Every time I turn around another celebrity is in the news or on TV, talking about incontinence. They seem to be coming out of the woodwork! Most recently Lisa Rinna dons a Depend® diaper on the red carpet to show how ‘no one will know she is wearing one!’ Before Lisa, came Kris Kardashian Jenner and Whoppi Goldberg, both of whom are spokeswomen for Poise® pads. Kris candidly shares her incontinence issues on her reality TV show, Keeping up with the Kardashians. Whoopi turned her own incontinence issue into an entire ad campaign, featuring famous historical women, including Mona Lisa and Joan of Arc. Recently, Kirstie Alley has jumped on the bandwagon with Poise® in her new role as the “Poise Fairy”.
While I am thrilled that these ladies are taking on this important issue and are stepping out of the proverbial closet, the big bucks behind it make me suspect. It’s not because I dispute that these ladies want to help other women, or that they REALLY have incontinence themselves – heck 50% of all women experience incontinence, celebrity or not! And I am not sure anyone would challenge poor Marie Osmond, who recently wet her pants on stage, in front of a live audience. Though Marie is not yet with Poise®, her phone may be ringing soon!
What is dubious to me is that these companies seem to follow the same business model as that of the diet companies. They pay a celebrity spokesperson to be the “relatable” face for their product in hopes of reaching what they know is a growing and desperate customer base. The predicted number of incontinent Americans is due to reach upwards of 40 million in the coming years!
I want to thank Lisa, Kris, Whoopi, Kirstie, and Marie for bravely putting their faces on this forbidden subject to make so many take notice. But now what? Do we buy-in and buy pads and Depends? Are pads and diapers the real solutions? Are we going to tell our daughters and granddaughters that this is their future, or are we going to tackle the underlying causes and make real change?