Jack O’Brien interviews Arrakis Therapeutics founder/CIO Jennifer Petter, one of the few openly trans leaders in biopharma, about how the biopharma industry can advance the struggle for LGBTQIA+ progress. Marc Iskowitz catches up with MM+M’s editor-in-chief, Larry Dobrow, who’s on location in Cannes this week, for his impressions of the Lions Health and Pharma award winners and other observations. Music by Sixième Son.
Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.
Iskowitz: It’s Pride Month, an annual month-long occasion where LGBTQIA+ members and allies celebrate and remember the history of the community, which has been marked by the long, steady struggle for progress.
Of note, few issues in modern America are more polarizing and divisive than those surrounding the transgender community. Despite accounting for 1.6% of the U.S. population, the trans community has been the subject of countless restrictive legislative proposals across the nation as well as several corporate boycott efforts, Target and Bud Light among them.
Where the pharma and biotech industries fit into this contentious dynamic is worth examination.
Healthcare is not an industry known for pushing a particularly progressive agenda on the whole, but does stay abreast of the changing tides in a diverse nation.
Notably, in 2015, nearly 400 companies signed an amicus curiae brief in support of marriage equality. Several prominent healthcare companies, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer were among the signatories.
This is why, in light of strenuous anti-LGBTQIA+ challenges in statehouses nationwide, there is a clear burden on health and wellness companies to push back on behalf of LGBTQIA+ employees and patients.
To that, this week’s guest is Jennifer Petter, Ph.D, the founder and CIO of Arrakis Therapeutics. Petter is also a trans woman, one of the few openly trans leaders in the pharma and biotech space.
Petter weighed in with her thoughts regarding the ongoing debate around trans issues in America, where LGBTQIA+ progress stands, what the industry has done on that front and where there is room for improvement.
And with the Cannes Lions Health + Pharma awards announced earlier this week, we’ll have a dispatch from ‘Our Man in Cannes,’ MM+M’s editor-in-chief, Larry Dobrow, who’ll give us his impressions on the winners and all the latest gossip from the Palais.
O’Brien: For this week a supplement that has Jennifer Aniston is a spokesperson is going through a voluntary recall Durex says, it’s about ducking time and the Summer Body trend on tiktok has pros and cons to it.
Iskowitz: I’m Marc Iskowitz, MM+M’s editor at large and welcome to the MM+M Podcast, a medical, marketing and media show about healthcare marketing writ large.
Fitzpatrick: Hey, sorry for the interruption. This is Bill Fitzpatrick senior producer of podcasts for Haymarket. Media us the parent company of mmm. I just wanted to tell you about the opportunity you have to reach our audiences your potential customers in a unique way with a high quality highly informative custom podcast or audio ad produced by the creative team here at Haymarket myself included contact our business development manager. For more information Andrea Tomlin at Andrea dot donlin at haymarketmedia.com. That’s Andrea dot donlin spelled Dion at haymarketmedia.com or send her a text at 917-838-6624. That’s 917-8386624. She’ll get you all the information you need now back to the podcast.
O’Brien: Hi there, and welcome to the mmm podcast. My name is Jack O’Brien the digital editor at mmm. I am pleased to be joined by a very special guest today Jennifer Petter, founder and CIO of Arrakis Therapeutics. I know the last time that we spoke it was on it was actually during pride month last year and we were talking at the time about the rollout of what we saw as a number of anti-trans legislation across the country and kind of talking about where the industry stands I kind of want to to get a baseline for the conversation with your thoughts on you know, the external pressures facing the trans community and we can get into maybe where Farmers role is involved in that. I’m curious what you think as one of the few openly translators in the industry in terms of maybe how things have I want to see evolved but how things have developed since maybe the last time that we we spoke.
Petter: Okay, so clearly the sort of anti-trans crusade by certain members of the right wing elements of the Republican party. I have been quite successful in enacting legislation that Expressions their views on topics some of it’s worrisome some of its ludicrous I guess some of it’s both and of course the focus tends to be on the kids and the healthcare provided to kids.
