How To Get A Before & After Weight Loss Testimonial Gig?
September 5, 2006 9:43 AM   Subscribe

How do the weight-loss companies choose their before & after spokespersons/guinea pigs for their diet product testimonials?

My best friend is a gorgeous girl who had a lot of modeling success, was in the tabloids a few times a couple of years ago, would be considered a D-E-F list celebrity with a bit of name recognition and prestige among certain circles...due to a ton of stress she's recently gained a lot (50-60 pounds) of weight and now that her life is back to normal she is about to start losing it...she would be a PERFECT spokesperson/representative for one of those diet before & after spots...she has a fantastic figure under all the flab (danced with me professionally and was a bikini model) and could use some extra motivation...does anyone know how they choose the people for those promotional and testimonial gigs? thanks!
posted by citystalk to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
I was in a weight-loss testimonial ad once; I got the gig because I worked for that company and lost weight on the plan that was being advertised.
posted by superkim at 9:54 AM on September 5, 2006

Not to be snarky, but unless you are in a situation like superkim (right place, right time), isn't this what models et al. have agents for? Does your friend have an agent, and if so, have they been made aware of her current situation?

Otherwise I'd say start cold-calling some of the plan's marketing departments.
posted by blind.wombat at 10:09 AM on September 5, 2006

I remember seeing somewhere (I think it may have been on Penn & Teller's "Bullshit" but I am not sure at all) that the before-and-after weight loss models are almost always serious athletes who gained weight because of childbirth or an injury-since they are in such great shape to begin with, losing weight quickly and regaining their muscular, taut physiques is much easier than it would be for regular folks. Most people, if they lost 50-60 pounds in a few months, would look skinny in clothes but terrible shirtless or in a bikini. Anyway, since your friend seems to fit into the quickly-regaining-figure category, I think it's very likely that she could get some modeling work out of this if she sends a few pictures in an email to different weight loss companies-but if she's not actually losing weight with a specific commercial supplement (which is pretty unlikely) or a specific diet program, like Weight Watchers, and she's just doing the classic diet-and-exercise thing, it seems a little dishonest to shill for a company that had nothing to do with the actual weight loss. I know it happens all the time and whatnot and I'm a hypocrite who would probably jump at the chance if I were in the same situation and it paid decently, but still... it's a little icky. It seems like if she wants to get back into modeling and performing, something a little more honest and less skeezy would be the way to go.
posted by cilantro at 10:13 AM on September 5, 2006

One one of those dateline-type shows they actually went further; some companies actually paid the athetic people (usually bodybuilders / wrestlers or others used to gaining and dropping weight quickly) to gain the weight in the first place, then lose it back on their program. Technically that made it a before and after, but shady nonetheless.
posted by true at 10:27 AM on September 5, 2006

Your friend wouldn't be Anna Benson, would she?
posted by spicynuts at 10:35 AM on September 5, 2006

Yes, watch the Penn and Teller's Bullshit about weight loss! They do a whole segment on this.

(As I recall it was finding pregnant people...)
posted by k8t at 10:36 AM on September 5, 2006

Clearly, don't answer that. One thing I noticed about alot of these ads, particularly the ones for weight burn powders or pills, is that in the before picture the person is always slumping and completely relaxing their abdominal muscles. In the post pictures they are always standing at militarly alertness with their chests puffed out, their stomachs sucked in and their wastes turned in a flattering pose. So alot of the drastic differences aren't even due to actual changes in weight.
posted by spicynuts at 10:40 AM on September 5, 2006

lol...nah, not anna benson, though she kinda looks like her. and she left her agent before they found out she got fat...she doesn't want anyone to see her not in top form....and she had a lot of life stresses recently. i love penn and teller...i wish they were on itunes video...
posted by citystalk at 2:21 PM on September 5, 2006

I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just curious about why she'd want to do a before/after if she doesn't want anyone to see her overweight now?
posted by echo0720 at 5:23 PM on September 5, 2006

lol...i think if i presented it to her she'd at least consider doing it for the money/motivation...and i'm just curious...she doesn't know anything about this and when i googled it there was no info so i thought i'd come to my fave place for some answers!
posted by citystalk at 5:41 PM on September 5, 2006

Oooh, okay, I thought she was the one asking.
posted by echo0720 at 7:02 PM on September 5, 2006

According to this post in the blue, you can download Penn and Teller's BULLSH*T for free on google video.
posted by Penks at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2006

whyyy! WHHYY! why did you send me to that link? now i'll never finish my deadline.... :D

thanks...very exciting entertainment!

too bad the one on the diet stuff isn't on there!
posted by citystalk at 12:30 PM on September 6, 2006

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