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The Shallow Side to the “ Cleansing Industry”: Body Image

The Shallow Side to the “ Cleansing Industry”: Body Image 

There has been this idea and psychology around “ cleansing” and “purifying” the female body that has become more apparent in advertisement and social media than ever before. There are more fit teas, diets, magic pills, and diet culture than there has been in most of, if not all, of modern history. Paired with the rise in negative relationships with our bodies and mental illness we are being plagued with an awful cycle and a consumerism culture that takes advantage of this cycle.

There’s a lot to unpack there, and I well aware I don’t have the skills or know how to give ALL of that justice. I do see this cycle becoming apparent in the cleansing “industry” however, and as an advocate for whole food based cleanses, heavy metal detoxes and semi-regular gut healing protocols I see a lot of overlap and abuse of the idea of “ cleansing”.

What’s different about a Diet Culture Cleansing  and  Cleansing For Health

In diet culture, It’s very apparent that cleansing is a gateway for some “magic health cure all” not a stepping stone for optimal wellness. In diet culture these cleanses are fabricated, nutrient deficient and not deep-rooted in wellness or healing.

The Difference in Cleanses

Magic ingredient cleanses, fit teas, and things of that nature are never going to solve deep-rooted health ailments, heal chronic illness, and/or help rid your body of environmental toxins or heal a depleted microbiome. When in fact, these are some of the only reasons I would recommend cleanses at all.

A Hard Cleanse

A hard cleanse is what I refer to cleanses (whole food based) with added binders and supplementation. These are usually the most beneficial for those struggling with candida, EBV, Toxic Mold, chronic illness (like Lyme), and  Heavy Metal Poisoning.

A  Whole Foods Based Reset Cleanse

This cleanse  protocol is great for the transition to a vegan diet, to support healthy digestion, or to help support massive healing (for example in IBS, adrenals, gut health, hormones, etc).

A cleanse of this nature is a process where one sets a length of time where they participate in plant-based eating, with a focus on 50% Greens with added protein sources (like beans, nuts, seeds), healthy fats, and vegetable or pseudo grain -based carbohydrate sources.

The most important aspect about this type of reset cleanse is to know that it is not the cure-all to any disease or ailment, it is not designed to help you lose weight, and  it is best when done and curated for optimal nutrient absorption and mapped out before participating( to be sure you have appropriate amounts of nutrients and  resources).


Any cleanse that tries to sell you on the idea that it can help you lose copious amounts of weight ( as a main selling point) or that it is needed for the purification of your body; is unfortunately just another way we consume diet culture rhetoric. Cleansing can be a great method for clearing BPA, Aluminum, supporting our liver and other organs and making us feel genuinely good . But, only when administered correctly, rooted in wellness and food-based healing, or for when our body( due to disease or ailments )are in need of extra support from food and supplementation.

I think it’s my responsibility to raise awareness for this agenda, as I see it coming to fruition a lot on my newsfeed and in the wellness space online. The truth is there are lots of great products, coaches, and recipes out there for these whole food based cleanses and lifestyle choices, but there are more diet fads and products marketing on the flip side of this.

Always gravitate  toward programs that are deep rooted in healing and feel aligned within your body and yourself!

* April Tout, The Holistic Lemon and affiliates are not a medical practitioner or organization and cannot give medical advice. 

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