Pick up any issue of a supermarket rag these days, and what do we see? No longer are we treated to the perfection of a glam star, but more likely to their cellulite. The slime ball paparazzi thrive on degradation of public figures, the most common being a shot at weight. Nothing enthralls us more than getting a peek at some celeb who may have gained a pound or two.
I’m a bit tired of so much emphasis placed on weight. I know, I should stop right here, gather up my crayons, and stop writing. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. I can’t count the times I have heard the question “Do you think I look fat?” when what we should be asking ourselves is “Do I think I’m fat?”
Most people aren’t idiots. They realize that if they need to go through a door sideways they might consider shedding a few pounds. If their derrieres spread out to become arm rests when the take a seat, then I’m sure they are aware of it. But when we become so obsessed by a pound here and a pound there that even six-year-old little girls worry about being fat, we should be ashamed of ourselves.
I think a lot of this started with “Twiggy”. Remember her? She was the rail thin raccoon-eyed teenage model that skyrocketed to fame in the sixties. At that time, people were appalled by her pencil sized arms and legs. Not so, anymore, sadly. We have been persuaded that the tiniest bit of excess flesh or un-toned muscle is fatal. Bony bodies are glamorized. Even the health industry has inadvertently joined in by cramming their “healthy body” crusade down our throats, under the looming threat of premature death.
The problem is, the children of this country have also become obsessed with weight.
Everywhere we look we see ads for exercise machines and gym memberships. The diet industry is absolutely booming. People are attacking businesses for selling what they consider to be unhealthy foods. The bandwagon has taken this tsunami to the point of legislating foods. And the kids are sucking it up. What the hell is wrong with us?
Are we so blinded by conformity and the desire for acceptance that we lose all common sense? It’s disappointing that we feel as though we must conform to BMI indexes to be a worthwhile individual. I understand that some people feel they are at the top of their game when slipping into a size six from a size twenty. It gives them a feeling of accomplishment and control in their lives. That’s great, but…
The underlying message is that if you happen to be a comfortable size sixteen, you are somehow a lesser person, an idiot. You have no pride or self worth. Kids interpret in black and white, learning fat must be bad and skinny rules. We have lost track of the fact that being thin does not make a child happy, anymore than an occasional Big Mac and fries will kill them. Connecting size to acceptance and happiness is just plain wrong and we thrive on it as a way to scare our kids into health.
Considering all factors, do a few dress sizes really shorten life, as we are told day in and day out? Well, I would imagine that stressing about not living up to mainstream expectations has an effect also.. People naturally come in all shapes and sizes, and every little girl was not meant to fit into a size zero. Of course we should consider healthy alternatives in our lifestyle, but the message is in the wrong packaging if we set totally unrealistic goals of “the perfect body” being the end-all answer to everything. People wonder why kids are anorexic, depressed, and manic about their weight. Well, maybe it’s because adults are buying into it.
It’s not “cute” when a normal sized kid stresses about weight, it’s sad. They’re not “aware”, they’re brainwashed. Let them have a guilt free soda and then go outside and play with them. Take them to McDonald’s once a month (you know you want a Big Mac and fries), and follow it up with a walk and talk. Please, stop serving them your own insecurities on a dinner platter each night.