WTF?! Xenical Mindfuck

Published July 27, 2010 by Fat Heffalump

A few days ago, the Awesome Frances from Corpulent shared this video on Twitter:

Have you picked your jaw up off the ground yet?  I watched it several days ago and I’m still completely perplexed by it.

Okay, okay… she wants to be a nun/nurse who holds a bleeding man in her arms but has to be thin to do that?  And be in front of a firing squad with a pencilled on moustache… but can’t unless she’s thin?  And to be a lamb in a den of wolves… but as a fat woman she can’t?

And why has the fat woman got bad teeth?




In case you’ve never heard of it, Xenical is a drug that prevents your body from absorbing fat.  It has side effects like:

  • Oily spotting (uncontrolled anal oil seepage) — in up to 26.6 percent of people
  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain) or discomfort — up to 25.5 percent
  • Gas with a small amount of oil or stool — up to 23.9 percent
  • Fecal urgency (an urgent but controlled need to have a bowel movement) — up to 22.1 percent
  • Fatty or oily stool — up to 20 percent
  • Oily evacuation (bowel movements of just oil, without stool) — up to 11.9 percent
  • Increased frequency of bowel movements — up to 10.8 percent
  • Nausea — up to 8.1 percent
  • Uncontrolled, spontaneous bowel movements (known as fecal incontinence) — up to 7.7 percent.

Now I don’t know about you, but there is NO amount of weight loss that would be worth my suffering anal oil seepage.  Let alone any of the other possible side effects.  I did a Google search on Xenical and came across this page of patient reviews of the drug, and it simply terrifies me.  Orange, foul smelling shit?  One poster actually says “Don’t wear white!”  Take some time to read a few, your jaw will drop even further than it has from watching the above advert.

I really have no words for the medical/pharmacy industry expecting people to actually subject themselves to these side effects in the name of weight loss.  In several of the cases listed in the patient reviews, not only did they suffer terrible bloating, but there are others who have been diagnosed with blood clots, liver damage and colitis… but they didn’t lose a pound.

But back to that advertisement.  What on earth is it supposed to be selling us?  That you can live some kind of exotic avant garde life if only you get thin?

Here’s the thing, take the weird shit out of it.  What does it mention?

Walking naked in the winter snow (though you’re unlikely to see summer snow).  You can do that while you’re fat.

Know real love, and real fear.  You can do that while you’re fat.

In the summer time, to play like a child.  You can do that while you’re fat.

To make love to strangers.  You can do that while you’re fat.

And guess what?  You can even tie your own shoes while you’re fat.  I do it every morning and I’m fatter than the woman in the end of the advert.

Even the slogan at the end “Lose weight.  Gain life.” is a crock – what, you’re dead when you’re a fat person?  Guess what?  If you’re fat, and you’re not dead… you already have a life, you don’t need to gain another one.  Unless perhaps you’re playing Mario Kart or something.

I get the distinct feeling that the makers of adverts like these think that fat people are stupid, that we’ll just buy that horrible product because of some weird arse advert that “inspires us to feel”… well what?

I know what I feel.  I feel like I want to go scrub my brain from the sight of that advert and be glad that I don’t have orange, foul smelling, oily anal seepage.

44 comments on “WTF?! Xenical Mindfuck

  • “I feel like I want to go scrub my brain from the sight of that advert and be glad that I don’t have orange, foul smelling, oily anal seepage.”
    Zing! Love it!

  • Amen. I saw that ad the other day and couldn’t believe a) what it was advertising and b) that they’re pretending you can only do those things if you’re ‘thin’. I wonder if anyone is convinced to try that crap after seeing that. Personally I’m with you, I can’t see a situation where I’d actually volunteer to take that crap.

  • I havent been able to get that advert out of my head. As someone who was daft enough to try Xenical back in the day I can assure you it is no walk in the park let alone one with a pencilled in moustache (or smash-tash as my 3 year old calls them)

  • So the moral of this story is that a firing squad won’t line up for fat people? Is that bad?

    Well, rather thin and executed than fat and alive, I guess …

  • I’m trying to come up with a reasoned criticism of that but all my brain is offering is “The fuck?”

    FWIW, I weigh around 340 and I can tie my own shoes. And don my own fire protective gear. And get on the truck and put out a goddamn fire. And extricate someone from a wrecked car.

    Probably because nothing on me leaks.

