Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year's greetings, of sorts

My daughter sent me this piece, which ran in our local paper on New Year's Day, along with an email asking, "Isn't this appalling?"

Tha's my 12-year-old daughter, who apparently understands more about the world than the fancy-schmancy newspaper editors around here.


Of course, what do you expect from a column called "The Skinny"?


mary said...

I don't know Harriet. It seems that the author managed to make dieting look as bad for the spirit as it is for the body. Crying while eating a carrot? hmmmmm

Maybe you ought to write your poem on the warmth, vitality, and energy gained by eating a nourishing bowl of stew with a big piece of hot buttered bread? We need to show how RIGHT it is to eat. We need to give food a better light...though this author may have inadvertently done just this. How many people saw the virtues of dieting when reading this and how many saw how pathetic it was to starve oneself like this? It's what we get from an article, not always what it says that matters. Does this make sense? Hope so.
I love how your young daughter is so aware of the risks.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I read it as "I ate good, delicious food, and now I must be PUNISHED! Isn't that what January's for - self-punishment for eating good things?" (That, and if just eating well for a few weeks has made her grow out of all her clothes then one shudders to think how much she's restricting the rest of the year to fit into those too-small-for-her-normal-weight clothes.)

I hope some readers did get from it the idea that this cycle is pathetic, but I fear most of them nodded agreement. It's such a common mindset.

Anonymous said...

Sparkly gold star to 12 year old for being able to spot, analyze, & separate the issues from the BS.

Sparkly platinum star to Mom Harriet for teaching the girl some analytical skillz. I certainly wasn't that aware of insidious marketing messages at 12, and I read Orwell and Huxley for fun.

So see, it's a Happy New Year after all. :D

Anonymous said...

I hate stuff like this.

I'm so depressed today (bathing suit shopping -- apparently I'm a size 10 and my BMI is 20 not 25! -- However, these were teen racing suits)

I HATE the diet industry and I hate feeling bad for following my mealplan.

A :(

Harriet said...

You'll feel better about it someday soon. Promise. Keep on keeping on. Channel your feelings into anger--it's a healthy outlet. Have you ever seen that bumper sticker that says "If you're not outraged you're not paying attention"? :-)

Thanks for the vote of confidence. God knows I was clueless at age 12 too. Of course I grew up in a dieting house, with an aunt who (I realize now) was bulimic for many years, and no one ever questioned any of it.

Hot buttered bread sounds just about perfect for tonight, Mary. Thank you for the image.

Jaed, too true, too true.