Thursday Night WTFkery

Okay, while I get that there’s an obesity issue with kids and people in general in the US, can I just say how much I despise the concept of this self-published book?

“This book is about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.”

Okay. All well and good. You know. Except for that whole “NORMAL SIZED” thing.

And the fact that it’s marketed for readers age six and up.

Age. Six.

Six.

I want to chuck my computer out the window right now. I’m all for being active and having self-confidence, but Jesus. I don’t think first graders need to feel like shit because they aren’t skinny enough. My daughter is five. She weighs 35 pounds. She is a TWIG. And she is already looking at her backside and asking me if I think she looks fat.

This shit starts so early.

We have enough problems with little girls being oversexualized in this country, let alone needing one more piece of literature placing the entirety of their self-value on how much they weigh.

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7 Responses to Thursday Night WTFkery

  1. Alison Beightol says:

    God freaking damn. I'm a chubsy and my daughter is a twig but in her brief nine years I never talked about weight or body image issues when she was around. Now there's a book equating normal and size. Swell. Maybe she meant well but it came out convoluted. That is one book not coming into my house unless I use it to A) teach what is wrong with it. or B) start a fire.

  2. Alison Beightol says:

    oh and I just noticed that it's written by a dude. it makes sense.

  3. Paul Schumacher says:

    <p>As a man who has watched his female friends deal with this issue again and again, I believe the more mature way to end this book would to have had Maggie NOT become “normal” and instead discover she's just big boned. My Fiancé is not skinny, after all, and she eats better and exercises more than I do. Most people are fat or thin depending on their body's chemistry. Genetics make us one way or the other and my Fiancé looks exactly like her mother.
    </p><p> 
    </p><p>I think the biggest problem with this book has to do with the rhetoric. Whenever we say a “normal size” we create a whole master race of standard image. Those who fall outside of the standard parameters are somehow flawed. What we really need to be doing is celebrating people for what makes them different from one another.
    </p><p> 
    </p><p>We also need to throw away the Body Mass Index chart. It was invented between 1830 and 1850 by Belgain folks conducting experimental math. In 1972, it appeared in the July edition of 1972 in the Journal of Chronic Diseases by Ancel Keys, which found the BMI to be the best proxy for body fat percentage among ratios of weight and height. BMI was explicitly cited by Keys as being appropriate for population studies, and inappropriate for individual diagnosis. Nevertheless, due to its simplicity, it came to be widely used for individual diagnosis, despite its inappropriateness.
    </p><p> 
    </p>

  4. Jess Haines says:

    'Scuse me while I go foam at the mouth and rage off in a corner somewhere.  BRB

    -J

  5. mynfel says:

     Yeah, you're excused. Seriously. This shit makes my blood boil.

  6. mynfel says:

    Wow – had no idea about any of that. Fascinating stuff about the BMI. Funny how we latch onto things like this and it becomes part of the culture.

  7. Renee says:

    Good grief! Seriously!? Wonder if the author is really a guy, or a girl pretending to be a guy because she thinks the book might get more respect? In any case, it's not any kind of literature fit for "consumption" by anyone's child.

    What kills me, though, is that even if parents are super careful not to judge their children's weight, or obsess over their own weight in front of their children, or even comment on other people's weight, the children will still pick up the message from the media and their friends at school that they should be a certain weight to be acceptable. It's an uphill battle for parents.

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