Hoescience: Women’s Health in the Social Media Age

The great Dom Mazzetti pioneered the Broscience Movement (50% fact, 50% magic, 100% results) during the great Fitspo Revolution of the 2010s. Broscience dominated the weight room, with chicken, broccoli and bicep curls becoming the holy trinity of fitness. Once low-rise jeans and heroin chic became trite, misogyny and body dysmorphia needed a new home. Thus, Hoescience was born.

What is Hoescience?

The well-respected and entirely scientifically accurate Dictionary.com defines broscience as sharing anecdotes or advice, presented as facts but with no scientific basis. Broscience is commonly associated with bodybuilders imparting untrue diet and nutrition advice to gym newbies.

Whilst broscience focuses on clean-eating and condensing your entire personality into your biceps, Hoescience is a little different. She is a little more diverse and ties her roots more firmly in patriarchy and objectification. I would define hoescience as encouraging women to train, eat or supplement in such a way with the intent to regress feminism.

Hoescience preys on the insecurities of women and is fostered by an aesthetic-focused industry and capitalism. It is living proof that if you tear women down enough, they’ll fall for anything – especially if it’s in shiny pink packaging. Hoescience has permeated every corner of the female health and fitness market, and has made it deliberately confusing for women to decide how to best support their nutrition and exercise goals.

But how on earth did this happen?

The Women’s Buffragette Movement: A Short History of Hoescience

Hoescience has existed for centuries, ever since Eve got the blame for Adam eating an apple (hence why women were told carbs make you fat). At the turn of the 21st century, women previously focused on starving themselves and cutting out food groups. The women were kept small and weak, and all was well. However, the advent of a “female empowerment movement” meant that women were coming around to the idea that consuming more than three calories a day and weight-training made them feel good.

And the dieting industry was HORRIFIED. How on earth would they make money if women valued themselves? So, they sent in the big-guns, warning women that merely entering the free-weight area was enough to turn them into Arnold in Lycra. And that did abate the problem of strong women for a while, but eventually their tiny little female brains became wise to this scam and it no longer worked. Women no longer believed that lifting weights made them bulky, and this was not profitable.

Well, the dieting industry was smart. As the good saying goes – if you can’t beat them, disorder them. And thus, the Hoescience Movement was born.

Insuffragettes, themselves committed to the cause of regressing feminism, began to advertise detox teas that did little more than exorcise the bowels of the consumer and promote “female” versions of products that were the exact same as the male counterpart, except with a 20% mark-up. This gender pay-gap of supplements continued to rise with the advent of “female”-specific products such as female fat burners, female diet whey and flat-tummy lollipops. Legend has it that if you put cyanide in pink packaging and say it’ll make your ex come back, women will fall for it.

The Insuffragettes, in an attempt to diversify their efforts, evolved into the Buffragettes. The Buffragettes focus solely on confusing women about how to weight train. Women’s muscle growth was kept at bay by tiny pink resistance bands, and if exercise was absolutely necessary it was solely for glute growth and never performance. More recent developments have seen the menstrual cycle be leveraged as a means of ensuring women never fully understand their own body. Women are told they will be weaker before, during and after their period to varying degrees. Female hormones exist to be “balanced” and “hacked”, which can conveniently only be done by following an influencer’s exercise programme. All of this despite the Buffragettes being unable to name a single female hormone.

As a result, women are consistently confused about how or why to exercise – and many are prevented from ever picking up a weight as a consequence.

Hoescience 1, women 0.

You Die A Hero, Or Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become a #Girlboss

Hoescience has grown exponentially and festered across the barrage of unregulated social media platforms. Hoescience fears female education, but our current trajectory means it will never be threatened. In the ultimate reverse-UNO card, hoescience has manged to leverage the very thing it so rallies against – feminism.

In a shocking display of cultural appr-hoepriation (not my best work, sorry), chief offenders will leverage “girlbosses” who don’t question what they put up their nose every weekend but won’t touch a supplement unless it’s organic. Suffering is a status symbol – boss babes lose their menstrual cycle from overtraining. They simply want it bad enough. You can see how cunning it is – put the women into a competition where the winner suffers the most and diet culture stays winning either way.

Stay Woke, Sis

How can you decide if something is hoescience or not, dear reader?

Well, simply ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it marketed solely towards women?
  • Is the packaging pink?
  • Did you see it advertised on Instagram alongside a woman’s body?
  • Do you feel bad about yourself when you think about it?
  • Do you have an unshakable feeling this product will fix everything that is wrong with your disgusting female body?

If you answered yes to three or more questions, chances are you have found yourself dealing with some hoescience.

Finish him.

By now, you can hopefully see just how tragically rampant hoescience is. I firmly believe that the only antidote to this is regulation of advertising and social media content. Hoescience thrives on attention, and cannot survive in its absence.

In the interim, it is our responsibility as nutrition and exercise professionals to educate women and encourage them to be sceptical of these products, whilst we wait for this regulation which will probably never come.


Published by Michelle Carroll

I am an online coach (MSc Sports & Exercise Nutrition, EQF Level 4 Personal Trainer, PN Level 1) and radiographer (BSc). I believe in empowering others to make better choices for their health through education. I think that the fitness industry has created a disconnect between best practices and “evidence-based” practices. I hope by chronicling my experience as a healthcare professional and my education as a fitness professional I can assist others on the path to bettering themselves.

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