So things seem to be getting worse not better. Although there was an interesting article in their times today about how the red States seem to be getting redder and the blue States seem to be getting Bluer and so for the states that are, you know, more friendly to the transgender Community. Those things have actually gotten more receptive to to our needs rather than less. So there’s a substantial legislative polarization taking place.
As far as the the Pharma and biotech response to this goes, you know, what I have seen is that there that is that it’s been pretty stalwart and support of lgbtq more broadly entrance employees and and other stakeholders more specifically. I only see this in Massachusetts, which is among the blue or blue States. I’m a little less clear on the impact of that farmer biotech stance in the red states that they occupy so that might be kind of interesting things to investigate but I I can’t share much about that.
I guess my my final comment before seating floor for a moment is that I’ve gotten a very involved with Fenway Health, which is kind of at the next health is a health clinic in the Boston area. It’s been around for several decades. It helps to it’s Focus, although they will take any To walk through their door the focus of their Community as many lgbtq community. And so you have this this very special clinic in a city that has become kind of an industry town for Farmer and biotech and occasionally seeing patients that come from Red States who need who needs some attention. So interesting things are developing here and I hope hope that the developments are positive.
O’Brien: It’s interesting to hear you talk about kind of the role of Fenway Health and obviously, you know Boston’s role in the healthcare industry you’d mentioned last year and we had spoken that the the broader farm and Biotech Industry isn’t necessarily more Progressive than say other sectors are but it’s not necessarily, you know, pulling back either. So it’s interesting to hear you talk about them still being a stall where it’s support obviously in the face of anti-trans legislation and I would say even some of these brand challenges too. We’ve seen what’s happened with the likes of Bud Light and Target who have somehow it ended up into these culture wars and they are taking backlash. I wonder if that factors in it all when it comes to a brand calculation for some of these companies.
Petter: I’m going to venture into areas where I just have the same observations everywhere else does but the couple of the companies you mentioned. There are consumer product companies where there’s a certain overlap between the identity of the products the identity of the company and the identity of the consumer and if the consumer doesn’t see themselves in the product, they will be disinclined to buy that product and I think that’s a particularly challenging and that can cut both ways. Like if you have a target a product like Bud Light which may brand more towards some red State, you know, sort of a key part of their their demographic whereas there are other products that will trans towards say the Northeast and California maybe and you know, the thing is you can’t Jerry Lander the consumer Market, you know, I mean, you just sort of have to take the numbers where they get and each party. in that market can get a little surprise now and then attack.
Not really a consumer market for the most part even OTC. There’s this sense of the thing is what it is and you need this medicine and particularly for for prescribed drugs. There’s the intermediary of the physician and the reimbursers and hospitals and other institutions that there’s less identity with those products. And so I think it gives the form of Biotech institutions a Freer hand to respond to the needs of their employees and other stakeholders and less of a need to appeal to a consumer. I know, you know, there’s direct direct to Consumer advertising which may be slowly changing that but I don’t know how to calculate that.
O’Brien: I’m curious too when you talk about the support that these organizations have for their Workforce. I mean, it seems to kind of mirror what we see in the country over the past 20 to 25 years where there’s been a greater recognition of say the lgbtqia members that are in these organizations. The challenges and the needs that they face with from your own perspective. How have you seen that Evolution take place in Farmer? Maybe it’s some of the companies you’ve worked at.
Petter: Let’s be clear that in in most of those past years. I was very much not out. And so I was not sort of testing the waters there as I’ve it’s my only my own personal experience has all been inside of the company that I have right here, which is a racist Therapeutics and that’s been uniformly positive. I do talk now more a lot of acquaintances and friends in other companies in at least in the Boston area some of them biotech some of them Pharma and you know, there’s a range of responses.
