Sunday, 7 August 2011

A different kind of weighty issue!

So i'm not sure what i'm hoping to achieve out of this post really. But i'l just ramble on and hope it makes sense and maybe an impression!

My husband showed me a link to an article about how the age of those presenting to hospital with eating disorders is dropping, with some patients as young as 10 years old (and i'm sure younger) being hospitalized with their bodies ravaged by a lack of food. (This is just admissions to public hospitals as private hospitals are not counted in the statistics)

So one of my questions is who or what is responsible?? Is it parents that aren't paying attention to their kids? The media? Peer pressure??

I guess when you look through mags, and see whats on the telly now, it shouldn't be a surprise that young people have an unrealistic idea about what they should look like! Team that with a real fear in society of rising childhood obesity rates, and the popularity game and you've got a base for eating disorders to start! Famous young women are slender and well made up, with perfect faces and beautiful figures, no signs of acne or cellulite, and certainly no rolls for miles! Young 'regular' kids don't see how much work goes into creating these images that they see on the big screen and in magazines. And what these kids definitely don't see is the crap and stress these famous 'beautiful' people go through on a regular basis just trying to maintain this often fake image!!

They don't see the photo shopping, the body doubles, the digital enhancements (is that what its called?) the insecurities, and distorted views start to grow! In fact even the above article says this "...what is regarded as "ideal" figures – difficult, if not impossible, for many ordinary people to achieve." Are they saying that famous people aren't ordinary, and are able to achieve these ideal figures without digital assistance??!!! (I do realize that there are some people out there that match societies views of beauty without help, but they are few and far between!!!)

I was so pleased to see this you tube vid from Dove about what goes into the creation of the beautiful people that we see on billboards and no doubt magazines!!

I wonder what would happen if young girls saw this?? Would it change their minds about that 'ideal' image?? Would it make a difference? Part of me thinks it wouldn't make a difference because there are always going to be other factors in this fight, but it would certainly help!

I also had an interesting thought... would we still buy beauty mags if the women in them were overweight and not wearing make up?? Would we still watch the likes of Cameron Diaz if she had a wobbly tummy and a size 16 bum?? I'm embarrassed and horrified to admit this, but i'm so tuned in to wanting to see these ideal images that we 'need to aspire to' that i'm not sure that i would! And even more embarrassed that i say 'wobbly tummy and size 16 bum' like these things might not be beautiful!! (I'd like to point out now that those 2 things are me!!) Does this mean i'm part of the problem?? Are we (grown ups and parents) really paying attention to what our kids are absorbing??

If a grown woman like myself, mature (haha) and aware of myself, can fall into this trap, imagine what its doing to the minds of our kids! They're so impressionable, and at ages where their bodies are changing and doing weird things without permission!!

I guess what i'm hoping to achieve here is just that everyone supports and puts out a message like the one that the Dove campaigns do. Everyone is beautiful!! We may not be traditionally beautiful (what does that even mean???), or reach the norms set by society, but we are beautiful!!! The images that kids see aren't real/realistic and kids need to be made aware of this!!! Being skinny doesn't solve problems, it doesn't make you popular, and it wont make you successful.

Being healthy is everything!!! Lets teach kids to be fit and healthy, and as much as we can, steer them away from these unhealthy images and point them towards healthy role models that eat healthy and exercise regularly and are still confidant and happy with themselves and their lives!! Lets teach the young girls and boys around us that they are exactly as they should be, and so beautiful in their own way!!!

This post isn't a dig at people attempting to lose weight, (i'm currently attempting that journey) or at people that are naturally, healthily slim people ( I know many beautiful tiny people! I'm also aware that some people have significant weight loss as a result of illness, this isn't what i'm aiming at) Its not a dig at anyone really, its just a random rant about a topic that i ponder on a regular basis!! I think when your in a position to see the results of some of these disorders it hits a bit harder and makes you really aware of the importance of having positive, real role models!! Id also like to add that this isn't a dig at any particular famous people either!!

Anywho, i hope this has made sense and hasn't offended anyone (baby brain makes writing sense difficult....does that even make sense??) It's just something close to my heart that i'd love to hear what others think about it, if they even think about it! So if you'v made it this far, thanks for sticking with it!! I promise my next post will be a positive one!!!



  1. argh i've totally posted and deleted this comment like 3 times now!!

    so basically what I said was "Woah, deep! haha i freakin love that Dove campaign!! and yes Renee, it does make sense (or to me anyway, which probably doesn't count for much) haha"

  2. Beautifully written.. a very crucial topic that is often put in the too hard basket. I have a book called "101 ways to help your daughter love her body" which I think is a great starting place.