be enough for make the best of us put on our tightest knickers and smile sweetly while striking a pose with an unsavory product we may or may not use.


Even A-listers are cashing in on this seemingly way-too-easy method to make bank. Ahem, we’re looking at you Britney!


While there are endless ways to sell your soul on social media, these celebrities are taking advantage of one of the easiest paths—product endorsement. But before you shell out your hard-earned cash in hopes of achieving a waist like Khloe Kardashian or hair like Kim, do your research and remember, not everything that glitters is gold.

1. Fit tea


Earlier this year, the Kardashian-Jenners were among a slew of celebrities who seemed to really, really love Fit Tea. Although there are often blurred lines over celebrity product endorsements, it seems like the Federal Trade Commission is cracking down on Instagram-sponsored content.

The posts now must include a #sponsored or #ad hashtag to indicate the celebrity has either received a free product or financial compensation for the oftentimes imperceptible plug.


Does this mean tea isn’t healthy? Of course not. Tea has long been touted as a heath drink for being chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients. But is “Fit Tea” worth the $45 price tag for a “28-day Detox?”

The Amazon reviews range from one to five stars—the majority being on opposite ends of the spectrum with few in between.


Love it or hate it, make sure to take your “Fit Tea” with a grain of salt.


2. Waist trainers


Old-school 90s fashion trends like chokers and crop tops are back in a big way, but waist trainers? You’ll have to go back 100 years when this contraption was better known as the corset. Women tightly laced the corset to create an hourglass figure until 1917 when the United States asked women to stop buying them in order to free up metal for war production.

But now corsets are back and tighter than ever with a serious celebrity following. Search #waisttraining on Instagram and you’ll turn up nearly 1 million posts—the majority centered around the increasingly popular waist shapers. Who wouldn’t want to whittle their middle with minimum effort?

Behind their newfound popularity is everyone from the Kardashian Klan to Lindsay Lohan and mother of two—Jessica Alba.


But before you cinch in to “lose fat and inches from your waist,” consider the dangers of waist training. Experts agree you are compressing your internal organs, which can lead to digestive issues and possibly even rib damage.


Additionally, while this cute, little, instant hourglass device may act like a pair of Spanx on steroids, your waist is naturally going to return to its usual shape after you take the garment off.

There’s a reason Cathie Jung has to keep her corset on for 23 hours per day to maintain her 15-inch waist—despite having “trained” it for over 42 years. Thanks, but no thanks.

3. Hair gummies


When gorgeous women with mermaid hair are promoting cute and delicious vitamins called “SugarBears” it’s tempting to jump on the blue bandwagon and gobble them all up.


But Goldilocks was right about things needing to be “just right.” Although these un-bear-ably cute teddies are given a four star review on Amazon, more than a handful of critics reported the sugar bombs in disguise caused them to break out. The main ingredients in these $32.99-for-a-monthly-supply-vitamins are glucose syrup and sugar.

High-glycemic foods are known to cause acne, and who wants to sacrifice flawless skin for better hair? For price savings sans sugar, suck it up and swallow a multivitamin with Biotin.

Read on for three more overhyped Instagram products.

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