Sometimes the companies are very affirmational and are very sort of overtly supportive and and you sort of get the sense. They’re kind of with you others. It does seem occasionally to be a bit of um, I don’t want to say virtue signaling but you know doing what seems to be appropriate but not really going the extra mile and so you but don’t that means that those companies are in a position where If you work with them, I think you can kind of get them to a better place what we’re not seeing is a lot of just over some opposition or you know antipathy.
O’Brien: Is that something that you ever think that maybe down the line we could progress to seeing companies do that or is that you know, somehow endangered their bottom line they say maybe that’s a bridge too far for us?
Petter: I don’t know the answer to that but I’m going to speculate that. There may be a certain caution and an approaching this and you know, if you just look at the simple calculus, you have to ask look you know, what what is our employee base and that’s our employee base becomes more more out do we necessarily want to to alienate such a large segment of the population? This is an employee base. In fact oddly. I think this is part of what’s going on at Disney is that you know, the creative community.
Um, there’s a lot of lgbtq people on that perhaps even overly overrepresented there. And so I do think that there’s an element of that that influences, you know, how the company ultimately reacts and so I think that there’s the sense that they that the companies in this area want to to turn their backs on their own sort of employee base how out there in front of the issue. They’re prepared to get I think really depends in some cases in the leadership at those companies.
O’Brien: It’s interesting to hear you bring up that point about the workforce. I know in some of the leaders that I’ve spoken with they’ve kind of talked about you know, what we’ve seen out the great resignation and how employees are being more vocal in terms of what they expect from a company and on that topic of lgbtq Rights and support that’s been front and center in a lot of these conversations at least from leaders that I’ve spoken with over the past few months.
Petter: Yeah, I I think the notion that a company can you know demand if you a certain closeted uniformity like we don’t want to hear about who you really are just appear to be. A thing of the past. I mean, let’s hope it’s permanently a thing of the past. But right now it’s the thing of the past and and so you just can’t expect to thrive if you create an environment like that.
O’Brien: I want to ask and this might be a broad question. So I apologize in advance. But if there’s any sort of message that you would send to maybe your peers are fellow leaders in the industry given that this is this interview is running during pride month. And obviously there’s a recognition of the lgbtq community but we’re also at this very pivotal moment in time where so much progress has been made over the past, you know a few decades and so much is still at stake in terms of you know, different segments of the community.
Petter: You know, I think that for for smaller companies, it’s a matter of leadership. Just kind of asking you know, the the employees like what do you think about this? And are we are we doing enough? And are we still there for you? I think in a larger company that that kind of interaction can be tough to establish.
But sometimes it’s a matter of going to your ergs. You know, it’s the CEO shows up in an ERG meeting says trying to catch up here and make sure that we’re not dropping the ball. It would be very positive very positive message and not not to make sure that it’s understood that the ERG is not a stop right that it’s actually something that’s a vehicle for producing some very positive change in the organization. So I think that would be helpful.
O’Brien: And are there any examples on that end? I know that a lot of companies I’ve spoken with, you know, always Herald their ergs there anything at Iraqis that stands out to you in terms of maybe recommendations or actions they put into place?
Petter: We don’t have an ERG as such we do have a deib committee the diversity at equity and inclusion and belonging is how we’ve formulated that and it’s we’ve been getting going on that and and I think it’s helping it’s a nice collection of people in there. We are both touching on things that are sometimes simply sort of, you know, some some token issues which nonetheless matter but also some fundamental issues about how we’re the business practices and the company and sampling what we can do there as well. So and Mike Mike Gilman our CEO has been very supportive.
So I think we’re just learning in this regard. I think that there are in some cases at larger companies. There are better and more formal systems in place and it’s just important that that the leadership on just really Embraces them and and try to bring them into the fold of how the company does what it does.
O’Brien: I imagine those can probably lead to some difficult conversations admittedly for some of these organizations that might have been set in their ways for for years and years on end.
When you start asking questions like well.
