Avoiding Crisis

weighing in on weight

with one comment

I’ve noticed that there’s been a lot of talk about weight in the media lately.  How could you not.  There’s always talk about weight, I know, but recently, it’s all about how Tyra Banks is fat and models are too thin.  Who’s fat?  Who’s thin?  Who’s recently lost weight?  Who’s put on a few extra pounds?  WHO CARES? Seriously, someone please tell me how many issues a year People magazine puts out dealing with weight related issues. We are a people obsessed with weight.  It doesn’t matter if we are talking about fat or thin, obesity or anorexia, we are talking about it.  Not to mention spending money on it too – almost $40 billion a year on diet products.     

It’s all about image.   As a mother of a young girl I am constantly reminded that a child’s mind is greatly influenced by her experiences.  It doesn’t help obviously that my daughter, at the mere age of 4, has a collection of Barbie dolls that would rival any serious connoisseur or that the bodies of every princess and female character that she adores have not one ounce of fat on them.  To her, these images are perfect.  But what is perfect?  And who got to decide that they were perfect in the first place. (I don’t have the heart to tell my daughter that Barbie is far from perfect and that if she was a real person she’d most likely be unable to stand up because she’s too top heavy with the measurements of  39″/19″/33″.)  

Now, here it comes: my real problem with the current focus on weight. (Well, that is, aside from the problem that we talk about weight far too much at the expense of other much more important issues.)   So my issue is this, while there is constant talk about obesity and anorexia, about what constitutes being overweight and what’s classified as an eating disorder, we hardly ever here people talk about what it means to be normal, what is means to be average.  We should stop focusing so much on the extremes, let the doctors and experts handle those, and start focusing instead on promoting healthy bodies, healthy living and healthy images. 


Written by nicolemarie

January 31, 2007 at 11:07 pm

One Response

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  1. I quite agree. I have two daughters, one of whom is a Barbie fan, and I try really hard not to use the extremes “fat” or “thin” in their presence. I don’t want them to grow up obsessed. We try to focus on being “healthy” instead. It’s going to get harder as they grow older and can access the media, but right now we’re keeping this right off their radar.


    February 2, 2007 at 5:25 am

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