Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hold On Tight Part 1

Sorry I have been absent lately. A lot of things have been going on in my life and my mind is going in a million directions. I have a lot to worry about like recovery, school, my job, and my family life at home. So many things are ammounting to the stress in my life and right now I just can't deal with it. Everything is just too much.

If it's alright with everyone, I think I'm going to use this space to just vent for awhile. Sorry if I come off as being a bit of a Negative Nellie today. Or a Pessimistic Patty. Or a Depressing Debby. get the idea...

I'll just start with the easy stuff.

So this week marked my first official week of school in which I had a full schedule of classes. I like all of my teachers so far and I actually enjoy learning about the different topics that we are discussing. In Sosh class the other day we had a hot, and I mean HOT debate about society's perception of beauty. Everybody was talking about how we are expected to fit into this perfect, cookie-cutter mold in order to be accepted. Women are preferred to be tall and thin, while men are preferred as being muscular (but not too bulky) as well as dashingly handsome. A lot of kids voiced some pretty strong opinons on how they felt about these qualifications so to speak. Everyone agreed that it was unfair and injust. Everyone that is....except this one guy.

From the back of room, this tiny little Mexican voice rose above the chattering noise, just daring to challenge us. "So what if that's how this country wants us to look like. I personally believe that if we want live in this country then we need to look like they want us to in order to be accepted."

My mouth dropped to the floor. I couldn't believe how arrogant, and pigheaded this guy was. In case you were wondering he was dressed as a typical prep, and was wearing a fancy hoodie, white-washed jeans, and a large BATMAN buckle on his belt.

Then this other kid mentioned how more and more women are starting to diet themselves down to skeletal proportions because of the pressure that they are constantly facing to meet this ideal.

And the Mexican guy continued, "So? Some guys actually think that that's attractive."

And then we all slaughtered him. He never had a chance....

Actually it was really kind of sad and very eye opening just to see how ignorant some people really are to the severity of an eating disorder. Some people just plain don't get it. I was actually shocked to hear how this guy obviously lusted after women who are walking skeletons and wondered just how much damage the media has impacted on the collective minds of society. Even though I was too shy to speak a word of anger to this guy, inside I was fuming. It's these kinds of issues that really rub my skin the wrong way. They make me want to start a revolution and do something--anything to stop this behavior.

You may tell me that we have an obesity epidemic on our hands, but I say that we are blowing this way out of proportion. By teaching grade-school children about how to calculate the number of fat grams and carbohydrates in our food we are putting way too much focus on food. They are being discouraged to be fat and encourage to slim down, eat less and exercise more. Now I'm all for the whole "health" thing but I think that there is a more responsible and less extreme way to approach this. Have you noticed lately how every major food line and televesion commercial are toting products that scream "Eat This, Not That!" and "Only 100 calories and fat free!" In the long run, we are essentially not teaching children how to be more mindful of what they eat. Children are very influential and impressionable beings. Therefore, by constantly telling them that what they are eating is unhealthy, we are teaching them to be afraid of food. Furthermore, because fat is no longer an acceptable characteristic among precious pig-tailed girls and mussy-haired boys, we are teaching children the hard-learned lesson of acceptance in this world. To put it simply, fat is bad. My heart just screams at the injustice of this all! We should not be putting so much emphasis on health that we are training kids to think that a little extra pudge makes them unworthy. We should not be weighing kids at school and offering core nutrition classes in 5th grade. Their minds are too young! I say if the school has a problem with the way a child looks, they should take it up with the child's parents, not impose it upon the rest of the students. I have a young sister who comes home every so often with new information about what she learned in her health class. One year she even announced that she was banning soda as a part of a school project (if she successfully completed this, they win a prize at the end of the year). She is also terribly ashamed and self conscious of her body, and refuses to wear a coat in even the most frigid weather, for fear that it will make her look "even fatter than she already is." Can you believe this?! By jumping on this band wagon that the media has latched onto, we are telling kids that in order to be accepted and liked today, they must not be fat. In fact, society is so preoccupied with achieving this ideal, that they are completely overlooking the more imporant issue at hand. These are the perfect grounds for cultivating an eating disorder. Did you know that the youngest anorexic case was reported at being only six (SIX!) years old? Children are the youth of this country. They need to know that they are worthy and loved no matter what size or shape they may be. I hope that one day, somebody wakes up and realizes this importance, before a monster is created that cannot be stopped.

Eh hem. Now excuse me while I dismount from my high horse.


Kiki February 1, 2009 at 4:37 PM  

AH! I hate jerks like that guy! I'm glad you slaughtered him. I think it should be required that people have to learn about ED's in sixth grade health class or something. That way, kids will learn to be understanding and sensitive towards EDs from a young age.

I also hate what the media is doing to teach kids that 'fat is evil'. It's just guaranteeing a whole lot more disordered eaters, and a lot less kids who can just enjoy their childhoods without stressing over food. I'm glad you posted this, because it'll make you even more motivated to get rid of this crappy ED behavior!