25 Jul
Mouthing Off: Do My Bones Make Me Look Fat In These Jeans?

It’s become increasingly clear that Kate Middleton and her sister, she of the distinguished derriere, must have some knowledge crucial to a superpower’s security because they have obviously been given what in some circles is termed “torture-lite.” This is a practice whereby the victim is literally starved for information.  Both women have become, simultaneously, über-thin and, strangely, powerful role models for young girls. Their gaunt frames are paraded on websites dedicated to pro-anorexia and severe dieting as the epitome of what a woman should strive to look like.

We have known for years that anorexia is a disease with life-threatening and lethal consequences. Yet the media continues to encourage unhealthy weight loss as a status symbol; the ultimate in female beauty. Is being a size 0 really worth dying for? Is it even, in true reality, beautiful?

Frankly, we don’t want to imagine a whole society based around the idea that Rachel Zoe is “curvy.”   Or  that Angelina Jolie needs to lose a few pounds! Since when did starving yourself become such an amazing experience? Sure, there’s Kate Moss and her favorite saying: “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels,” but then we have to remember she’s a cokehead! Of course she’s NOT hungry! I mean, why eat a muffin when your teeth are just gonna fall out soon anyway? I came across a few other “Thinspiration tips” (for those not imbibing of the cocoa plant or bathtub meth):

–             When you get hunger pains, curl into a ball.   It makes them go away.

–             Get out of your house! If you’re not sitting around then people can’t start shit with you about not eating.

–       Eat ice or gum when hungry. This will make your body think it had food without the calories.

Clearly, this advice is from a medical professional.  I mean ice instead of food…well…genius, think of all of the vitamins and antioxidants contained in frozen water. And forget famine! Just bring your knees to your chin! You’ll be fine!

We really can’t comprehend why and when the definition of “beautiful” came to encompass “close to death.” How is that attractive? Well, apparently it isn’t. A recent study found that a woman’s curves act like a reward to a man’s brain. This makes total sense.  Beyonce, J.Lo, Christina Hendricks, and Sofia Vergara aren’t popular without reason. And aside from their obvious talent, we now know there’s a fundamental scientific reason why our husbands sit nose-touching-the-television close when Modern Family is on.

So our advice to Kate and Pippa is just to give up the intel and grab a burger already. Eating is fun, healthy, and incredibly important. We can’t live without it and we won’t live long or well when it’s severely restricted.

Seeing women who starve themselves, or appear to, being paraded as role models is terrifying to us as parents. It is a wake up moment that shows us we must teach our children that mealtime can be healthy, fun, and essential. That taking pleasure in a healthful meal is normal.  That denying yourself food is not glamorous and can be dangerous.

If you know someone with an eating disorder please contact this helpline, it could save their life!

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Thank you to Hillshire Farm for sponsoring this post.  Check out their Social Twist promotion where you will have the opportunity to download a Hillshire Farm coupon for 55 cents. Or share the link socially and get a higher value coupon.

 

8 Responses to “Mouthing Off: Do My Bones Make Me Look Fat In These Jeans?”

07.25.11#1

Comment by Cheryl.

Holy shiitake! I had no idea this was going on. I tend to stay very far away from celeb news. I’ve been battling anorexia most of my life. I hope that the Middleton sisters do exactly what was suggested in the linked article: come out and make a strong statment condemning the pro-ana & pro-mia sites.

Anyone with either disease does not need support to continue, rather encouragement to get help. Thanks for mouthing off about this important issue.

07.25.11#2

Comment by sparkling74.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, but I find it ironic that this is sponsored by Hillshire Farm!

How about healthy looking, lit fit, instead of bone thin? What if women with muscle were shown in situations other than sports? How about showing muscles instead of bone? Now THAT would be something!

07.25.11#3

Comment by Jurgen Nation.

I was going to post as anonymous because this is a present issue for me, but screw it. I am what I am.

“Eating is fun, healthy, and incredibly important.” I agree with you on this and a number of other points you made. However, and what most people don’t fully grasp, is that an eating disorder (I can only speak for anorexia, from which I have suffered since I was 19 and am currently battling) is not a choice and it’s not as simple as just eating a sandwich. Anorectics are absolute monsters to deal with because people want to help, but there’s no magic word someone can say to make us feel like we’re thin enough. I know that men love curves, but I don’t live my life for what men desire and I don’t want to. (I know what you mean and am not being argumentative, just making a distinction.) At any rate, just as someone with OCD or anxiety or depression, an eating disorder is a biochemical interruption. Media does make it worse and can only help by changing the societal ideals, but it’s not the sole problem.

