Ozempic creates truly American dilemma for the 1% who must chose being thin or pretty

So the question becomes, is it better to be fat and pretty or thin and ugly?

This quintessentially American-style dilemma is upon us, thanks to a drug called Ozempic, which is used in the treatment of something. But no one remembers what it was intended to be used for, because somewhere along the line it became apparent that one of the potential side effects of Ozempic, and drugs like it, was weight loss.

At first, Ozempic played it straight, or semi-straight, by including weight-loss in a list of potential side effects. Side effects may include dizziness, upset stomach, shortness of breath, tremors, long-term coma and death — and you may lose weight! Which you will also do if you die, I suppose, so it’s kind of a can’t-lose.

Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

These advisories were, of course, about as sincere as the TV news when they say “We’ll be right back with video of the bus crash, but we want to WARN you that it is VERY DISTURBING and you may want to turn away because it is unbelievably GROSS AND DISGUSTING and there is all kinds of good, er, bad stuff that you may not want to see like DECAPITATED TORSOS, and we are only showing this out of sense of journalistic duty so don’t blame us and if you do want to watch we won’t judge you, either, because that’s just the kind sensitive of people we are.”

Whatever the Ozempic marketing department did, it worked, because sales soared, particularly, according to the New York Times, in elite Manhattan social circles. So great is the demand among the bejeweled cocktail-party people wanting to get back into their prom clothes that these drugs have become scarce or unavailable to people who need them to, well, live.

And there are other drawbacks. These drugs have to be injected, which is never fun. They cost upwards of $1,000 for a month’s supply. And they may cause a rare type of thyroid cancer. But none of these issues seem to be deal breakers for those who can afford treatment.

There is, however, one matter that is giving these people pause: In a paradox worthy of the Greek gods, the drugs also make you look old.

One user told the Times, “I remember looking in the mirror, and it was almost like I didn’t even recognize myself. My body looked great, but my face looked exhausted and old.”

Suddenly all those third-grade jokes — “Hey Elsie, want to lose 10 ugly pounds? Chop off your head” (a joke that today would get a kid rushed off to therapy) — had a ring of plausibility to them.

A new term, “Ozempic Face,” entered the lexicon, as people’s waistlines and facial features shriveled with similar alacrity. Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank told the Times, “A 50-year-old patient will come in, and suddenly, she’s super-skinny and needs filler, which she never needed before. I look at her and say, ‘How long have you been on Ozempic?’ And I’m right 100 percent of the time. It’s the drug of choice these days for the 1 percent.”

Not being a 1-percenter, it’s not my problem, but if it were, I believe I would stand pat with a few extra pounds.

First, there are two types of thin. There’s natural thin, and there’s “Are you OK?” thin. Not all thin is created equal.

Second, society doesn’t give you credit for artificial thinness, whether it’s medication, surgery or fad diet. It’s what I call the Chris Christie effect. Your mind thinks chubby even if your eyes see thin.

I would assume this would be even more likely in high society: They were all impressed with your Halston dress and the people you knew at Elaine’s — until you left the room and they all started tittering about the boxcars full of Botox and Ozempic you must be mainlining.

It all points to one thing: Being thin is much too hard.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Elite Manhattan social circles struggling with drug's side effects