DIET POP CULTURE – The Playgirl workout, a.k.a. “sweaty dudes with mustaches.”

Because I have a sick fascination with all things related to diet culture, I figured I would start posting ridiculous bullshit on my blog periodically. (I mean, ridiculous bullshit other than me talking.)

And I don’t intend these posts to come from a place of pure derision and bitterness, but actually just because I think this shit is funny, and some of it makes me feel nostalgic. I must admit to you now that I have a soft spot for old aerobics videos.

Let’s call this a semi-regular feature, and we’ll pretend like this is a real blog or something, okay?

So, my favourite exercise video of the day comes from the unparalleled genius of Everything is Terrible. Enjoy.


Diet Pop Culture is a humourous look at the inherent ridiculousness
of various weight loss plans and contraptions, past and present.
Because laughing at shit is sometimes the first —
and always the funniest — step in critically analyzing
our culture and media.

You are extravagantly welcome to share your favourite bits of diet pop culture in comments.

This entry was posted in Diet Pop Culture. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted July 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    That’s bloody brilliant.

  2. Carolyn
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    THIS is what they think women want? Ugh. Yeah all Women want to be romanticized by “hunks” with a daddy complex and a porn-stache. Double Ugh!

    Okay – getting past that – I loooove Richard Simmons. What can I say. It’s a vice. LOL And I know he wears some crazy getups, but I have a lot of respect for the amount of work he’s done for the health of people that are fat and that society would rather pretend don’t even exist.

    Okay theres my .02 cents!

    • Posted July 19, 2009 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      I also have a soft spot for Richard Simmons. It’s my shameful secret.

  3. Anoif
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Thank god the days of short shorts and heavy mustaches are over.

    • Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Not in my house, they’re not!

      Okay, yes they are. Maybe I just wish they weren’t.

  4. Posted July 19, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Oh God that would have to be the creepiest thing I have ever seen!

  5. Posted July 19, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    teh hair. it wuz so big! my eyes. they hurtz.

  6. Trabb's Boy
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Okay, I got to the second wink before desperately hitting the pause button to avoid dying of embarrassment. How did men ever get laid in those days?

    The only thing I have to share is a link to the awesome Candyboots’s Weight Watcher’s Recipe Cards circa 1974, for the few who haven’t had the experience:

    • Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Oh, I love those Weight Watchers cards. Truly an internet classic.

    • Carolyn
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink


      ???? Seriously? I think I threw up just a little. . . .

      • Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Yeah…it’s a mousse that looks like cerebral cortex. And an invitation to swing.

    • Travelgurl
      Posted July 21, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I am de-lurking to just say I still have tears running down my face and I can barely stop laughing to type this. I haven’t laughed that hard in such a long time. This was my favorite:

      Thank you!

      Oh, and Michelle, much love for all you do, I love it here. Also, I love the porny workout video. I now know what I will have playing on a loop at the next mustache party (on international mustache day, none the less).

  7. JennyRose
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Come and knock on our door…. The first thing I thought was porn stars attempting to go legit.

  8. deeleigh
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Okay, okay. But, diet culture and fitness culture aren’t exactly the same thing. Fitness culture can be funny as hell, but ideally it’s about building up strength, flexibility and endurance – not about starving yourself. In my view, strengthening your body = good. Starving your body = bad.

    I took actual aerobics and step classes for years – while involved in fat acceptance. I avoided anything with negative body talk and anything that talked about dieting (so never, ever went anywhere near stuff that was aimed at fat women). That said, I LOVED the Cher step video, and I’m sure it’s good for a laugh or two – but I can’t find a clip of it online.

    And, I know know how you love Richard Simmons, Michelle, but my sense of irony just doesn’t stretch that far. He’s just one long, inexhaustible cringe.

    • Posted July 19, 2009 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Actually, yeah, I don’t have much against fitness culture, per se, except when it’s focused on weight loss. OR BLATANTLY RIDICULOUS, like this video.

      And don’t you talk that way about MY BOYFRIEND.

  9. Posted July 19, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Seriously, though. I spent years sifting through the fitness culture for stuff that was fairly positive and that didn’t focus on weight loss, “fat burning” and that kind of thing – because exercise/movement/whatever you want to call it made me feel good and strong and happy with my body, and food restriction/weight obsession/diet culture made me feel horrible.

    When I was first involved in fitness and felt like I needed something to follow, I ended up with a lot of very dance-focused material. I was willing to put up with some talk about “body sculpting” but that’s where I drew the line – between “body sculpting” and “fat burning.” Isn’t that funny? Visualizing an attempt to, say, make my arms “more toned,” I could accept – firm, 16″ diameter arms – what’s not to love? Visualizing movement as a way to (attempt to) remove every ounce of fat from my big, nicely shaped body felt wrong, though.

    Judging from the bodies of most of the women on the exercise videos, it seems likely that they had that as a goal. But, as long as they didn’t talk about it and I liked the video, I was okay with it. Actually, Karen Voight was probably my favorite, and she was very lean. Then she got breast implants and just looked like a freak. But, at least she didn’t talk about weight loss.

  10. Posted July 19, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or did that line of smiling faces at the end creep anyone else out, too? It looked somewhere in the hideous intersection of porn film post-coital glow, worship at a cult, and people who have never taken drugs pretending to be high.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m going to be giggling over this the rest of the day.

    • Posted July 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Actually, I think that was my favourite part. Especially the way guy #2 is blatantly eyeballing the woman next to him.

      • deeleigh
        Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        and both the men and the women are notably unattractive, IMHO. Bleached, scrawny, and stiff.

        I was thinking back to the 1980s, asking myself “Did I ever think men like that were attractive?” And the answer is “no.”

  11. Posted July 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    My favorite/most cringeworthy aspect of diet pop culture is the branding of food with “weight watchers” or “south beach diet” or “slim fast” — whatever those foods are, I run in the other direction. If a food is marketed as part of a particular diet (not necessarily stuff that is geared for people with diabetes — although that can be weird, too) really makes me suspect of the food.
    My sister bought me a “south beach” brand bar-type thing, because I asked her for something like that without any dairy or lactose in it (I like to have some of these at work for emergencies) and it was actually really tasty, but I never would have bought it myself because of the brand on it.
    The idea of weight watchers desserts and slim fast candy bars just make my stomach turn.

    • deeleigh
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Me too. I hate looking like I’m on a diet. The only diet product I’ll buy is diet pop. Don’t know why…

  12. Meems
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear God no.

    I can handle a lot of the exercise films, but I don’t really like my exercise sexualized to this extent. It sort of looked like there were going to have an orgy after…

    • deeleigh
      Posted July 19, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Oh god. Please don’t put that picture into my mind.

  13. Carolyn
    Posted July 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    is it just me or do the women look incredibly unhappy? Maybe because they’re being eyeballed by sweaty-short-short-wearing mustaches next to them!

    Okay – and the second thing is they end by saying “This is probably the best thing that you have done today.” Really? truly? That just makes me cringe. Why do exercise videos need to do this back-handed pat on the back thing?

  14. Jenna
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    “every women deserves a great body”

    oh no! Does that mean if I do a lot of winking and bum wiggling and can-can kicks I too will grow a big porno ‘stache and bad 70’s hair.

  15. Posted July 20, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    That winking guy was really creepy. The hetero assumptions and standards were just disturbing. The lusty looks at the end made me laugh.

  16. caffeineadddict
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I wonder how people will look back on the clothes we wear today? Hopefully not in the way we are looking at this video

  17. Posted July 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


    Let’s hope those fashions never, ever, ever make a comeback!

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