How Lola Berry learned calling her diet ‘Stop Being a Fat Bitch’ was not a great career move

Brands using social media need to be aware of the fine line between influencers being friends with their audiences and those audiences turning on them warned nutritionist, author and content creator Lola Berry.

Lola Berry “ripped to shreds” for calling her diet Stop Being a Fat Bitch

Speaking at the Mumbrella Health & Wellness Marketing Summit this morning, Berry said the fragile relationship with audiences she thought “loved” her was demonstrated 18 months ago when she titled her latest diet program Stop Being a Fat Bitch.

Berry described the moment as her biggest professional failure as an adoring audience turned on her and slammed her for the aggressive title, which was actually a commentary on the negative self talk women subjected themselves to.

“We released it on Boxing day and it was called Stop Being a Fat Bitch and I got slammed,” Lola told the Summit.

“The Daily Telegraph was like ‘Career Suicide’, and there was a hashtag, #Bintheberry where people took photos of my books in the bin. I got called everything under the sun from a drug pig, a whore, bulimic, anorexic, all that jazz.”

She said the incident opened her eyes to how an audience she thought was deeply connected with could easily turn.

The concept was a full-week weight loss plan and Berry came up with the title after she had binged on a block of chocolate and made the remark to herself – which a colleague instantly said should be the title of the program.

“We should call it Stop Being  a Fat Bitch because that’s how I feel today,” she said.

“So the name was Stop Being a Fat Bitch: Change Your Negative Self Talk. No one saw the subtitle.”

Faced with the backlash, much of it driven by virtue of a lack of context for the title, Berry said she apologised immediately for the title.

“Looking back it was a horrible business move of mine. I hurt people and I definitely didn’t want to offend or hurt anybody because I was the ‘Happy Cook’ and ‘Hippy Lola’. It was very much against everything I’d done in my career to date and was a total blunder.

“The best way to describe what happened when Stop Being a Fat Bitch came out? Imagine your books out and you’re a best seller and you are travelling all over the world, everyone wants to know you, everyone wants to be you best mate, everyone wants a selfie with you. This was like flicking on a light switch and cockroaches just going running. I can tell you on one hand who had my back.”

Berry said as other health influencers jumped on the bashing bandwagon and started attacking her, an audience who she thought she had an intimate relationship with joined in the attacks.

“For me it was a great lesson in as great as social media is, it’s not necessarily my real life and it’s sure as hell not my real friends. These guys turned on me fast. My own audience, I have 143,000 Facebook fans, they weren’t fans. I was ripped to shreds.”

Berry recovered from the mistake and said that a key to success in the market is authenticity. knowing the boundaries between your personal brand and your private life.

She also said Australia was yet to succumb to the overwhelming power of influencers that was changing the media landscape in the US, with mainstream media and people with genuine qualifications still having a strong voice in Australia, saying there remained a difference between an influencer and an expert.


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