    • I’d think that walking naked through the snow would be an activity best-suited to being fat. Seeing as some extra insulation could only be a benefit…

  • This is just a more bizarre and more obvious version of every other weight loss program/product ad. They all assume that you’re suffering from the fantasy of being thin, wherein you’ll become a smarter, more interesting, sexier, more profound person if only there is less of you.

    OTOH, I cannot imagine why standing in front of a firing squad is so attractive to anyone… unless perhaps she’s hoping they’ll regret shooting her when they see and smell her orange, oily anal leakage.

    • Twistie, I see the firing squad scene as not at all thinly veiled hatred of women. Whether it’s by firing squad or death by oily stools, the dominant culture would just as soon we not hang around and bother them anymore.

      • I think you’re bang on their O.C. Line up for that firing range fatties! Thin folk get to draw smash-tashes on their fingers and laugh scoffingly at firing lines.

  • Are they kidding? First of all, fat or thin, I didn’t want to do many of the things she wanted to do anyway and I can tie my own shoes too. If you can’t – get slip ons!

    I’ve known some people who took the drug and ended up running back and forth to the bathroom and being scared of every morsel they put in their mouth. Some of them wouldn’t eat outside of their homes or office so they would always be near the bathroom.

    Why do people do these things to themselves? Is to fit a social “norm” for a small window of time before they relapse back into what their bodies were designed to be. It’s not worth it. It’s so very sad!

      • My parents are on the Weight Watchers kick (for the 200th time) and, of course, since I am way fatter than them….they want me to lose some weight. My mother keeps saying – “well, I won’t say it, you know what you have to do!” Makes me feel like a big fat turd!

        Anyway, sometimes the pressure alone from friends and family, can make you try these things – just so they will leave you alone.

        My dad has dropped 40 pounds in about a month – but, he does that frequently and gains it back. They are only eating 1/2 of what they’re supposed to and I know they’re screwing up their metabolisms. It’s hard to be their much fatter than them daughter because it always looks like I’m not as strong as they are – or quite as self-disciplined. I am just unwilling to hurt myself anymore than I already have. My poor body needs a break from the insanity!

  • My dad takes Xenical because something it contains works in conjunction with his diabetes meds, and he has the whole gross oily stool thing under control. But even he was saying that a lot of people who don’t need it take it just because they want an easy way out to lose weight and his doctor (who is actually pretty good unlike most doctors I’ve dealt with) even said that Xenical easily kills a lot of people because unless you’re on a few really strong multi-vitamins, it will negate any nutrient absorption you get and treats your body like it hasn’t really eaten.

    And no pun intended but I shit you not, the side of the bottle has one of those “dark pants” warnings!

    The only reason why I don’t have as strong of a hatred towards Xenical is because it has some limited uses in helping diabetes patients, like my dad. At least it’s only available by Rx– but I think Alli has the same main ingredient (orlistat) and can be bought OTC because so many people literally shat themselves to death on Xenical bought from shady sources.

    Sometimes I really wonder if these stupid diet products (which are essentially all scams) and Lap band surgery and whatnot– in addition to not being meant to work (or prove success in about 2% of the population) and showing that they’re clearly not giving a shit about the health of fat people (because taking away the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is SO healthy!)….

    …are actually all just a big conspiracy to wipe us off the face of the earth, and/or give us undone staples and oily fecal fling to make life not worth living to just further enforce self-hate.

    • Like a lot of of drugs that have an original intended purpose, that weight loss *might* be a side effect, Xenical is another one that has been misappropriated for the “get thin or die lardarse” market.

      Xenical isn’t the first one that is an effective drug in the suitable doses for another ailment that at weight loss levels and use can be dangerous, painful, life altering with it’s side effects.

  • I was silly enough to try it as well and became really low in vit D (fat soluble ) and other nutrients. Any yes, I got most of the above symptoms. You can buy it off the shelf here in the USA – ridiculous.
    What country is the advert being shown in?- it’s crazy!! –

    I have also read a lot about “fake” Alli being sold online and people being very unwell. It’s disgraceful. I can’t wait until it’s off the market.

    • I don’t think people are silly or daft for trying it to be honest. I think most people who do are sold two lies. The first lie being fat is the worst possible thing in the world and you should do anything to stop being fat. The second lie being that this drug is a) really that effective and b) worth putting up with those horrifying side effects to get any result.

