There are plenty of reasons to get excited about back-to-school season: it's an excuse to buy stationary, get a haircut, or make a few new resolutions. Going on a juice cleanse is not on that list. However, that didn’t stop Pressed Juicery from advertising a limited-time “Back To School Cleanse” on Twitter, and it’s all kinds of problematic.
While scientists claim that detox diets and juice cleanses may not really do anything, that’s not the issue with this sale. As some Twitter users have pointed out, it (perhaps inadvertently) targets a demographic that’s already struggling with body image, and this is just another reminder.
While “Back-To School Season” is a convenient catch-all phrase for sales, the term only really applies to kids and teenagers who are finishing up their summers before getting back on the school bus or heading off to college. If the cleanse contained juices that promoted brain activity, or at least was more about the mind than the body, that would be one thing, but it’s not. It seems to just be a discounted version of the brand’s regular cleanses, which boast the benefit of weight loss. Marketing a juice cleanse as a back-to-school necessity, alongside pencil cases and class registration, sends a message to teenagers who might already be struggling with body image that their bodies are not okay as they are. It’s everyone’s individual choice to cleanse or not to cleanse, and this isn’t to say they’re inherently bad. It would just make more sense to brand the deal as an end-of-summer of beginning-of-fall promotion, rather than to seemingly prey on the vulnerability of young high school students.