From the JPost:
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill forbidding extremely underweight models to be shown in advertisements, on Sunday.
In addition, using Photoshop and other graphics programs to make models look thinner will be against the law.
The only thing that bothers me is the phrase “extremely underweight” – does that mean that “underweight” is ok?
I have four sons. Four healthy sons, praise the good Lord. Four healthy sons that can eat, and eat well. I also eat well although never as much as my hollow legged offspring. My kids take a packed lunch to school every day, 6 days a week. Including snacks (to be eaten or traded). I cook a good balanced supper almost every night. I bake too. We go through a lot of food.
Almost every time I go to the grocery store some wizened old crone has a comment to make to me as I push the overflowing shopping cart towards the cashier. Today’s was “You must be hungry dear, all that food for such a skinny young thing”. I just smiled and pushed on. She followed. She just had to add “Are you bulimic? Because my granddaughter is, and she buys a lot of food and then throws it up”. Now, I can see that this lady was trying to be a concerned citizen, and helpful. This woman doesn’t know me from Eve and cannot possibly know I have kids. But the bulimia comment pissed me off. I am skinny. My family are all slim people. I eat healthily (being married to an RD has many benefits). The assumption ticked me off. I have had anorexia and bulimia comments thrown at me so many times, even had people offer to take me home to feed me – it just lights a fuse under me. She would never have told a fat person she had too much in her shopping cart, that she looks like she needs to lose weight!!
I stopped pushing, took a deep breath and faced her. I told her I was sorry her granddaughter has issues with food. I told her I felt her pain. I thanked her for her concern and told her I was fine. But she continued to look so perplexed and worried, wringing her hands in the middle of the grocery store. I totally did not need to justify anything to her, but I tried for a second to imagine she was the 90 year old grandparent of a dear friend. Would I brush her off so easily then?
I told her that I am a very blessed woman who has four sons, including two teenagers, who eat a lot. She looked at me like I had an eye in the middle of my forehead. Yep. Here was the “you look too young to have such old kids” comment. Followed by the “Did you adopt them? You don’t look like you could possibly have given birth”…seemed that this lady was spouting ALL the lines that get my goat. God give me strength!! I whipped out their photos from my wallet, and spent a minute or two telling her about my kids.
By the end of the conversation she was tearing up. She thanked me for taking the time to speak to her, for not being rude as so many kids of “my generation” are. She wished me luck feeding my troops. And off I went to pay the cashier. This lady was probably so lonely and this had been her way of striking up some kind of conversation. I had been so close to biting her head off, I am so glad I didn’t.
(inspired by a friend struggling with an eating disorder)
I am in control
I know when to stop
Look what I can do
Look how far I can go
To lose a pound or two
I can do so much better
How about 42?
But that will never be enough
So I will push for more
Just one or two or maybe three
Then I shall stop
Will have been achieved
I reached my target weight
But I am still unhappy
Maybe just maybe
Lose another three
And then maybe
I shall feel free
To be me.
Posted in poetry
Tagged anorexia, poetry
Sometimes it’s the comments that aren’t premeditated that hurt the most. Recently, being the only slim person at a table with some people of larger size, I felt very insulted. I was offered dessert after eating a full meal, and I politely declined. So this guy who I hardly knew says “what are you? Anorexic or something?” and carried on with his life commentary (totally inappropriate table talk, but that was who he was). It wasn’t even his house or his table.
What if his assessment had been true? Wouldn’t that have hurt even more? Part of me wanted to say to him, why yes, I am anorexic – something a pig like you can’t ever understand because you have never met a food you don’t like, never said no to the fifth dessert.
No one, and again I am making this point, would dare to say “oh you’re having another piece of cake? Aren’t you already morbidly obese? Don’t you think you should stop?” But because thin is in people think they can joke about anorexia and get away with it. Obesity and Anorexia are both illnesses that can prove fatal, and neither should be joked about. If I decline dessert it’s because I am full. Not because I am obsessing about the number I will next see on the scale. I am slim, yes, and I guess that makes some people jealous, but do not mock my size, for I am starting to get sick of it.
When I was heavier, and I was for a while, there were barely any size comments – I remember one lady commenting, tho, on how she thought I had had a boob job. Gaining 40+ pounds in 2 months will add dimensions in places there were none before. But no one dared mention weight in my presence. They knew that a formerly skinny person who had been slim all her life and now was seven sizes bigger than her original self would have been upset to hear that. I dropped the 40+ (and a little more) and now I am fair game?
People, do not comment on size. It can be so hurtful. The only time its acceptable is if you are truly worried about a friend’s health – whether they be too large or too small, and then, please, choose your words appropriately. People of all shapes and sizes are vulnerable to size-ist remarks. Don’t say anything to anyone you wouldn’t want to hear said to you.