Fibre Trim was a magic dietary supplement that was marketed in the U.S. as an all-natural way to “stay slim.”
This commercial features two French girls, likely in their tweens, who are having a gorgeous day and sneaking into Mom’s room to play Dress-Up. Throughout their dialogue, they equate the words “beautiful” and “slim,” state the pill’s ingredients and weight-management claims, and one of the girls even implies that she’ll stay as beautiful as her mother if she uses Fibre Trim as well.
I transcribed the commercial’s subtitled dialogue:
Girl 1: Your mother is so beautiful. So slim. … Does she eat?
Girl 2: (Chuckles into a giant powder puff) Silly. just not so much. With this: (Grabs and places the bottle of Fibre Trim on the table) Fibre Trim. Made of grain and citrus.
Girl 1: Does it bother you that she’s so beautiful?
Girl 2: Not if I know her secrets.
Narrator: Fibre Trim. The European Way to help you stay slim.
Here’s the actual commercial, which ran prominently in 1985 and into 1989:
These girls were around my age at the time of its airing, and s a child, I remember thinking this commercial was so glamorous. As a young, impressionable and overweight child, I wanted so much to be as “beautiful” as these girls. I even tried the pills once because I figured they would become some kind of escape.
After several years, Fibre Trim’s manufacturer, Schering, was found to have violated the Federal Trade Commission’s rules against deceptive advertising. The analysis and decision are long and I skimmed through most of it; and primarily discusses Schering’s claims that the pill was “healthy” and actually had fiber in it, when it didn’t. There is very little mention of the “French Girls” commercial, and I didn’t see anything that extensively looked into the consequences of using children to market a diet product.
Thankfully, they don’t anymore. Whether its marketers knew it or not, that commercial was attractive to children and instilled within them the notion that to be beautiful, you must be slim and trim. If only they’d stop using such deceptive messages to lure women, too.