16
Apr
08

Is it right to glamorize extreme thinness?

The French National Assembly has passed a groundbreaking bill which seeks to criminalise the promotion in the media of extreme thinness. That’s everything from pro-anorexia websites that encourage girls and young women to starve themselves, to magazines and advertisers. If approved by France’s upper house, those found to have encouraged severe weight loss could be fined up to 45,000 euros and face three years in prison. Is this the right approach? Or should there be no limits on what can appear on the web?

Pro-ana websites that promote eating disorders as a lifestyle choice have been criticised for normalising the disorder. Eating disorder charities have called on Facebook, MySpace and Youtube to have tighter controls on their content, after they found anorexic girls using them to encourage each other to starve themselves.The definition of beauty has almost become synonymous with being thin, with Hollywood embracing the thin star image and skinny super models and celebrities setting an example for younger girls to be just as thin. So, is it right to glamorize thinness?


41 Responses to “Is it right to glamorize extreme thinness?”


  1. 1 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 14:40

    This is a free speech vs. stupidity issue. I’m sure there are also websites about how to castrate yourself. Should we protect people from their own stupidity or shallowness? There’s a big difference from a girl who has mental problems and doesn’t eat or makes herself vomit, and a girl promoting that others should be doing the same. Sometimes, you really have to wonder how pervasive either stupidity or mental illness is in society. There are mens magazines too, I’m sure most of the guys are better looking and in better shape than I am, but so what? I am me, they are them. I don’t modify life by what I see on TV, in movies or in magazines. Everyone in sports illustrated is probably a better athlete than I am too, do I do something about that? I think we need a little more accountability, and you cannot just blame it all on the media, the magazines, people really should be responsible for their decisions. Let’s not forget that anorexia really is only an issue in developed, post industrial countries. It’s really an illness of the privileged. Do you think any cave women starved themselves?

    So do we value free speech, and the promotion of bone headed, stupid ideas? That’s what you have to do if you believe in free speech. If you can ban things like this, then you also are saying you can ban criticism of certain groups, etc.. Slippery slope.

  2. 2 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 14:57

    This is so silly. I get a free subscription to GQ and I don’t run out and spend my day in the gym or go out and buy Armani suits. I also get magazines from my Bar associations, should I run out and buy the suits I see in those? Should I get that briefcase I see? Come on. I think it’s time we expect women to be a little less shallow. It’s not like a man can be obese, poor, and expect to get the time of day from the opposite sex. It’s even more difficult for men to get women. All women need is a pulse, and some guy will be interested in them. This all has to do with an “I want it all” and if I look look like a supermodel, I’ll have it all. Remember, there are no guns pointed at hens making women buy these magazines, nor guns pointed at their heads making them go on diets, vomit, etc. It’s time to accept responsibility for poor decisionmaking.

  3. 3 Paulo
    April 16, 2008 at 15:07

    Is it right to glamorize extreme thinness? Certainly not. Is it right to criminalize glamorizing extreme thinness? Absolutely not. The best way to counter bad ideas is with better ideas. Suppression is not the answer. It’s a violation of a person’s right to express their opinion freely (a right we all have even if some governments don’t recognize it), and if you can do it for pro-anarexia websites, you can do it for anything.

    I think eating disorder organizations calling on websites to curb these posts and pages is, however, reasonable. These are privately-owned websites, and they have the right to permit or ban any content people choose to put on their site. The SHOULD take a stand and block content that glorifies unhealthy, extreme thinness along with a host of other bad ideas.

    Paulo
    Paterson, New Jersey

  4. 4 VictorK
    April 16, 2008 at 15:27

    Why not?

    There are certainly foolish and gullible people around and they need to be protected (from themselves as well as from their would-be exploiters).

    ‘Personal responsibility’ is certainly a good thing, but the fact is that there will always be a section of any community who are simply incapable of making sensible choices for themselves and who clever parasites will always try to batten on to.

    Criminalising these sites doesn’t seem to me the best approach, though. It should have been made a civil offence and families should have been given the right to sue such sites/magazines for unlimited damages for any harm caused to their daughters (or sons). The standard of proof should be set very low: e.g. having visited such a site once. Give those who are capable of being responsible an incentive to be so.

  5. April 16, 2008 at 15:41

    Having the right weight has become an obsession for many young women to the point that having it means having it to the most minimum level. There have been many victims of thinness among models themselves. Spain is one of the first countries to make it to employ super-thin models.

    There are many dangers associated with starving one’s body to get extremely thin. This means depriving the body of the necessary minerals and vitamins. This can affect the firmness of bones after the menopause.

