The popularity of weight loss drugs skyrocketed in 2023 due to their ability to produce significant results relatively quickly. 

Ozempic was one of the leading weight loss drugs that surged in 2022 and remains in high demand. At one point, there was a shortage of the weight loss drug as those looking to shed pounds went on a buying frenzy. That shortage had a profound impact on the people the drug was originally created for, diabetic patients, who could no longer find Ozempic in stock. The drug was created to help those diabetic patients control their blood sugar levels.

While Ozempic made the rounds on social media, it was with celebrities where the drug really boomed. “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” reality star, Heather Gay, shared in an interview in March about her use of Ozempic. In a candid moment, Gay spoke about the negative social pressures of being in the public eye and how her inner “Housewife” circle led her to experiment with the drug. 

Gay, who has previously championed body positivity, mentioned how she now believes that “body positivity was a big lie because it’s better not to be overweight.” She said her view changed after being complimented more for her current thinner appearance.

The body positivity movement revived between 2008 and 2010. Body positivity focuses on empowering people to accept all body types, regardless of their sizes and shapes. Its revival initially stemmed from the fat acceptance movement in the 1960s. The fat acceptance movement’s goal was to end discrimination against obesity. 

As social media developed in the mid- 2000’s, the advocacy shifted. Tumblr, Facebook and other social platforms had an uptick in online chatter, where groups of Black women and women of color would vocalize the inadequacies they faced. Then, plus-size influencers rose in 2012, and the #bodypositive movement was rebirthed.

Ozempic and other weight loss drugs that followed have since challenged the body positivity movement. Experts have been critical of these medications for undermining the progress made in combatting fatphobia.

These weight loss drugs exacerbate the hatred of fat bodies, reinforcing the roots of fatphobia. The outside pressures of promoting “thinness” with these medications are harmful to the body positivity movement.

As the social frenzy continues for weight loss drugs, the body positivity movement could be hindered.