A New Pen Is Supposed To Suppress Your Appetite Because It Smells So Bad, But I Still Don't Get Why That's Appealing


I'm going to just say this: I don't like things that smell bad, and I am very unlikely to buy anything that does smell. I never thought this was a strange position, but apparently there now exists a pen that smells so bad it suppresses a person's appetite. And as unappealing as that sounds, it actually does it on purpose. And I am confused.

The pen, called the Chunder Biro, is presumably meant to be used to help people curb their eating habits by diminishing the appetite of people who smell it. It works by triggering an evolutionary self-defense mechanism. Obviously, if something smells bad, a person isn't going to want to eat it, which is probably why we perceive potentially poisonous things, like things that are rotten for instance, as smelling so terrible. It keeps us from eating things that could kill us.

This pen, however, gives off a scent so terrible that humans don't just perceive it as smelling terrible, the smell of it actually has the ability to shut down our appetite, presumably because it would be just that disastrous if we were stupid enough to ingest it.

I'm assuming this is meant to be some sort of weight loss aid, but I am definitely not sold on the idea. For one thing it sounds awful; as I mentioned, I do not like smelly things. For another, though, this pen isn't promoting healthy eating or improved eating habits. It's helping people eat less. And that has some very troubling implications.

I recognize that changing your eating habits can be hard, and so if someone wants to use this pen to help themselves not snack in the afternoons because they always wind up eating junk food, good for them. But overall, hunger is something people are supposed to feel. It's our bodies' way of telling us that we need food. And food, contrary to what our culture's obsession with diet and weight loss tells us, is a good, nourishing, life-giving thing.

There's a reason people need a prescription for diet pills, which essentially are supposed to serve the same function as this pen; if you're going to try suppressing your appetite, it should be with supervision because going without food can get really bad, really fast.

Anyway, here's the pen in question being described as smelling like everything from possum to ass. Sounds appealing.

Thomas Leveritt on YouTube

Images: Emily Barney/Flickr; Giphy