How Women are Sold Addiction With a Laugh and a Smile

How Women are Sold Addiction With a Laugh and a Smile
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To your Health?
To your Health?

It seems that every time I see a news report about the dangers of binge drinking it’s followed by another that gleefully celebrates the normality of drinking too much.

This review of the Wine Rack sports bra that holds an entire bottle of wine and increases your cup size from A to DD is a perfect example.

Of course this is not an advertisement for wine but with fun products and endorsements like these the wine industry doesn’t have to work very hard to sell their product.

Alcohol advertising directed at men has always sold booze as virility in a bottle but it’s only been during the last twenty years that the wine industry has flourished by directing their sales pitch to women.

The image of savvy, successful, American women with a wine glass lifted to their self satisfied lips is everywhere in the popular media.

Products like the Wine Rack sports bra, Mommy’s Time Out wine, and Mommy’s Sippy Cup encourage you to believe that drinking wine is an essential part of adult life. If you’re on a diet or worried about the aging effects of alcohol Skinnygirl Cocktails and Anti-aGin are there for you.

“Lighten up all ready! Everyone drinks. You deserve a break! ”

Kathie Lee Gifford, the sextiginarian sweetheart of the ten AM cocktail crowd unabashedly promotes her own GIFFT wine on the Today show and other day time talk shows.

The sales pitch on Kathie Lee’s GIFFT wine website is so beautifully crafted it almost makes me feel a bit guilty for putting down the bottle.

“..... “Come, eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed.Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment.” ........give thanks for the harvest of life.” Enjoy this Gifft. And God bless. “

I’m not sure how Kathie Lee slamming shots of wine on daytime television represents “good judgement” but I know that I will never be one of those moderate drinkers who sticks to government guidelines and drinks no more than two small glasses of wine three or four times a week.

I love wine and enjoy buzzing out a bit at the end of a long day but that habitual glass or two to unwind became a bottle as I neared fifty. It really doesn’t matter how functional you are the next day after a nightly binge on a bottle and a bit.Those two hours of buzz time will eventually put out your fire.

The demographic that is most likely to watch Kathie Lee and Hoda enjoy their morning wine on the Today show is the same demographic that is dying of cirrhosis of the liver in their early fifties at alarming rates. Uneducated, middle-aged, rural white women who live in economically depressed areas may not be able to afford Kathie Lee’s GIFFT wine but they are certainly encouraged by her example to think that daily drinking is an integral part of the “beautiful life” on their TV screen..

I’m a member of a more priviledged demographic but we are also binge drinking at alarming rates. Educated, upper-middle class, middle-age white women may not be dying as often of cirrhosis as our less priveleged sisters but that is most likely a result of economic advantage.

We can afford health care, gym memberships and excellent nutrition, If we binge we can afford expensive detox. Sadly Mobile hangover clinics have become a booming business with intravenous rehydrating vitamin blasts that costs about 300$ a session.

There has been a lot of conflicting information about the health benefits of alcohol and especially wine in the past twenty years. It’s no wonder the we are a bit confused about whether or not we’re drinking too much.

Depending on what you’ve read moderate drinking could be the best thing for you

.........or not.

Maybe red wine is full of powerful anti oxidants that prevents cancer or maybe the ethanol in alcoholic drinks is carcinogenic.

Maybe red wine promotes weight loss or…

maybe the calories in wine and the metabolic effects of drinking lead to obesity.

Red wine could prevent Alzheimer’s or …it could lead to brain damage.

If you think that you’re drinking too much there are a lot of great support groups out there that can help you figure out how to take a break or stop. Check out Hello Sunday Morning , Soberistas, Hip Sobriety, or the 100 day challenge onTired of Thinking About Drinking.

I started by reading Gabrielle Glaser and Ann Dowsett Johnston s books Her Best Kept Secret : Why Women Drink and how They Can Control It and Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol.

Kathie Lee Gifford is a savvy business woman and although there is a serious health crisis among her audience I don’t expect her to put down the wine prop anytime soon but if you’d like to give Kathie Lee and NBC a nudge you can “like” this facebook page that asks Kathie Lee and Hoda to stop Drinking on The Today Show .

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