When our family started dealing with anorexia, one of the first things that happened was that we became highly sensitized to questions of weight and body image. And folks, once you tune in to what people are saying--about their own weight and bodies, about yours, about other people's--you'll be astonished and appalled.
The media, of course, is a huge offender. Several exposures recently have inspired me to highlight some of the most egregious offenders with a special Leaden Fork Award (kinda the opposite of Laura Collins' Golden Fork--for more on Laura Collins see her fabulous site).
My first Leaden Fork Award goes to the well-intentioned but way-off-base folks at braincake, a site meant to be all about empowering girls. (Thanks to Gale Petersen for bringing this to my attention.) The flash intro to their site shows the words "If I could change the world," and follows it with various wishes, apparently in the words of girls themselves. One of those wishes is: "If I could change the world, I'd . . . reengineer chocolate to have negative calorie. The more I ate, the skinnier I'd get!"
Congratulations, braincake! Your Leaden Fork award is well-deserved for the way you've bought in to the myth that when it comes to girls, thinner is always better. You've trivialized girls' dreams and wishes. And you've blithely ignored the very real and very destructive problem of eating disorders.
Want to be part of changing the world? Send the misguided folks at braincake an e-mail and tell them you want them to change their intro, pronto. The address is email@example.com. Tell 'em I sent you.
Got any candidates for the Leaden Fork award? Send them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.