2017 · single mom

the myth of the overnight miracle

Ah, we consumer-driven humans just love a good deal, don’t we? In an age where time seems less and less and pay off must be more and more, we’re bombarded with click-bait promising everything you’ve ever wanted and then some.


Lose weight fast! is a common post I see in my threads, and I’ve written more than once about how frustrated I am by the promise that losing ten pounds will change my life.

But I want to talk about something else: I want to talk about the overnight miracle myth that seems to be growing exponentially.

Look, pretty much the only things that happen overnight are delicious oats, yummy chia pudding and, hopefully, a full night sleep. 

Clear your skin overnight.

K, maybe, but like… your skin doesn’t just instantly heal itself no matter what supposedly magical ointment you’re putting on. You may be able to dry out, reduce, or improve the appearance of a pimple or moisturize (thus mildly reducing the appearance of a few fine lines) overnight, but you cannot clear your skin overnight. Try a few nights. Like two weeks of nights.

See also: your wrinkles will not be disappearing between today and tomorrow without surgical intervention. Own that shit and move on.

Improve / grow your hair overnight.

See last statement. 

Also, your hair is not going to grow considerable lengths overnight, in a week, or in a month: get over it, take good care of it, and it will grow the standard 1/4-1/2 an inch monthly and you’ll have long hair soon. Patience, young grasshopper.

Lose 10 pounds overnight.

Are you amputating your arm? No? Don’t expect to lose 10 pounds tonight. Weight loss – true weight loss – takes time, effort, and shouldn’t be done willy-nilly with no thought for your overall health and wellness. Put down that weird skinny tea and the Hydroxycut, now, y’hear?

Heal your cold sore in one day.

Mmmmmm, nope. Not even Valtrex can do that. Any viral outbreak will need to run its course and your body will heal itself. With time. Adding medication may certainly expedite, but your full-blown cold sore will not be gone when you wake up tomorrow. 

Look, it’s not that I don’t get it: we all want something quickly, with less effort. (Even me.) But all those empty promises actually leave us empty and disappointed. The notion of “overnight success” as it relates to clear skin, longer hair, and weight loss isn’t just preposterous: it’s dangerous. What are we telling our youth? 

Things like clear and healthy skin, weight loss, and actually fucking healing your body take time and consistency and care. If everything was as simple as an overnight fix, no one would have pimples, we’d all have shampoo commercial-worthy hair, and obesity would be a thing of the past.

Overnight miracles aren’t real.

(But I’m sure looking forward to getting a full night’s sleep tonight. I hope.)

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