So you mean to say I’d have to go without pounded yam and efo riro, plantain, rice and chicken, and have to rely on liquid for sustenance and resist the urge to laugh out loud for fear of tearing through tightly clenched teeth. Nah. The thought of this physical horror alone and the list of other “can’t do” that suck the joy out of life would be enough to put me off even if I was paid. An hour of HIIT in skinny jeans and a wool turtleneck would appeal to me more.
I’m talking about the ‘Slimming wire’ for weight-loss.
So, Tiktok did its thing and showed me a South African Tiktoker known as Aviwe who shared her ‘slimming wire’ procedure. Before this I was oblivious to it being a thing.
Aviwe posted the video using the audio: Girl, don’t do it, it’s not worth it. I’m not gonna do it girl, I was just thinking about it, I’m not gonna do it…. I did it”
@a_vee19 It’s gonna be a hectic 6 weeks but here goes, day 1 of #slimmingwires #slimming #weightloss #fyp #LVLUPHotline #fypシ #fypage #fypagetiktok #southafricantiktok #southa #diet ♬ original sound – Makayla
The ‘slimming wire’ is essentially a procedure that clenches your teeth together so that you aren’t able to open your mouth wide enough to take in or chew solids; so, you’re forced to stick to a liquid diet that you pass through a small gap between your top and bottom teeth for several weeks at a time. The legal procedure which seems to be popular in South Africa, is right up there among the most extreme techniques for drastic weight loss I’ve personally come across.
In a pinned comment she shared “Okay, let me address the WHY I’m doing this. To get to a BMI of < 30 to qualify for breast reduction surgery”
“I started my (weight loss) journey in Sept ’21 at 118.5kg, started clean eating, walking and drinking water and lost 12kg by ’22”
“I was doing intermittent fasting (16:8) …but my weight hit a standstill which is why I’m here now”
Her post divided opinion among viewers, with many questioning the legality, health and incidental ramifications of the procedure.
One user Scout wrote: “This freaks me out in case I had to vomit”
Another wrote: “This is unethical for the dentist to do this so you can lose weight. It’s barbaric and extremely dangerous”
And a third: “O hunny you didn’t need to put yourself through that”
A further Tiktok user questioned: “So 6 weeks without brushing the inside of your teeth? Isn’t that going to cause issues?
@a_vee19 Reply to @nosiphoradebe7 It sounds weird but ndiyavakala, I hope this helps❤️#LVLUPHotline #slimmingwires #smillingwires #weight #fypシ #fyp #southafricantiktok #update #jawwired #weightlosscheck #weightlosstransformation #weightlosstips #liquiddiet #weightlossprogress #2022 #2022tiktok #fypage #slimming #liquid #smoothiediet #lifestyle #quarantine ♬ Dlala Captain – Dlala Regal
On the other hand, a surprising number of her mostly female following expressed interest in the procedure. They enquired about pricing, location and pain level.
However, there were others who asked questions to understand how she’s coping with the slimming wires.
One respondent: “ How much and where did you get this done please
Another: “Isn’t there a way to break free in times of emergency?
A further commentator asked: “Eish these things might make my relationship with food even worse; how do you feel about your relationship with food after doing this?”
And one asked: “Why not do the liquid diet without putting those” to which the Aviwe replied: “I struggled with discipline so had to do something extreme and it’s working”
Despite some negative responses, Aviwe seems unbothered and continues to share the highs and lows of her weight loss journey using ‘slimming wires’
The Tiktok Hashtag #slimmingwires has over 6 million views with a growing number of users sharing their journeys and body transformations following the elective procedure. This kind of content feeds into toxic diet culture and has undeniably negative consequences on young impressionable girls on the platform.
Weight loss (intentional as opposed to the result of ill health) in most cases is the result of an internal change- Weight loss is a mindset. While those who have undergone the procedure may report quick weight loss results, unhealthy weight loss methods are ineffective for long-term maintenance of lost weight and can harm your health. In order to manage your weight for the long term, you have to break old patterns and behaviours. The life changing benefits of losing weight naturally, and gradually far out weigh any quick fixes.