    There are even few men who can accept to live with a skinny woman as a healthily fleshy woman has more appeal than a skinny one.

    In some countries, as in Mauritania the norm is that a woman should be extremely fat to have more appeals. But this isn’t without a price on their health. In this country, girls after puberty are made fat through the traditional force-feeding of young girls. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/6591835.stm

    Perhaps the golden rule is that women should learn to live with their bodies as long as they don’t have health threatening excess in weight. Seeking to lose too many pounds for the sake of looking fashionable is only a cosmetic effort. Women should develop self-esteem through healthy diet and physical exercises. Starving to get thin is killing all body strength. As such, women can look “beautiful” but without enough substance to make a doctor certify that they’re actually healthy and they won’t have any health complications sooner or later.

  6. April 16, 2008 at 15:46

    The obvious answer is no. Man has been dictating how women should look for decades. What women could do is realize that they are being manipulated by man and do the opposite of that…it’s that simple.

    A person must find who they are, before they can be who they are.

  7. 7 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 15:48

    @VictorK

    This is such a sad state of affairs that people cannot be expected to be responsible or make the right decisions or be accountable for their actions. We keep on enabling bad behavior as a society by letting it slide.

    My best friend’s sister is/was anorexic, and I asked her the reason why, and she said she has to be thin to land a millionaire/Brad Pitt clone. Everyone treated her like she was a victim, but when it was her outrageous standards that led her to make poor decisions. Surely there are mental problems there, but we just blame the magazines, rather than the poor decisions.

    Again, I see magazines with lots better looking men than men and I don’t starve myself, or move into the gym because of that. Am I more intelligent?

  8. April 16, 2008 at 15:51

    Paulo…I’m from Paterson too.
    That’s a trip.

  9. 9 John in Salem
    April 16, 2008 at 16:09

    It isn’t possible to legislate intelligence but there will always be politicians who will try.
    That being said, in a world where starvation is beoming more commonplace it seems inevitable that emaciation would become fashionable at some point.

  10. 10 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 16:09

    @Daniel,

    You’re enabling bad decisions. It’s not men making women do this. It’s women doing it, and then people making excuses and portraying women as victims, unable to make smart decisions. There are no guns at women’s heads forcing them to buy magazines, to go to these websites, etc. I mean, are men to blame for women shopping too? When are we going to hold people accountable for their actions? Ever? Women realize that if they are attractive, they get lots of attention and material things. If that’s how men contribute to the problem, then you are right. However men aren’t making women do the things they do. Your attitude only enables bad behavior, by not holding people responsible for their decisions.

    Would you be saying I’m a victim if I were depressed and took up drinking and then drink and drive, or just drink heavily, harming myself? Or would you say I’m accountable for my actions? Why are women less accountable for their decisions?

  11. April 16, 2008 at 16:33

    @Steve

    The guns are:
    – peer pressure
    – magazines
    – male image of what a woman is supposed to look like
    – the lack of availability of work for large women
    – the ticking biological clock

    These are but a few of the guns and it is men who are pulling the triggers. Women who cannot dodge these bullets are the ones who suffer. If women could realize that they are being infuenced by a male image of a women, then they can seek help to change that within themselves and accept the image in the mirror.
    It began with Twiggy and hasn’t stopped since.

    Everyone is responsible for their actons, but it would be nice for an alcoholic to go to a bar and not be offered a drink by his best friend.

  12. 12 Dan in the US
    April 16, 2008 at 16:37

    Personal accountability is the obvious argument here. However, you cannot underestimate the power of the media, and at least in our country, the effect it has on women’s choices with regards to appearance. Many young women are influenced by what they perceive in our constant ‘in-your-face, reality-show driven society. There are a lot of idiots on TV, too many, but it sells. Parents need to discuss with their kids what’s really important in this world. It certainly isn’t right to glamorize extreme thinness. Nor is it right to criminalize it. The pendulum will swing back to healthy weight being attractive as these issues are discussed. The goal, as with everything else, is moderation- do not overindulge and do not starve yourself. What should be glamorized perhaps is being fit and healthy- and we’re beginning to see that.

  13. 13 Count Iblis
    April 16, 2008 at 17:07

    If approved by France’s upper house, those found to have encouraged severe weight loss could be fined up to 45,000 euros and face three years in prison. Is this the right approach?

    Such a policy can only be successfully implemented in a country like China:

    China today banned the Research Society of Falun Dafa and the Falun Gong organization under its control after deeming them to be illegal.

    In its decision on this matter issued today, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said that according to investigations, the Research Society of Falun Dafa had not been registered according to law and had been engaged in illegal activities, advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances, and jeopardizing social stability.

