Tuesday, March 08, 2005

women's history month in a time of obesity

Teenage girls are the target, but anyone can buy in.
If you have a growing sense of self and are convinced you can get anything you want, for a well deserved price, you too can get your stomach stapled. or compulsively run, jog, purge, splurge and then weep.
The online sites abound. today's favorite is called hopeful message and reads as follows:
"If you are successful in diet, you could have the pride and self confidence that you can be successful in any field. "

Hold onto your abs, there's more! All you need is will power, an urge to avert your eyes from krispy cremes and the nearest ice cream store, while applying weight loss cream and powdered shadow to your lids. Didn't that go out with jello salads in the 50s? I guess not!

In a world where everything is low carb, except for Mr. Atkins who is dearly departed, it is hard to find some grounding for the run-a muck advertising world which tells girls (and women too) that fat is fiendish and thin is still in (though big hips and buttocks are gaining popularity as a multi-cultural world view is on the rise!).

Whatever happened to a balanced diet, nutrition, the five food groups (perhaps six if chocolate stands alone) and enjoying food for the beauty of its taste and freshness. How does over eating correlate to sustainable food sources? Shouldn't we still be focusing on where the food comes from, the drive to decrease pesticidal sprays and an advocacy for a kinder, gentler, more accepting world of carnivores and vegetarians alike?

The bottom line is this: I don't know if people who diet are intrinsically unhappy, but social pressure finds its insipid way onto the airwaves. Having just returned from an island visit, I must admit that there were so many extremely obese people that I began counting their tatoos, in black and white and in color. Yet, I don't believe encouraging young women (and in turn their older selves) to pare down just to be cool, holds any life affirming value. No matter what weight people expand or contract to, there is so much work we have to do to feed ourselves and nurture humanity. Let's keep that idea in the foreground and leave staples for paper products, to hold things together that would otherwise fly away.


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