About a month ago, I wrote about Jennifer Aniston’s partnership with Vital Proteins and how it’s a good fit because she really does seem like someone who actually uses this product.
A new commercial has dropped and it’s a day-in-the-life montage of her working out, reading scripts, doing yoga, meditating, and drinking lots of Vital Proteins. This is probably pretty true to how she spends a day in her life: hard work in a comfortable, large home. It’s selling her image but also aspiration (motivation combined with a lot of self-care) and that is a difficult thing right now. For people whose kitchen tables have turned into their home offices and who are missing their in-person fitness classes and offices, will this resonate?
Her voiceover uses all the wellness words like empowered, strength, power, purpose, and “going deeper.” All of this work on the inside is in service of the outside (skin, hair, nails, which is highlighted at the end of the commercial).
What wellness does so well is convince us that what’s on the outside is what’s on the inside and vice-versa. And it reinforces the idea that physical fitness and beauty equal happiness and goodness. For example, Paul Rudd is 51 and the running joke for ageless celebrities like him is “this is how you age when you are unproblematic.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, Stephen Miller (of the Trump administration) is 35 and that’s how you age when you are extremely problematic and evil. (Another example of this is Julia Roberts and Kellyanne Conway, who are both 53.)
It’s a joke, yes, but it also ties into the idea that beautiful people are better people and this thinking especially effects women. It’s a key selling point of the wellness industry: if you want to be “good” by society’s metric (productive, social, successful), you need to commit the time and resources, and you have to live in a way that maximizes all of your energy and money. Whatever area of a person that needs “fixing,” wellness claims to have the answer, be it a spin bike or a serum or a pair of workout leggings. It’s an industry based on the idea that there is a version of ourselves, a “better” one, that just needs a boost to come through.
The timing of this commercial is no coincidence either, as we lead into January, the “new year, new you” season of resolutions and detoxes and crash diets. In this way, Vital Proteins is no different than any run-of-the-mill influencer brand of hair gummies or fit teas, but it’s presented in a much more exclusive package. And…it has Jennifer Aniston.