You know this vendor that we all use is turned out to be problematic for some reason that we’re very concerned about and yet the vendors important to us. Like how do we navigate that? You just ignore it, you know if you cut off that Fender and and until they mended their ways or you know, do you find some way to bring that vendor?
You know a few inches.
Further into the 21st century, you know, I I so, you know, these are really material issues. Where are the one hand the company in order to exist needs to carry out certain, you know, science technology practices and yet that company is also embedded in a community with us to say The vendors and other relationships. It’s very heterogeneous environment and you have some you know you have some Sway and how how that Community operates but you just need to have that conversation.
Like how what are we gonna do about this? When I that’s that’s an example the conversations we’ve begun to have I’m sure there are other equally meaningful conversations like and how do you recruit people and it’s not enough just to say well these are the people that showed up my door and that constitutes my panel. I think that’s that’s a start that’s not an end. Right and you have to go out there and and start banging on the pipes to make sure the pipeline is getting people to that. You need to look at to your door. So this new ways of thinking about these problems that can be challenging but it’s worth having those conversations. I think that will ultimately be how we get to move forward.
O’Brien: I really appreciate your time and being able to share these insights on the podcast. I guess if there’s any sort of, you know, parting thoughts you have for our audience when they listen to this in a couple weeks. I know if there’s anything you want to share anything that we’ve talked about.
Petter: I do tend to come back to Fenway Health because those are like my peeps and and I really think there there they’re doing you know, a righteous job there. And in some ways you’re you’re helping yourself. In other words, there’s the levels of involvement in places like family health Boston Children’s Hospital comes to mind as well as the other institutions in the area that you know, this is where your employees go and their children to to deal with these these issues along with all the other usual challenging issues. And I think it’s important to be seeing helping, you know, not just helping the hospitals that that are just plain prominent that that also the hospitals that um and Clinics and and other support groups that are getting it done for this part of your your employee.
Iskowitz: Update from Cannes as we teased in the opener. We have the privilege of having our man and can Larry Dover editor and chief on the ground in France and he’s gonna tell us about you know, his Impressions about the winners and the latest gossip from the Pele as it were but Larry just you know to start off here. What’s the scene like on the ground there?
Dobrow: This is my first time here. So, you know take everything with a big grain of salt but it’s it’s Lively. I’m told by people that sat out the pandemic years. What was what there was during the pandemic Years. Anyway that this is the first year of it being back to what it once was saying you walk around there is no place here anywhere that there are not a lot of people all of whom are wearing a badge around their neck. So it’s it’s a lot. It’s in the best way obviously but it is definitely a lot.
Iskowitz: I was gonna say ask you what the turnout is like but it sounds like it you have a very full, you know group there.
Dobrow: Yeah, you know, the agencies are well represented on a lot of the technologists are well represented. Some of the I don’t want to say Buzz because you know Buzz is so subjective. But you know, I think people are more keen to engage with a Spotify or even a Yahoo than they are some of the more traditional consumer Brands which I find which I found pretty interesting.
Iskowitz: What’s the most unusual thing that you’ve seen there, you know in terms of the you know, the activations you’ve seen or any of the any of the winners.
Dobrow: I don’t know if this is unusual but stagwell’s presence here. They have a their theme, you know, everybody’s booth looks the same everybody’s activations or largely the same stadwell. However has put together a booth with a pickleball court looks like there might be some beach volleyball in there somewhere. It’s like all themed around Sports and it’s kind of awesome. I mean, it’s 80 degrees and somewhat humid. So I’m not sure everybody’s rushing to you know, get a couple of hours in on the court, but in terms of creativity, hey good on stagwell great work.
Iskowitz: Yeah, that’s for those who haven’t made it to can for the International Festival of creativity, which is a preceded by the health and Pharma Awards. Can you kind of describe the scene there, you know basically have this one or two kilometer, you know stretch of the the Promenade there and Justice that all these activations right brand activations cpg Healthcare, you know, what kind of give us some word pictures there.
