DIET POP CULTURE – Are those sausage pants or are you just happy to see me?


“Easy to inflate.” Well, thank heavens for small mercies. Otherwise, you might never be able to realize your dream of sporting the WORLD’S LARGEST CAMELTOE.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, there’s also a long version:


ETA: The following is courtesy of Twistie, in comments: Monty Python’s Trim Jeans Theatre.


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
culture and media.

See any stupid weight loss ads this week? Share in comments.






24 responses to “DIET POP CULTURE – Are those sausage pants or are you just happy to see me?”

  1. Diana Leah Wilson Avatar

    I’ve never seen these before – love it!

  2. Atchka! Avatar

    Dear Fat Nutritionist Lady,
    I don’t find one thing funny about this post. I’m wearing my Wonder Sauna Hot Pants right now, thank you very much, and I can feel the pounds melting away.

    Plus, I double as a flotation device, so I’ve got that going for me.


    1. Michelle Avatar

      Is that supposed to impress me? I double as a flotation device just by rolling out of bed in the morning. No sausage pants required.

      1. Atchka! Avatar

        My poor wife, when she goes swimming, has a hard time just keeping her butt below the surface.


  3. Ariel Avatar

    My friends actually have one of these, in the original box, that they found at Value Village. It’s the funniest thing I have ever seen!

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Please tell me they wear them around the house sometimes. Maybe for dinner parties? Please.

      1. Jesse Dangerously Avatar

        Speaking as one of the friends of Ariel’s who owns the Wonder Sauna Hot (short) Pants (although I was referred to this site by a completely other friend, and what should I see on the front page?? crazy!!), I must confess that the only time they have ever been worn is by the gentleman with the Biblical name who posted below this.

        I was out of the room at the time, even, so I was cheated of (or spared) the sight of my girlfriend Audra and our friend Emily taking turns blowing into the tube to inflate them. As exciting as that may sound, however, he has pretty much been a wreck of a man ever since. The party’s final hours ticked past in shameful silence.

        Wonder Sauna Hot (short) Pants ruined our lives.

        We found them at a Value Village in Edmonton, Alberta, and while we were ringing them through we tried to get the cashier to admit that they were the funniest thing anyone had ever seen (“Look at the promise of a brighter future that lives in the eyes of the models on this box! It’s like an army recruitment poster!”), she was too jaded. “I work at Value Village,” she said, “I see this shit all the time.”


  4. Jairus Avatar

    You may mock the Wonder Sauna Hot Pants, but I have worn them, and touched their glory. Trust me when I say that you have not known fear until you have felt them inflate around your most tender parts.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Oh dear. Oh dear me.

  5. Suzanne Avatar

    I wonder if its not that they “slim” you or that anyone will look thinner after you take OFF YOUR INFLATABLE PANTS!

  6. Julia Avatar

    Diet Pop Culture has become one of my favourite features!

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I’m glad, because they don’t require any actual thinking on my part, haha.

  7. Kaitlyn Avatar

    Oh my.

    (A note – I’ve been to your site before, but procrastination and the link at FWD has prompted me to look around.)

    My depression is quite rude right now, making me miserable.

    But it doesn’t take much to put a small or big smile on my face, and those images did it.

    I want pictures of people wearing them, going about their daily life…

    1. Suzanne Avatar

      As they go about their daily life followed by the incessant “squeak, squeak, squeak” of their inflated, plastic encased thighs…

      1. Michelle Avatar

        Yeah, talk about chub-rub…

  8. Twistie Avatar

    Great. Now all I can think of is the old Monty Python skit about ‘Slim Jeans’ which looked remarkably like these, and may, in fact, have been these. They showed a preview for the Slim Jeans production of The Great Escape, in which everyone wore these – including the Nazi guard dogs.

    And then my mind can only wander to the semaphore production of Wuthering Heights and the aldis lamp production of Julius Ceaser.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I just added this to the post. I had never seen this sketch before! Thank you Twistie, you rule.

      1. Twistie Avatar

        Ah, it was Trim Jeans! It’s been a while since I watched it. So happy to have added to your sum knowledge of awesome things. After all, it was the least I could do after you’ve done it for me so often.

  9. Jerome Avatar

    I enjoyed this post. Looking at ridiculous artifacts of diet culture really IS helpful in terms of framing the whole “obseity crisis” and its proposed solutions as a bunch of foolishness. It seems to me that people have tried literally EVERYTHING to lose weight, including things that are plainly absurd (such as these pants), and in 2009 we STILL don’t know how to make a fat person permanently non-fat. Thank goodness for the fat-o-sphere; without it, I would still think that I was the only person who thought all of this was a little fishy.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      One thing I find really interesting about diet/weight loss culture is how history tends to repeat itself. But because there’s a sucker born every day (according to the industry, I mean), a lot of people fall for stuff that already went in and back out of style like 50 years ago. Because, really, who keeps track of this stuff??

      Some of it is just ridiculous and fun, and gives us reason to point and laugh at the stupid or bizarre lengths some people will go to for weight loss — but other stuff might actually help people see that that awesome thing you saw on an infomercial last night and were tempted to try? Yeah, that’s been done before. It all has.

      Really great book for anyone interested in this stuff — Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat by Hillel Schwartz.

  10. Kath Avatar

    What happens when you fart while wearing them? Do they explode? Or just make that awful noise that cheap upholstery does when you move the wrong way on it?

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I nominate you to try this and let the rest of us know how it goes. In the interest of science.

  11. julie Avatar

    Hmm, seems if you farted, it would just sit in there until it could escape? I don’t want to think that one too deeply.

    I don’t read womens mags, not really tuned into pop culture at all, so haven’t been noticing any weight loss weirdness, but seems it’s about that time of year, no? Maybe I’m just not receptive to them, like the nasty diet food commercials on tv. If they’re egregious enough, like those non-fat cheesecake yogurt ads, I’ll notice them. I haven’t even been noticing gym ads, but now I’ll look around. Stupid diet tricks!

    1. julie Avatar

      No, it seems the time of year would be early January, this is too early.