The Shake Weight & Instant Gratification

By: Isaac

Recently it seems a new craze has come about in the fitness realm of consumer products. Fitting somewhere into the niche of instant results comes the Shake Weight product, another along the line of home gym products that yield quick results, take up little space, and come at a price much lower than a gym membership. Not to mention saving you the ridicule of working out with others, when you can do so in the comfort of your own home.

The Shake Weight much like it’s other similar home gym products i.e. Perfect Pushup and Pullup is marketed through infomercial. Over the course of its two-minute advertisement, the product stresses certain keywords to dig in not only to the pockets but gullibility of the general public. Words and phrases such as, “definition, size, strength, and getting ripped”, are applied in reference to the products results. But what about some real assurance to show this product really works?

Firstly, Shake Weight promises that what is said to be true in the infomercial is “science fact, not fiction”. A leading bio-dynamics research center that remains anonymous proves that a 6-minute workout with a Shake Weight burns as much muscle energy as 42 minutes on dumbbells. Not only that but it’s a “dynamic” product, when considering all its potential comes at a bargain price of $29.99. Now what’s not to like?

Upon seeing this infomercial numerous times when flipping through channels, and now re visiting I notice a lot of correlations to be made with the ideologies of the readings. For instance author J. Storey’s belief from his Guide to Cultural Theory that advertisement , “flatters us into thinking that we are the special ‘you’ of its discourse”, (J. Storey, pg.79). The likely consumer of this product sees instant results and this masculine body builder, which makes them believe they too will yield such results.  After all, if you’re not satisfied its refund guaranteed.

I’m not ashamed to admit I have invested in similar products. I have been a consumer of the previously mentioned perfect Pullup and Pushup. My reasoning for buying these I believe wasn’t so much derived from me feeling I would look a certain way, but I was attracted to its convenience and regimen. In fact with the perfect Push Up product I ended up completing the given workout calendar. Ultimately I had completed the program, but was I truly a product of the commercial? Not entirely. My overall fitness certainly benefited. I was strong for my size and could do more push ups than I ever imagined possible, but that didn’t mean I had the physique of a body builder. Not even close. However I wasn’t too disappointed by this, as I had some relative idea of what results I would yield. What these commercials fail to mention and what should be attained by common sense, is that those endorsing these products are obviously on a strict diet and weight lifting regime that isn’t focused solely on the Shake weight. The Shake Weight and these other products are supplements to a multi faceted regime of dedication and various workouts. However this description doesn’t help sell units, and rightfully so. What we really desire most as consumers are instant results.

Theodore Adorno’s Pseudo-Individualization belief is generally defined as it, “implies production of false identity” (pg. 107).  There doesn’t seem to be a better example of a market that promotes false identity more than home gym infomercials, and more specifically shake weight products.  These products thrive on exploitation and the reliance that the consumer will indeed conform.  They seem well aware that as a society, we crave instant results, as fitness is not only a status symbol but also an integral piece of pop culture.  The average consumer, myself included, considers themselves with such products in hand, to be a beneficiary of Utpopic fitness ideals. They will be elevated to a higher status, as it seems to be a common pursuit of the consumer of such products to emulate celebrities.

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