Dobrow: Oh, man, you’re gonna fill the metric system on the area. It’s a it’s a very short stretch, you know right in front of the right in front of the right side of the beach. Yeah, there’s the ballet which is, you know, the official venue or a lot of the screenings and talks and everything else usually go on we have we’re set up about maybe not thinking about maybe a hundred meters across the street. I got a hundred meters, correct? No, actually it’s less about 50 meters across the street. We’re recording our podcast doing our video. It’s nice to have a little bit of a hub to call your own.
Along the beach. There are the Cabanas, you know that almost became an njoke with people at mmm simply because we kept hearing about these Cabanas and they’re lovely and I certainly like to you know own some of that real estate, but in terms of providing anything that’s useful to a working journalists and maybe not that much. So, um, yeah, you know, every everything is branded. It should be it’s tan lion. I mean, you know, if you’re not gonna use Brands here or else going to use them but it’s it is a very involved environment. I think that’s a good word to use.
Iskowitz: That’s everything is branded. That’s a very good, you know way to sum up can let’s talk a little bit about the winners, you know, we had reported on those that were pronounced yesterday the Pharma lying Grand Prix was awarded to densu creative for scrolling therapy, which you know was an app to help people with Parkinson’s who obviously have trouble to help them while they scroll through social media, but what was in any of the work kind of stand out to you either on the pharmacy side or the health and wellness side?
Dobrow: I think that dancing program on it’s a it’s a wonderful program. It’s worth something worth anybody who hears this should check it out, you know from a perspective of You know who would win who expected to win? I don’t think anybody saw a density coming, um, you know, usually area 23 and a lot of the other firms of that kind sweep up the can gold in this instance. It was intensity with a very unexpected and very Humane. I think program that was given the judges big thumbs up. I’m looking at the short list looking at some of the work. I saw it seems like was a pretty good year for Public’s Health as well. You know, every every holding company was well represented, but it seems like Publius the first time in a good couple years. We really seem to have a have a lot of momentum behind them.
Iskowitz: Yeah. They of course won the Lions Health Grand Prix for good for working with cancer initiative, of course, which was the campaign launched at the world economic Forum which has kind of grew out of a personal effort. But this is CEO Arthur Dune who’s diagnosed with and treated for HPV cancer and early 2022. So you have that.
One and then as cans did number years ago that kind of separated out the health and wellness lions from the farm Alliance, but even within the Lions the farm Alliance itself, you have regulated work and non-regulated work. And so it’s interesting that the the Grand Prix which we just talked about from bensu that scrolling therapy tool was entered into the non-regulated patient engagement category and anything kind of strike your fancy that was kind of more this the standard Straight Ahead branded regulated pharma work?
Dobrow: I’ll be honest. I don’t think anything that was even acknowledged about the most part and again, I’m not putting any words in any jurors mouths, but it seems that there was a almost a conscious choice to move away from a lot of what we see on a regular basis on there was nothing, you know considered for high up awards that you know, frankly fits the mold of traditional quote unquote traditional Pharma. That’s I think that’s good. I think I think the judges are sending back the message of experiment. You know be a little bit bold be a little bit Brave.
Iskowitz: All right. So what else you have on tap for the week? I know we’ve got you a busy with back-to-backs in the Cabana that you mentioned, you know kind of doing activations and and my slipping into moderators chair, but tell us what’s on tap the rest of the week.
Dobrow: Honestly just a lot of conversations one of the things that is taking me a bit of that, you know two of us we’re talking about this before we hit record is that you don’t stop talking and you know, I’m something of an extrovert in settings like this, but at the same time, you know, you’re you’re talking with people when you’re into press Center you’re talking with people when you’re in the elevator you’re talking with people when you’re supposed to be talking with people Mom after this I’ll head out to one or two events and you know, there’ll be more of that and it’s great because everybody here is obviously pretty smart and I think everyone kind of takes this in the spirit in which is intended, you know, nobody’s saying that you know, this is the be all around all it’s a place for a lot of like-minded people come to see some of their own people and have fun and you know, We learn a little bit. So that’s what it is to me, you know, the the idea of it. I’ll probably know about four straight days without shutting up for more than two minutes is uh is the jarring and the great part of this.
