The weight loss juggernaut formally known as Weight Watchers wants “everyone” to be included, and thus has announced a more politically correct name change to the more discreet “WW,” indicating a shift in focus from “weight” to “wellness.”
Weight Watchers CEO and President Mindy Grossman announced on the TODAY show Monday morning that the company is “moving to ‘WW’ to be the global marque of wellness for everyone, beyond just weight.”
While the name change might be commercially smart — widening (no pun intended) the net for potential clients — it’s clearly done in the same pitch as fat activists who incorrectly claim weight has no real bearing on wellness and health.
In fact, Weight Watchers was recently on the receiving end of severe scorn for their focus on “weight,” a seeming push towards their latest change. As reported by the BBC, “Earlier this year, Weight Watchers’ decision to offer free membership for the summer to teenagers, sparked an outcry from eating disorder groups, with a hashtag #wakeupweightwatchers quickly gaining ground.”
There have also been frequent campaigns, perhaps well-intended though wrongheaded, by fat activists, indignant keyboard warriors, and B-list celebs for focusing on “weight” at all.
“[S]ocial media campaigns such as the #iweigh hashtag have become popular,” notes the BBC, adding, “The campaign, started by ‘The Good Place’ star Jameela Jamil, encourages others to look beyond their weight, and instead to count other ‘measurements’ in their life such as your ‘three best friends’ or your ‘one loving sister.’ The iweigh Instagram account now has 153,000 followers.”