‘One Click’ with Elle Fanning finds a bomb in the beauty industry

Society & Culture August 2, 2021
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The internet isn’t always known for being a resource brimming with truth and facts. What was once seen as a possibility of worldly access and endless information can sometimes harbor the darkest crevices of humanity. And that’s where Elle Fanning and Jessica Wapner are headed. In Cadence 13’s and Vespucci’s original documentary podcast “One Click”, Fanning explores how one click can change your life.

When two people die similar yet unrelated deaths in two vastly different parts of America, heads begin to turn. The cases return from coroners stamped with a harrowing “cause of death unknown”, but that’s not where this story ends. Eventually, a connection is found: both victims had an unhealthy obsession with weight loss, and they were both cooked alive from the inside out.

In this first season, “One Click” digs into the history of DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol), an explosive chemical whose original purpose was for use in World War 1-era munition factories. When the factory staff who work with the chemical experience extreme weight loss, scientists develop a new miracle drug. But they realize their fatal oversight far too late.

Fifty years down the line, DNP is back in pharmacies, and back to roasting users’ insides. “One Click” looks at internet-culture, diet-culture, and how the two perpetuate each other. Fanning and Wapner tell a story about the risk of buying unknown substances on the internet and how the toxic beauty industry is killing people by the thousands.

They examine the history of the diet industry, from celebrity diets of the 1800s to the models of the 1990s. They analyze the way women’s bodies have long been scrutinized, critiqued and disparaged. And the two consider the way that the internet is only exacerbating the problem.  

“One Click” delves into the global hunt for DNP sellers: from a mother’s search for justice to an undercover agent’s manhunt. They review the court cases of these sellers and what they were actually charged with, their trials becoming landmarks within the legal system. The rampant spread of disinformation through the internet is costing people their lives, and “One Click” is committed to the persistence of truth.

Listen to ‘One Click’

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