Iskowitz: Well one last question. I’ll let you go, you know, seeing that conversation so high on the list there, you know, that’s why we people come to can what is there sort of a theme that you’re noticing on people’s lips, you know or something kind of a new trend emerging or or you know, what’s what’s kind of the Hot Topic that you’re hearing there?
Dobrow: Well, yeah people just as it was when we were compiling our agency 100 people are falling over themselves to talk about AI Without Really knowing exactly what it comprises. Like, it’s great that everybody can play with chat GPT, you know, right an article to talk their people and you know fantasy football league or something, but for the most part the conversations around AI are kind of the hardest ones to have simply because There’s that undertone of well is just going through a place us to me the big Trend that has come out of some of those conversations. Is that okay? Let’s not get existential about this.
Let’s say that you know, AI ultimately is going to help us do our jobs that are it’s gonna it’s gonna automate a lot of the tasks that we really don’t like about what we do and hopefully make some of the stuff that we do like even stronger. So to me, you know, I don’t want to use the obvious answer because ai ai ai it’s all over the place. But those have been in my mind the most interesting conversations. I’ve had over the course of these last couple of days.
Iskowitz: Okay, super well, Larry, make sure you mix the appropriate level of spring water with those Roses to maintain hydration and we look forward to seeing you back in New York next week.
Iskowitz: This is the part of the broadcast and welcome Jack O’Briens tell us what’s trending on Healthcare social media. Hey Jack.
O’Brien: Hey there mark, so we have three stories this week. The first of which is that nearly 60,000 canisters of a supplement Jennifer Aniston promotes have been recalled due to potential contamination vital proteins announced earlier this week that’s voluntarily recalling 24 hours casters of college and peptides powder for fear that pieces of a broken plastic lid contaminated the product.
And since the spokesperson for the Chicago headquarter company, which said the effective cancers were distributed to Costco stores in 20 States and Puerto Rico and sold between April 17th and April 24th last month.
The letter urges customers who bought the supplement in the relevant period to not consume it instead return the purchase to Costco for a full refund. Now, it’s interesting any time that we have celebrities who are throwing their names on things and obviously that’s how it gets into headlines like this, but it’s been interesting over the past few weeks Mark. I’ve had interviews with leaders for vitamin and supplement companies and they always talk about trust and quality being among the Paramount concerns for them when it comes to attracting consumers and I can only imagine that whenever you see recalls like this the damage it has to a brand has to be just incalcuable.
Iskowitz: Yeah. I mean the one good thing for Vital proteins is the fact that it’s a voluntary recall and assuming there, you know looking to get out ahead in front of this thing that seems to be sort of the corporate Playbook and you know, at least they would have that going for them and they’re not going to just kind of wait for you know the way to public opinion to come down on them or
In a situation fit for living in 2023, a longtime mobile phone glitch has sparked a campaign about condoms and intimacy featuring rubber ducks.
This all started last week when Apple caught the general public’s attention by announcing that it was going to fix the autocorrect feature that changes the F-word to “duck.”
Not one to miss out on a promotional opportunity, Durex says “It’s about ducking time!”
The sexual wellness brand, which is a subsidiary of British consumer goods company Reckitt, worked with creative agency MRM NY days after the tech giant’s announcement to launch a real-time social commerce effort tied into “ducking.”
Leaning into the all-too-common word switcheroo, the company has deployed shoppable posts across its Instagram, Facebook and TikTok channels promoting “ducky” art, a cheeky nod to Durex’s condoms by way of rubber ducks.
