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What The Latest Bravo Scandal Reveals About Celebrities and Diet Culture

There is rarely a day that passes without some kind of Bravo related scandal popping up all over Instagram and the tabloids. Most of them are nonsense. Often entertaining nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. Every once in awhile, however, a Bravo scandal breaks that actually means something and reveals some deep-seated problems with society.

This week’s Bravo scandal is one of the latter. On Tuesday, Instagram influencer Emily Gellis began posting alarming testimonials from women who had taken part in Teddi Mellencamp’s accountability program.

Mellencamp is a cast member on the Bravo reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the daughter of singer John Mellencamp. She also operates All In by Teddi, the accountability program in question.

What Mellencamp calls an accountability program is what most people would call a coached weight loss program. Her clients sign up for a program dealing with food consumption and exercise. They have individual coaches to keep them accountable to their personal goals.

The Problem with The Program

The problem is that the way Mellencamp’s program allegedly functions. According to numerous sources, it is deeply dysfunctional, often dangerous, and enforces ridiculous ideals about the human body.

Image via @emilygellis

According to participants, All In by Teddi requires an hour of cardio every single day. 60 minutes of cardio 7 days a week is certainly an intense regimen, but what got people even more worked up was the diet portion of the program.

The diet required to participate in this accountability program is scanty, to say the least. Most estimated that the diet adds up to be between 500 and 700 calories a day. As someone who lived on a diet alarmingly close to what is described above for years, I can say with absolute certainty that this is disordered eating and not a good idea. Mellencamp’s program also requires that participants send pictures of all their food and a photograph of their weight every morning. This kind of repetitive behavior is rife with the potential for turning into a full-blown obsessive eating disorder. There have also been some reports that participants are required to sign NDA’s before beginning the program.

Many questioned not only the diet portion but also the price involved. According to the All In website, Mellencamp’s 2-week starting program is $599. If participants chose to continue on, the prices eventually drop but remain quite high. At least my eating disorder was free.

Notably, Mellencamp’s coaches are not required to have any fitness, medical, or health certifications. They are all simply graduates of the All In program.

The Bigger Picture

All In by Teddi is a drastic and poignant example of everything that’s wrong with celebrities and diet culture. For years, celebrities have used social media or their celebrity status to peddle various starvation tactics to the common woman. The famous people continue to try to sell us laxative teas and expensive starvation diets because the sad fact is, it works. People are willing to pay $600 to someone with absolutely no qualifications to get thin because our society values weight loss as a kind of virtue. Celebrities like Teddi Mellencamp and the Kardashians take advantage of this deep flaw in society because it lines their pockets, with no regard to the dangers.

Not only are these diets physically dangerous for some, but the potential for psychological damage is enormous. Beautiful, thin, wealthy, famous women are telling us we aren’t good enough. They are sending the message that we must drink the tea and work out constantly and eat very little to be worthy. We do not need to spend $600 for the privilege of starving in order to be beautiful.