It’s sick, the whole issue, no pun intended. I’m a grown-ass woman and I look at bones as an ideal, not something to avoid. And that I can actually admit to anorexia is a thousand times better than most girls or women, who will respond in fury at the mere suggestion (which I did at first). But I still can’t help it. It’s not an “amazing experience” in the way that normal people would think of it. It’s just that in the disordered mind control dominates.

Anyway. Just my .02. 🙂

Marinka, TMH Reply:

Thank you so much for posting. I know that it couldn’t have been easy. Your perspective is incredibly important and I’m happy to know it.

And your points are excellent. Of course no disease in the history of the world could be helped by “just eat a sandwich” or any other throw away phrase. (Yes, Nancy Reagan, the Just Say No wasn’t the success you and I had hoped)

But as parents of children growing up in a society that worships thinness and promotes it over health, we have to face these issues and “counter” the media images.

I have no idea if Kate is anorexic or if this is her body type. But I wish that there were more societal messages that enjoying food is okay, that you can be beautiful and partake in three meals a day (and snacks!) Of course it won’t “solve” or “cure” eating disorders. But is it possible that it will help? At least one person? And isn’t that a start?

Jurgen Nation Reply:

Hell yeah, it would. If there were a way to separate a skeletal body type as acceptable from the mass consciousness, that would be HUGE. Mostly it’s about control – if eating weren’t seen as something indulgent and having cravings or an effing cookie is something to feel guilty about, that would go so far. With the disordered (speaking for myself and what I know from my master’s program), it’s control, denial of nourishment (“I don’t NEED anyone or anything!” and feelings of accomplishment. On the flip side, what society does with the overweight/obese is disgusting. I think we need big changes on both sides. Just as most obese people have issues with food that are biochemical, so too do those who don’t eat enough. We’ve got to stop using the word “fat” with a scrunched nose and as an insult.

I *definitely* agree with you. Just wanted to offer perspective from someone who might need to eat a sandwich but physically and mentally can’t. Sometimes, not all. Otherwise, bring on the bacon.

Ken Reply:

I really appreciate your reply. The article was thought provoking and your response then added so much. I admire your bravery in facing the issue. I hope that it can give strength to others.

From a guy’s point of view, it is so difficult to understand. I have seen anxiety and depression in action so I do get the uncontrollable/lack of choice nature of it.

Thanks for the article and then the discussion.

07.27.11#4

Comment by Emily.

Hi, I’m new to your blog and I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit so far. I hate to be the one who seems to stir up trouble but I can’t keep quiet here. After following the link to the picture of the Middleton sisters and the story, I am shocked to hear that these women are considered “too thin.” I do not in any way support a trend of eating disorders and I realize this is probably not the place to be bringing up issues like this. However, I am a woman with a rather small frame and I am so tired of people disliking me for whatever reason because of my size. I am healthy and normal! Now who knows if these pictures are truly representative of their figures, but they don’t look unhealthy to me. When everyone talks about women being beautiful at any size, they always seem to forget about the ones who are thin. Don’t hate the skinny girls just because you are not. It’s not our fault that some of us are genetically incline to be thin. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.

08.02.11#5

Comment by Lindsey @ A Pear to Remember.

I love this blog and THANK YOU for this article. I am finishing my graduate certificate in Nutrition, and took an unforgettable class last semester on Eating Disorders. It has made me hyper-aware of the problem, and I had been thinking how thin Kate Middleton looked when there were photos of her trip to the U.S.

Eating disorders are terrifying and real. I had a cousin hospitalized twiced, another who hasn’t had her period for years she is so underweight.

I write a food blog about having a healthy relationship with healthy, deliciously indulgent, food. Because it’s all about our relationship to food and eating. It’s just remarkable what you observe when you begin to listen to what people are saying about what and how and when they eat. Everyone is obsessed.

In reponse to Emily, above, I am also genetically bone-y and petite in nature, but when people make unhealthy comparisons to my weight vs. their size, I make a point to mention how much I do take pleasure eating and how everyone’s body is unique. People don’t dislike you, women are engulfed by insecurity. Encourage your friends by reminding them of their beauty!

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