I watched WIN's 'Girls on the Grill' segment this morning, a discussion about anorexia and our daughters. Two beautifully slim, well-groomed youngish women talked about how important it was to teach our girls about inner beauty. Such a mixed message!
The supreme irony of the mixed message is such a sad one. The very reason that these two gorgeous girls are up front and gracing our television screens is that they themselves fit the very slim beauty mould that they were railing against! Just being clever and articulate is not enough - they have to look the part.
By the time we see older women growing old naturally with wrinkles and grey hair as normalised television icons I think that I will be long dead!!
The visual message from the programme was in direct conflict with the intended verbal message. Now, if the discussion had focused on health and the long-term health consequences of poor food choices as it related to an individuals weight and society's medical burdens then we might have been going somewhere useful.
Combine this discussion with the food industry's inertia and reluctance to actually help us by cutting fructose from restaurant fare and packaged foods and beverages then we have a real recipe for unhealthy consequences.
Any rational person is all for building up the fragile self-esteem of young women, but we need to be very careful that we don't enable poor health choices in our young women by demonstrating poor health choices ourselves.
How many times do women pass around chain emails about the 'benefits' of chocolate indulgence. Again I ask: who are we kidding?
Perhaps it's time for a little tough love?
Whenever discussions surround anorexia and young women take place so often the emphasis is on appearance not overall health. We rush to reassure our thin AND plump children, teens and women alike that being overweight is okay and that it doesn't matter really, it's what you are inside that really counts.
Well, of course it is! But the thing we adults should be worrying about is what makes our girls think that they need to eat to the point of excess to feel good?The focus in the media seems to be way off the point.
The issue needs to be all about the long term health issues of our psychological battles with food. Reject the fat not the person.
And why do I wade into this battle with such authority? If you read my blog you'll already know. If not, then know that some of my health issues as related to excess baggage aren't pretty.
It's time we older women lead the way and stood up to be counted. As we rapidly age hordes of us are experiencing the consequences of excess weight on joints, Type 2 Diabetes, blood pressure and who knows what else. We know how hard it is to reverse the habits and poor health choices of a lifetime. Do we want our daughters to end up with our health problems? Is that what mother love is really all about?
Just stop and think! Start a blog yourself! Wade right in there and fight the fat!!
We need to help our daughters rather than reassuring them that fat is alright because it simply is not. We need to see fat as much a cry for help as we see very thin.
Come on girls, who do you think you are kidding in the long run?