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Have you tried running?

By Mackenzie Dyer

Fads have the power to convince intelligent human beings to do some pretty stupid stuff.  Whether it be wearing far too much fluro clothing in your intermediate to early college days, ripping your skin off with a black mask because the internet said so, or thinking it’ll be hot to dab in the club this Thursday, we are all guilty of buying into them at some point.  If nothing else, they are good for a self-reflective laugh twisted with a reminiscent twinge of regret.

So, for your entertainment, I have delved into the wonderful world of the internet to find the weirdest and rather revolting health fads that you hopefully (really hopefully) haven’t been swept up in.  With any luck, they remain exclusive to committed gym mums and celebs who have all the time and money in the world to work on themselves.  It is safe to say that my search history now looks pretty questionable.

People truly do swear by these methods and view them as an innovative, natural way to be healthy from skin glowy-ness to stress management.  Read on knowing there is no recommendation from me.

Placenta pills

The placenta is the delightful sack that nourishes an unborn baby through the umbilical cord, and is ejected from the oven along with the bun when it has finished cooking.  Somewhere along the line, someone then thought “yummo, let’s dehydrate this organ into vitamin tablets” and here we are.  Placenta pills are said to work wonders for recovering from pregnancy, boosting all energy levels and reducing the chances of postnatal depression.  It seems like the hard part is getting past the fact you are swallowing from the same pouch as your fetus did, all for the sake of health benefits that have very vague scientific backup.

Cockroach milk

Science Alert says it could be “the superfood of the future”, and I say a flat out no.  So this one isn’t a fad yet, but is set in the pipeline as cockroach “milk” is jam packed with protein crystals and essential fats and sugars ready for humans to rip off for an energy boost. It is yet to be confirmed whether nutritionists will be farming and milking the ‘roaches, or merely replicating their milk in a lab made out of who knows what.  It is also unconfirmed whether it will give us the ability to walk up walls and pop out human baby eggs when squashed.

Oxygen shots

This seems as simple as taking a breath of fresh air. Oxygen shots come in a super concentrated can that you inhale from and are meant to give users healthier, more youthful skin (well, so they say).  This one is Simon Cowell approved, he claims it helped him quit smoking and manage stress and exhaustion. It is questionable as to whether concentrated amounts of the gas is actually healthy, given our lungs get all the oxygen they need as is, but if the internet says so…

Semen facials

Unfortunately this is exactly what it sounds like, done in the name of good skin (unless the creators of this fad were just super into it and just got the ball rolling by calling it healthy, who knows).  The process is completed just like a normal facial by massaging it into the skin, waiting a few moments, and washing it away, the slight difference being you are using someone’s swimmers to do so.  Results apparently include softer skin and reduced redness.  Practitioners of the jizz mask suggest that having incense in the room may help with the smell, especially if your “deposit” is not fresh. Perks include no artificial colours or flavours, but a downfall is the risk of STDs on your face, causing complications such as eye herpes (which is actually a thing, so choose your sauce VERY wisely). While looking into this fad, the internet kindly showed me other uses for man chowder besides procreation (strictly health related, I promise).  For example, for $21.42 you can buy Natural Harvest off Amazon, a cookbook fully dedicated to semen based recipes.  The author says, “once you overcome any initial hesitation, you will be surprised to learn how wonderful semen is in the kitchen”.

Colon hydrotherapy

We now classily transition from semen to shit.  This delightful process begins with a tube being placed into you rectum and having a gush of water completely empty your colon (ya know, your pooh tube). This method is Gwyneth Paltrow and Sylvester Stalone approved, and is said to be great at reducing bloating before big events by completely clearing the colon out. Water, a good diet, laxative tea and some good old time and dedication also have the same effect, but where’s the fun in that? If you are curious, we have a few colon hydrotherapy clinics in New Zealand scattered from Whangarei to Christchurch, so you could always try it out.

The tapeworm diet

Traditionally, a tapeworm was something people wanted to get rid of because it is a parasite slithering around in your intestines, much like the basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets.  But, if there is anything us media consuming robots love more than a Kardashian blinking, it is a new fad diet to sink our teeth into.  The theory is that if you swallow a tapeworm, it will consume around half of your food before you have the chance to digest it, meaning you can eat for two and get skinnier. Never mind that there is a worm chilling in your body that can grow from around 60 centimetres to 15 metres long whilst stealing your nutrients and thriving inside you, right? To add to the horror, tapeworms are hermaphrodites that have several male and female sections along its body, allowing it to lay millions of eggs.  These eggs have legs so they can crawl out of your back door for other mammals to consume.

I know we care about our health… but surely having an ice-cream and skittles diet is better than chugging down a worm and sipping on a tasty glass of cockroach milk. Other fashion and behaviour fads may be easier to laugh at later, but my unprofessional undergraduate opinion says you might want to pass on these ones.

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