  • So very much like the lap band commercial I saw when I still had cable. You know the one where the girl gets the lapband so she can fly to Paris.

    And this is one of the reasons I am so glad I don’t have television anymore. I don’t have to watch this crap when I’m attempting to watch the news or anything else!.

      • I couldn’t agree more! I watch TV on occasion when I visit family and friends (but we’re usually talking or moving around during commercial breaks) and sometimes at hotels when I have a work thing going on at one. Otherwise, I rely on Netflix and the general web for commercial-free entertainment! Too many annoyances and things that piss me off otherwise.

  • First off, this has got to be a strictly AU campaign, as I’ve never seen this commercial before now and it lacks some of the things that the US demands in commercials for prescription medication – like “see your doctor” and “side effects are” – US prescription medication commercials speak a hell of a lot faster because of all the information they must convey in their allotted time slot.

    With that said….

    That ad is just playing on the fears of the uninformed. They scare some adults but mostly teens… girls who don’t have the eyes that see what we see and only notice the negative they perceive for themselves. They don’t have the tools we do to see through that ad for what it is – a scare tactic.

    I’ve ran naked in the snow – particularly exhilarating if it’s right after 20 to 30 minutes in a traditional sauna. Making love to strangers is high risk activity and even skinny people should think twice before indulging in. Highly suggestive, highly over done advertisement that does nothing to highlight the good/bad/ugly of the actual product.

    I’m bigger than the “fat girl” they have there, I can tie my shoes with the best of them and do anything else they’ve mentioned.

    May their highly stylized ad campaign return to take a big wet bite out of their pasty white asses.

    • It’s a New Zealand campaign. I don’t think it’s ever aired in Australia.
      Here, they are not allowed to advertise pharmaceutical drugs by name at all. So our Xenical ads were all ‘if you’re really fat and hate yourself, go talk to your doctor, wink wink nudge nudge’.

      I wonder if this is one of those situations where the ad company want to win an award to raise their profile, so they shoot a really weird and expensive ad that will appeal to judges and just buy a few slots to air it. More about selling the company than the product? That’s frankly the only explanation I can come up with for why something so full of obvious fail was even made.

  • I hear that after you watch this ad, you have seven days to lose 30 pounds or you DIE.

    Seriously, it’s like the fucking “Ringu” of weight loss ads.

    I believe this ad is actually listing its side-effects. 0:17 is all about anal leakage.

    And that creepy child? Seriously? It reminded me of the psycho dwarf at the end of “Don’t Look Now” (spoiler ending, but you get to see the creepy dwarf).

    I’m guessing whoever directed this was having some sort of Xenical-induced hysteria. That was fuuuuuuuuuuuucked up.


    • I also loved the line “To think like a martyr.” Because taking Xenical is practically becoming a martyr for weight loss.


  • I often have back pain that makes it difficult to tie my shoes and I’m only mildly overweight. Back pain sometimes prevents me from wanting to tie my shoes, but I manage. Weight isn’t a factor. I’ve had such pain when I was in the normal weight range.

  • That ad is so ridiculous I can’t even put it into words.

    And do people really think about this drug before they take it or do they just get so worn down and desperate to lose weight they don’t care? It stops your body from absorbing fat so where do you think that fat is going to go?


    D: omgg

    • Many people are so desperate to follow the party line of “Get thin at any cost” they are willing to buy into that kind of crap to try. And get orange, foul smelling, oily anal seepage.

      We, as people who don’t buy into that are the anomaly in our culture.

  • So, I see we’ve by-passed subliminal advertising for trying to influence peoples minds directly. And failed miserably.

    Seriously, this is one if the weirdest Ads I’ve ever seen. I mean it’s not even appealing. Dark, dank, somewhat disturbing. Are they trying to scare or creep people into using their product? It fails at creating desire, it fails at piquing interest, it fails at intrigue, it fails at ‘Art House edginess’. This wouldn’t even make a good plug for Goth Nose-ring Polish, much less as an ad for better-weightloss-through-chemistry.

    It would seem, to me, that SOMEBODY is desperate for ways to increase their marketing niche. Unfortunately it would appear that writing commercials while munching magic mushrooms and getting way too high on your own, chemistry-set, supply does not, a good marketing strategy, make.

    • his wouldn’t even make a good plug for Goth Nose-ring Polish, much less as an ad for better-weightloss-through-chemistry.

