Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Won't Somebody PLEASE Think of the Children!"

As Helen Lovejoy of the Simpsons would often scream, "Won't somebody please think of the children!?" All these anti-obesity organizations seem to be screaming this every single time they try and make a point, as seen with MeMe Roth, the current "it" discussion on most fat blogs because of her statements against Jordin Sparks of American Idol. But all of this screeching for the health of children makes me wonder if perhaps, we're doing far more harm than good. An ad campaign for a health facility called MetroWest made news back in January because of their finger pointing and shaming of parents. (Click here to view various billboards and their television ad) This makes me so terrified for my children one day... After all, what with "second-hand obesity" being a new term I've heard thrown around, I'm just going to keep making those around me fat! But in all seriousness, unless I find the relatively skinny man of my dreams (what can I say? I find t3h skinny hot on guys XD) and my children get his metabolism, they are pretty much doomed to draw comparisons to their bodies when they see pictures such as these all over the place on billboards and television ads:

If I always look the same way I do now (which, I hate to say, I aspire to tweak a bit), I swear my kids are going to ask me about the second one: "Mommy, what are you doing on a billboard?" Because that girl looks about like my size. Actually, if I were to see that with nothing beneath it, I would perhaps think she was about to go and box somebody, or compete in some championship softball game because of the way she's sitting all nervous like. But how could I forget? Fat people are never on anything unless the purpose is to point out how fat they are.

But anyways, back on subject! Poor kids. Yeah, I've been on a "what are my kids going to look like/be like/live like lately, probably because upcoming college=me thinking about the future=me thinking broadly about the future. Also, I'm terrified of something like this happening. In both famous cases, as mentioned in the link, the child's weight did not change after the child was no longer in the custody of the parents. It seems as though nowadays, kids who would have, if born thirty years ago, been big anyways due to genetics, we now see their parents as these evil fiends we must conquer or else the children won't have a future and will die due to type II diabetes and such! Oh no! Hell, I was/am* an obese kid (*depends on your definition of kid, I guess) and I feel I have a pretty bright future. This fall I'm going to be well on my way to being fluent in German, and then all I'll have to worry about is whether or not the interpretor business is anti-fat O,o

The bottom line is that children are being used as the number one reason why the obesity epidemic must be conquered once and for all, without any real fool-proof plans that will help combat it, and little to no explanation for why programs that are created for the sole purpose of helping children be anorexic little snobs fit and healthy youngsters. Honestly, because I am super paranoid, I honestly believe that no one gives a damn about the fat kids or adults... The outspoken majority is just tired of having to look at their "disgusting flabbiness" and are looking for a good excuse to get it out of their sights. To me, that's the worst way to "think of the children."


"The Captain" said...

good post on childhood obesity

M said...

I just started reading this blog, and I really liked this entry. One thing that stands out to me is that they're trying to link depression with being overweight/obese. As someone with an MA in psychology, I like to think I know a little bit more about the subject than the scare tactic advertisers. Depression can cause weight gain, and depression can be spurred on from the harrassment that comes from being overweight. But I suppose public service annoucements like "bullying is bad and leads to depression, teach your kids not to be assholes" aren't as attention grabbing in today's world!

Anonymous said...

The U.K new Government Accountability Office (GAO) literature review of 53 articles on childhood obesity and factors affecting levels of physical activity reinforces the need for schools to have Coordinated School Health Programs (CSHP) to help decrease obesity among children and youth.

zyx said...

I like your blog, but I do think you are guilty of putting ultra-thin folks down, in your quest for societal acceptance of larger bodies. I have had a really skinny friend who was told by random dude at a party that they're ugly in front of me. The whole real women have real curves movement says that thin women are not real women. And I know fat women are told they are unfeminine and ugly, desexualized and ostracized in society. But hey, bro, it's all the same fight.Let's not dismiss anyone with any kind of body as a "snob." How bout all bodies are sexy? Body acceptance for e'rybody.

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