    The decision said that therefore, in accordance with the Regulations on the Registration and Management of Mass Organizations, the Research Society of Falun Dafa and the Falun Gong organization under its control are held to be illegal and are therefore banned.

  14. April 16, 2008 at 17:20

    There is this madness nowadays wherein all girls will love to starve themselves to death just to attain a lithe figure. It is even happening here in Cameroon and the consequence is anorexia.

  15. 15 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 17:23

    🙂 Hello!

    Is it right to glamorize extreme thinness? Absolutely no. It’s not correct people pressure to impose a lifestyle that may put your life in risk. However, it’s difficult to control all the contents shown in Internet and other media. Then, although I completely agree these websites should be banned, there would be also more strong campaigns to promote self-esteem in women – and even men -, taking advantage of the power of media. If the wrong message arrives to people, why not to try with the correct one? This job should be supported by family and school.

    Additional to this, the government and the institutions involved in communications should control the contents and encourage their receptors to be more critical with the things they see / read / listen to. After that, it’s on the audience’s hand the way they decode the information. I agree with freedom of speech, but unfortunately some people do not use this liberty in the appropriate way…

    Dear Steve: You’re right when you say each person is responsible for their own actions. But if you know someone is giving poisonous sweets to your children at school, even if you tell you kids not to accept them, it’s logical you’ll try everything you can to keep them safe. Banning these websites is similar, because unfortunately badly influenced young people are not able to decide what’s right or wrong.

  16. 16 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 17:36

    Hi, Abdelilah!

    I read the link you posted… It’s exactly the same that is happening around the world, but to make girls get fatter! It’s unbelievable… Media and society pressure too much their members… That’s why it’s necessary to have a critical thinking and be able to decide what’s good for you or what is not, without doing everything the others tell you to do. All these depend on the principles you have and, in this case, in the love you have for your own person and body. Sadly, this love for ourselves and for others is missingin this world.

    Regarding the topic of “freedom of Speech”, is it correct to allow people with harming ideas to advice our children? Although family, school and some media can help to discuss the messages, what about the young people who don’t have some or any of these to help them?

  17. April 16, 2008 at 17:53

    I don’t see how it starts hurting you on somes’ weight.This is by choice every one knows how he/she wants to look like, if starving your self is the road to your dream weight then go for it!!! as long in that process you harmed no one.

  18. 18 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 18:06

    @ Sandra

    The problem is that it’s not limited to children making bad decision. There are adult women that are anorexic and bulemic, and people still make excuses for their bad decisions. My friend’s sister is anorexic, and she is anorexic because she wants a male model millionaire to like her.. I used to date a bulemic, and she did it, well, basically she had some serious problems. But all were conscience decisions by adults, do do things they knew were bad for them, but chose to do it anyways. Not because of magazines, not because of pressure. Those are all excuses, excuses from taking responsibility for their own bad decisions.

  19. 19 Will Rhodes
    April 16, 2008 at 18:27

    Just what has the world come to when a government has to say they are going to fine and imprison people for putting certain content on the web or magazines?

    What will happen next – Hollywood films that have a thin actress in it be banned? That is a stupid example I know – but so is this kind of legislation.

    All we need do is look at the UK with legislation like RIPA – this is supposed to be about organised crime and terrorism, yet it is used by local councils to spy on people making a school application and people walking their dog!

    http://willrhodes1961.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/you-are-a-terrorist-if/

    It seems that the over zealous, over paid councils of Britain have used this law to spy on parents to make sure they were not asking for their child to go to one school in one catchment area rather than another!

    If people allow their children to go to such sites on the net it is their responsibility and obvious stupidity – make no wonder there are the Darwin Awards!

    Is it good to glamorise such content, obviously no – but legislating to get it removed etc.? No to that, too.

    And what we have to take into serious account, is that the only people who could be prosecuted under this law would be French nationals – the web isn’t only in France. Then you get to the stage where net content will be removed or censored – that is what we have been saying is wrong in China have we not?

  20. 20 Allison
    April 16, 2008 at 18:27

    Over the years what is glamorous or glamorized changes and in almost every case it’s using what the rich and powerful can have, glorifying it, and setting it apart from what the poor cannot have. Think of Ruben’s paintings in the early 17th century – larger women were glamorized when starvation made many women thin. In the American antebellum South, the ideal of feminine beauty was a frail and pale woman – one who did not work in fields, but had the luxury to stay in her house. Later, tan became the fashion, as it was associated with the financial ability to on vacation or safari to tropical places. Today, obesity has a strong relationship with poverty and thin is in. As long as there is power in seeking to be whatever society considers “beautiful,” young women will seek it – often to the detriment of their health.

