“Somebody help me ooo… choi… what is this world turning into oooo, ewwwwoooooo… this world haf spoy’… were the words that should have come out from my mouth, when an 8 year old male kid, whom I was given responsibility of taking care of, by the powers that be, told me he does not want to eat, so he won’t be fat. This may be cute to some people (I really do not think it is)… because when considering the fact that he had not eaten the night before, and it was time for lunch, then you know there is a problem. I really did not know what to do. I managed to convince him to eat but not without a minor puerile kerfuffle.
I have been thinking about this for a while, and I keep asking why would an 8 year old male child tell me he does not want to eat, and give his reason as “so i do not get fat’, at an age where such a child should need all the food the child can get for his physiological development. I can only imagine what the girls that age would be going through.
Why have we convinced ourselves that fatness is unattractive, that even children are beginning to suffer for this? It is said that beauty is relative; well it is relative because of the influence from culture, society within our respective social construct. I understand we need to deal with obesity because of its detriments health wise, but then fat does not mean obese; one can be fat and not obese, because on the other end of the spectrum, thinness or cadaverousness can be very unhealthy too and nobody in their right mind would want that.
I think it is time we begin to make our children understand the difference, so as not to deal with a bulimic or anorexic epidemic
In her speech at the TedxTucson conference in Arizona, Jes baker the body love campaigner provides insights to the evolution of the body-size stereotypes regarding the world’s perceptions of beauty.
“Why do we focus on the body and not on the personality, talent… the way we build our bodies determine the way we participate in the world” Jes Baker says. One is inclined to agree with her, when spine chilling statistics like 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat, that they fear being fat more than they fear cancer, war or losing both their parents and 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting, are replete all over the place.
Baker proffers redemption with her total body love campaign, and believes that when we embrace it, self-induced depression will be minimized and we would have better communications and relationships with one anther, among other things.
Jes is a mental health professional and writes a blog on http://www.themilitantbaker.com