The direct-to-consumer play kicked off within the past week and since it coincides with Pride Month, Durex is featuring “queer as duck” artwork as well.
Armed with the hashtag #aboutduckingtime, Durex has even rolled out rubber duck-themed promo codes like DOWNTODUCK for its customers.
Iskowitz: Yeah, you know it anytime a condom brand can you know do something to capitalize on a meme you gotta hand it to the the social media managers over there, but it does seem like a nice good tie-in for them and you know kudos to them for jumping on a trend that doesn’t seem to be all that controversial.
O’Brien: Yeah, you talk about the memes they brought that up in their statement where they basically said that, you know, the meme economy is alive and well and you know, I’m sure Apple wasn’t expecting this when they made that announcement, but again good on them for seeing an opportunity to promote the business in any way they can
Iskowitz: Yeah, I wonder why Apple all the sudden decided to fix that Linguistics which are real as you put it in your excellent story.
O’Brien: I’m not sure but I’ve had an iPhone since 2011 and I know that I am far from the only person that’s been frustrated by that that Switcheroo, so I’m glad that it’s come to pass one way or another.
Iskowitz: Right, it’s good to know that our Tech overlords will no longer be censoring our texts.
O’Brien: And for our final story, summer is right around the corner and with it comes more trends on TikTok that encourage weight loss to achieve the vaunted ‘summer body.’
The #SummerBody hashtag on the platform has garnered nearly two billion views – with videos touting diets, workout plans, cleanses, progress pics, salad recipes and pretty much anything else you would imagine that has to do with weight loss.
SummerBody videos often come complete with hashtags like #Fitness or #WeightLoss or #SixPackAbs.
This trend’s viral popularity has caused mostly young users to scramble to achieve their ideal summer body. However, the hashtag comes with pitfalls, as it can trigger people who have eating disorders, encourage unhealthy weight loss habits or fuel body dissatisfaction.
In light of the push and pull surrounding summer bodies, one nonprofit is stepping up its call for more body image protections online.
ParentsTogether, a family advocacy group, has recently called out the trend as “extreme” and “dangerous,” noting it could promote unhealthy calorie restriction and weight loss goals.
The organization added that its researchers spent hours on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram analyzing videos of the trend by using accounts that were registered as a 14-year-old girl. The plan was to see what the average teen may be exposed to.
All of the platforms, ParentsTogether concluded, hosted videos that showcased thin bodies, extreme calorie restriction, unhealthy weight loss goals, plastic surgery as well as unproven cleanses and diet products.
Iskowitz: We’ve all you know seen, you know, our colleague Lesha busheks highlights of the most And tiktok Trends as you said, you know, the beauty trends among them many of which are species to say the least and you know, there was a campaign it was earlier this year or late last year but one of our agencies in our ecosystem, I believe kind of keying in on how you know vulnerable young teenagers teenage girls in particular are to these body Trends on social media and you know kind of looking into exactly, you know, what hashtag, like summer body can bring up and in a lot of the craziness and and downright dangerous practices that are promoted there and so it hasn’t gone unnoticed here and it’s you know, this is yet another example of the danger that it seems like Society is really finally a waking Awakening to and kind of trying to do something about it.
O’Brien: And to that end, Lecia included in her story that the Summer Body Trend that there are users who have pushed back on that and you know have promoted their own, you know body positivity people like people like lizzo who is pretty prolific on tiktok have participated in that but there was one that really stuck out to me where there was somebody talking about their quote unquote Summer Body Trend and it was them, you know eating ice cream or having a sandwich or something and basically kind of promoting the, you know, the regular way that all of us live. It doesn’t have to be eating one almond and calling that your meal you can live a full figured life and enjoy that and not feel bad because you don’t look like a supermodel or you haven’t lost, you know, 50 or 75 pounds. So there is that kind of push and pull it’ll be interesting to see how that develops certainly as you know, social platforms become a little more conscious. I would say of what the effect is on their users.