Boy Eat sent me a link to an article the other day.
“Fat is the new ugly on the playground,” a CNN article written by Katia Hetter. The article should pull at anyone’s heartstrings, and brainstrings, and everything else. Ms. Hetter writes a thoughtful and troubling piece that should shake each of us heartily. We should all sit up and take notice. The time is now.
The article discusses young, very, very young people’s perceptions of weight, beauty, body image, and the news is, at the very least, troubling. Girls as young as 3 are worried that they are fat, or will be fat. In fact, many very very very young (TOO young) children already associate being thin with all good things and fat with the opposite, all the bad things in the world.
Certainly, we all grew up in a world where bodies and shapes and sizes were the subject of teasing on the playground, but we also live in a world where eating disorders are rampant. The media constantly reinforces these distorted body image messages that we know corrupt us but sometimes forget corrupt our children, too. Girls and boys, men and women die each year from this horrible disease, this plague we are encountering because for some reason instead of promoting health and nutrition and all the good things we choose to support media that reinforces all the negative,
that thin is in,
that fat is out. lazy. bad. ugly. ugly. ugly.
And, in this moment, we still have the opportunity for change. And, that brings me to Ms. Hetter’s most brilliant points. We have the chance to teach our own children that these thoughts are not useful. That fat is not a moral judgment. That thin is not a goal, that fat is not something we should fear.
In the end, I guess that’s the point I want to get across. Despite the very disturbing (and necessary) points Ms. Hetter makes, her article ends on a very hopeful note, a note for change, starting now.
Let’s help our children and ourselves.
Reinforce messages of true beauty, and health, whenever you can, to whoever will listen.
Honor your health and your body, not just for how hot you look in that pink skirt, but for what it can do for you, physically.
Eat freely and pleasurably, until your body is satisfied.
Teach your children well, and well-being.
Together, we can break free from the bonds that hold us, and hold our children. End ED. The time is now. After all, a five year old shouldn’t be concerned about how many calories that popsicle has. Truth is, neither should you.
And, you can start right now. Go read the article. http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/16/living/body-image-kids/index.html