Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Was Reading Dr. Phil Today...

I know, I know...*shaking head sadly* One man, even if he is a doctor, does NOT have the answer to all my problems. Wanna lose weight? Read Dr. Phil. Depressed? Read Dr. Phil. Anxious? Read Dr. Phil Problems with spouse/family? Read Dr. Phil. I could go on.

Dr. Phil is his own brand now, and he is incredibly well marketed. In fact, Dr. Phil picks up where Oprah left off. Why would you buy a book merely recommended by a famous talk show host when you could buy a book WRITTEN by a famous talk show host. Why stop there? Go on his show, where Dr. Phil and the good people from EXTREME MAKEOVERS will help you look beautiful AND improve your sex life (this really happened, and he's even posted it on the site.) I'm not even going to get into the fact that the whole Extreme Makeover idea is negative, and totally against what Dr. Phil says that he stands for (ie. acceptance of self.) Instead I am going to skip that small inconsistency because to the good viewing/book-buying public, those things don't seem to matter. What I am going to do is marvel at the fact that Dr. Phil isn't even a human being anymore (was he ever?) He's a mascot to his own brand. He's a TV star, sure but no more real than the character he plays. He's a cook book. He's a symbol but he's not real.

I imagine that the marketing bigwigs over at Dr. Phil inc. (or perhaps even the good Doctor himself) must think that if we knew the REAL Phil, with all of his human mistakes, problems, faults common to all people- we wouldn't buy into the brand anymore. It's like Dr. Phil has to be perfect for people to take his advice. I disagree. Sure it makes for a well crafted brand, a nice consistent "image" but in the end I don't buy it.

And I don't. I bought the first Dr. Phil book when it first came out, at the advice of a friend who I discovered later, does not necessarily have the same taste in books as I do - and that was before the branding.

I went to the site because I was curious as to what a Psychiatrist can tell people about weight loss - I thought it was a weird idea.

He's got some great ideas "love yourself" "Be good to yourself" "Change your self destructive patterns" These are good things to tell people. But other people like Rosa Say at Talking Story and Target Market at I'd Like My Crayons Back Too and Chris Bailey at Alchemy of Soulful work as well as many others will tell you all the same things that Doctor Phil does. They won't charge you for it either. Best of all, all those people are REAL and they are willing to tell you about it, too.


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