Tea detoxes – skinny teas, tea-toxes, etc. – are a diet fad that has stuck around like a bad smell for years now, promoting flat tummies and rapid weight loss just by drinking a couple of magical cups of tea every day. Who knew it was so easy?!

Well, most of us know that, actually, it’s not. Almost all of these tea detoxes contain ingredients that work as laxatives and digestive aids which give the illusion of weight loss but, really, just make you go to the toilet all day. Makes sense that you’d loose weight if most of it goes down the loo!

Thankfully, people have started to see the light with these skinny tea diets and many influencers are now urging their followers to avoid like the plague. Loads of the brands that sell these “miracle” teas use celebs with massive online followings to promote them – Khloé Kardashian, Cardi B and Iggy Azalea are just a few recent examples – but, luckily, people are finally fighting back.

An unfortunate side product of this, however, is that some people who have joined the crusade against tea-toxes are directing their frustrations towards, in my opinion, the wrong people.

I’ve been there, in that place. I’ve been that young, insecure teenage girl with serious body image and self confidence issues, battling feelings of anxiety, desperation and helplessness. I’ve seen the ads for these “amazing” tea detoxes, sharing before and after photos with noticeably flatter tummies that I so badly wanted and testimonies from customers who swear they lost 20lbs in two weeks just by drinking a few cups of tea. I fell for it.

All it takes is twenty quid and a couple of cups a day, and all my insecurities would be gone? Sounds too good to be true – sign me up!

Shameless mirror selfie taken somewhere along my recent journey to loving myself.
Shameless mirror selfie taken somewhere along my recent journey to loving myself

When people see a young girl online tweeting about how she’s thinking of trying a skinny tea diet, or posting a photo of her tea-tox haul with a caption about how she’s excited to try it out, a flood of comments soon follow, brandishing her stupid, ignorant, unhealthy, all sorts.

But she’s not. She’s naive, sure, but she’s just another victim of this diet culture. She’s just a girl looking for a way out and falling into their traps. One day – hopefully – she’ll learn to love herself, she’ll realise that these fads are dangerous and looking after her body comes first. But she’s not the bad guy here.

If you want to blame someone, look at the companies that sell the damn things in the first place. Teasing audiences with photos of miraculous weight loss, tempting us with their discount codes and trying to promote products under the facade of health when, in actual fact, they are ridiculously dangerous.

We’ve also got to point the finger at celebrities who are telling their young, impressionable followers that losing weight is apparently important enough to fill your body with laxatives twice a day and worth damaging yourself with quick fixes. I know advertising for brands helps you lot earn that dollar but, please, think about what you’re doing. Think about the times you’ve been in a bad place, when you haven’t loved yourself and would’ve risked anything to help you get out of that funk. Think about that before you propel this kind of bullshit to your fans (or at least be honest, as Jameela Jamil hilariously demonstrates in this parody video).

Young women aren’t the ones to blame here; don’t let the brands trying to sell unhappy people a fake dream and celebs refusing to take on the responsibility that comes with millions of followers get away with it.

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