      I agree with your points to a T, but this part made me laugh hysterically!

      I wish the madness would stop though. If these assclowns were really so concerned with peoples’ health, not fitting into a beauty standard, they’d spend time eliminating manipulative advertising and eliminating hatred and body shaming from our society and stopping freakin social injustice rather than making people feel like shit…

      …and creating drugs and “cleanse” products that literally make you shit your pants. That’s what “cleanse” really means, “it’s not a miracle, it’s a marketing gimmick called pooping.”

  • “The only reason why I don’t have as strong of a hatred towards Xenical is because it has some limited uses in helping diabetes patients, like my dad. At least it’s only available by Rx– but I think Alli has the same main ingredient (orlistat) and can be bought OTC because so many people literally shat themselves to death on Xenical bought from shady sources.”

    You’re correct about the ingredients. Xenical is the same drug as in Alli, but double the dose. The Xenical pills are 120mgs, Alli ones are 60 mgs.
    I tried Xenical back when it was prescription only. I lost 17 pounds, but it made me nauseous a lot of the time. I became incredibly paranoid about eating anything with fat in it, because of the side effects. Basically, it scared me into eating a better diet. So I guess you could say it worked. But I got tired of eating saltines, ginger tea, ginger beer all the time for the nausea and quit taking it.

    • Ack! Those reasons alone are why I would never take it unless it was to correct a life threatening or altering problem, like how it works with my father’s diabetes meds. He’s been taking it since 2001, long before commercials for it appeared let alone the trippy one above.

      But if someone wanted Xenical that badly and couldn’t get a doctor to prescribe it/didn’t want to hit the black market, they could just buy a fuckload of Alli.

      This is also why I despise the disgusting, unregulated diet industry– it leads to intentional drug abuse that doesn’t get looked down upon the way that painkiller addiction gets looked down upon.

  • I used to take this whenever I ate out. And it was horrible. It feels disgusting, smells disgusting, is disgusting. And it did squat for my weight.

    The commercial was very threatening. The blood, the masks. Very creepy. Things bubbling up and melting away. Not cool.

    That lady in the commercial was beautiful. As she sat on her bed, I saw myself, only I’d be smiling, happy, and tying my own damn shoes! And if I couldn’t I’d buy myself some fabulous slip-ons and then go out and know real love! DAMN IT! You don’t NEED shoes to walk naked in the snow or surf, in fact, shoes would ruin it! GO! GO, beauties fat and thin walk naked in the snow and in the surf and be natural, wonderful, as you should be. I implore you. You don’t have time to hate yourself and THEN go do the things others only read about. Go. Do them now!

  • Honestly, I’m not surprised by this at all. Horrified and disgusted, but really not surprised in the least. It reminds me of something I wrote a while back when my sister was trying to get into a medical study so she could get WLS for free since her insurance wouldn’t pay for it. I was having a hard time trying to respect the fact that it was her body to do what she will with while articulating how very dangerous WLS can be.

    This is how I thought before FA. This was seriously my exact thought process. “I cannot know real love until I am thin. I cannot know real adventure until I am thin. I cannot have an exciting life until I am thin. I cannot be an activist until I am thin.” and on and on and on. I would wish for, what I called “just a month or two of anorexia” just so I could get to a “normal” weight. And if I died because I got carried away in my attempts to get thin? At least I would die thin. At least I wouldn’t have to be fat anymore. I tend to consider my past penchant for starving myself less of a reflection of any supposed mental illness and more of a direct result of growing up overweight in a fat-phobic society. Anyone who says fat-hate doesn’t exist is living under a rock or being willfully ignorant. The desire to be thin, sometimes, at all costs, isn’t just all “part of being a woman” and it isn’t in people’s heads. We are taught from the time we can understand complex sentences that when you’re thin you can be anything. When you’re fat you have to lose weight first.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself, Library Lady. Almost everything in those “lose weight now, take back your life!” campaigns? Are all things I already do. I’m working on my Master’s degree, have wonderful friends, and a pretty good dating life.

      But because I’m 250 pounds people seem to think I’m just a “drainin’ mah tax dollars” fattie. Like I fucking hate it that these people at my gym not only think it’s pointless I keep going when I’m not losing any more weight, but that fat people don’t have freakin lives, like jobs, friends, bands, families, etc.

      That is oblique fat hatred to me. Indeed, anyone who says fat-hate doesn’t exist is living under a rock.

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