Sometime last month, singer-rapper–classically trained flautist Lizzo posted a slightly vague Instagram Story about a magic sticker she’d worn (?) to help her sleep the night before (??). A day later, the mystery was explained with a sponsored video she posted to the grid, advertising her collaboration with a product called Body Vibes. With Lizzo’s blessing, Body Vibes released a new line of stickers branded with the phrase “100% That Bitch,” a lyric from her song “Truth Hurts.” Lizzo’s caption explained (sort of): “Wanna feel like 100% that bitch?! I’ve teamed up w/ @mybodyvibes to create a frequency activating sticker that can help you get to 💯 even quicker!”
The people had questions. “Is it drugs?” one commenter wrote. “Wasn’t Goop sued for selling these fake things?” wrote another. Well — not exactly, but: in 2017, Body Vibes’ marketing stated that their stickers were “made with the same conductive carbon material NASA uses to line space suits so they can monitor an astronaut’s vitals during wear,” which NASA itself debunked. Body Vibes apologized for the “communication error,” stating that their “engineer was misinformed by a distributor about the material in question.” I love to imagine this chain of emails!
Luckily, the company said, it wasn’t space suit lining that made Body Vibes stickers work, anyway. On their site, they describe their technology thusly: “These energy-conductive adhesive disks have been developed after 30 years of testing and are a mix of homeopathic research and bio-energy technology … Each Body Vibes sticker is programmed with specific sub-harmonic frequencies to target particular lifestyle concerns.”
Upon reading this description, my first thought, as a person who completed high school chemistry with a B+, was: hmmm, no. I’m pretty positive you can’t “program” a sticker (a solid object) with a frequency (a sound wave which, from my understanding, requires vibration), and even if you could, I’m not sure how slapping that sticker onto one’s chest, as advised, would transmit that frequency into one’s body. Here is where I would typically present to you an expert on the subject of frequency, or internal medicine, or physics, who would agree that I am right, and this is stupid. Unfortunately, I can’t do that, because not one of the dozens of scientists and doctors I contacted would speak to me about Body Vibes for fear of being sued.
Still, I thought it was important to try the stickers for myself, if only because I wanted to know what it felt like to be 100% That Bitch. (Pretty much the same, actually.) In addition to the limited-edition Lizzo pack ($21 for three stickers), I sampled the brand’s Sacred 6 variety pack ($64 for 12), which includes two each of the following: Anti-Anxiety, At the Beach, Beauty, Energy, Focus, and Self-Love. As directed, I applied my stickers above the heart (on my boob), and wore them for two or three days at a time (they are mostly waterproof). The instruction packet also suggested I drink at least eight glasses of water while wearing each sticker as “water is a major conductor of electricity.” Of course. Done.
Being an anxious type, I started with the “Anti-Anxiety” sticker, which is silver with a little black hummingbird on it and is allegedly programmed with a Solfeggio Frequency of 396 hertz. I felt … fine. When I was through with that one, I tried “At the Beach” (Solfeggio: 639 hertz), which is supposed to harmonize relationships. (I was really annoyed with my girlfriend that day.) Next was energy, then beauty. As the days went on, what was first a hilarious joke with myself became habitual, and intentional. Obviously, the stickers didn’t work, but then they sort of did: when I put a sticker on my boob in the morning, and read its stated mission to myself, I found myself paying more attention to that issue throughout the day, tending to it like a little plant. In much the same way pulling a daily tarot card (when I remember, which is not often) can make me reorient my thinking around a particular theme, the stickers encouraged me to notice when I felt energetic, or pretty, or especially in love.
What I’m describing, I know, is more or less the placebo effect, but placebos work. Do I think that means you should spend $64 on a pack of 12 stickers? No. I got mine for free. You could write the word “beauty” on a band-aid and stick it to your boob for much less, and it would have the exact same scientific merit. What Body Vibes offer, in a too-expensive, preposterous package, is essentially a reminder to be present, and mindful, and all those other wellness-y adjectives that frequently feel impossible to enact given the frenetic pace of life in 2019. But by following the sticker’s lead, and focusing on just one area at a time, I felt more receptive to the idea of mindfulness than ever before. I even almost meditated.
Today, before sitting down to write this story, I applied “Focus” (741 hertz) — not because I believe that that frequency, or any frequency, can improve my productivity, but because I can improve my productivity, maybe, if I choose to believe in myself and my own capabilities. Somewhere deep inside I am 100% That Bitch, yearning to break free.