    The legislation cited in the nytimes articles seems to focus specifically on “pro-ana” communications – I had never even heard of such things until they did a Boston Public episode about them – they’re not the reason young women starve themselves. All those cues are much more subtle. And we’re not going to be able to ban supermodels from being thin. Are we?

  21. 21 Scott Millar
    April 16, 2008 at 18:39

    Of course it is! Skinny people take the best photos and look best in the clothes. Not a conspiracy.

    -Portland, Oregon

  22. 22 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 19:01

    Skinny is not healthy. Beauty should never be death. Skinny people don’t look good but sick, the same way that extremely fat people. That radical measurement of extreme thinness shows no love for your person and body but an obsession for disappearing your whole body – and life!

  23. 23 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 20:02

    http://www.canada.com/topics/bodyandhealth/story.html?id=c768f569-f395-4fae-b6eb-bca8d328dc6a

    I like this article, it talks about how people bend over backwards to take away accountability from people’s decisions to be obese, just like we take away responsibility from women who starve themselves or purge and blame it on magazines rather than blaming the person actually doing the act. We’re a society of victims, all not responsible for our choices. And our kids will be the same mess we are if WE don’t accept responsibiity for our bad decisions. ENOUGH VICTIMHOOD! You are NOT a victim. You are the result of your choices. Deal with it. It’s what grownups do.

  24. 24 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 16, 2008 at 20:18

    Hi, Steve! 😛

    You’re right: people are used to apologizing for every mistake they make and blaming others, when they were the only ones who had to take the right decision in the moment.

    People can be easily influenced: that’s why I think media should make use of its power to persuade women to love the way they are. However, it’s each one’s responsibility to decide what to do. The actual problem are not the websites or magazines but the lack of criticism of their readers.

  25. April 16, 2008 at 21:01

    @ Steve, I am sure you know better than using the argument about guns. You know as well as any of us here that the dominant ideals of beauty which circulate in the media are of women who are super thin as the ultimate definition of ‘the sexy women’. Whereas the pressure is on for men to look ‘gymned’ and ‘buffed’, the expectations are not quite the same.

    So, yes, women should make better choices, but that can sometimes be a little difficult when near death experiences, caused by self induced starvation, start looking like a viable option. Talk about enabling! We should be promoting positive self images for everyone, beginning with a definition of beauty that goes beyond the pores.

  26. 26 Nick in USA
    April 16, 2008 at 21:03

    I have to agree with Steve in this situation. If you’re going to ban this type of content, then you should definitely ban every fast food commercial. The last time I checked, heart disease was killing far more people than anorexia. Government laws cannot prevent girls from experiencing this type of insecurity. Only changing the minds of these girls will help them. Frankly, I think this starts in the home. Teach your daughters to be proud of their brains, not their breasts. If the government would like to promote healthy eating, that’s fine, but to prevent people from spreading their message is censorship in the worst way.

  27. 27 Jens
    April 16, 2008 at 21:12

    the problem is that starvation also leads to changes in the bodies physiology, including the brain chemistry. based on this many people who strive for extrem thiness have actually lost the image and self-perception of what is healthy. so steve sometimes it is not just a matter of bad descison making but als a true chemical inbalance, which is driving the porr descison making. very much like depression is anchored in disturbed serationin levels and uptake.

  28. 28 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 21:29

    @ Nick

    I really wish what you suggest would happen, but women have relied on their looks for far too long. They are incredibly insecure. Remember the story about the Harvard Gym where they wanted to make it women only for certain times. First it was alleged it was to accomodate muslim women, then it was argued so that women in general can feel comfortable. It was men being penalized for women being insecure!

    So long as women rely on their appearances to get what they want out of life, they will be anorexic, bulemic, and insecure. This is a result of THEIR choices THEY made. I have a big problem with obesity too, which is in 99% of cases, a result of the choice to eat too much and exercise too little. I know many obese people, I know several that have died (at under the age of 32) as a direct result of being obese.

    I just cannot stand when people aren’t held accountable for their actions. Someone’s insecure, so men have to get banned from the gym. Someone starves themself, so it’s the magazine’s fault. Someone eats too much, and it’s a “disease” and not their choices.

  29. 29 steve
    April 16, 2008 at 21:33

    @ Augosthino

    “when near death experiences, caused by self induced starvation, start looking like a viable option” YOu admit they are responsible for the acts, but still don’t blame them for the decision to do that. Again, the gun is the perfect describer. It’s JUST A MAGAZINE! JUST A TV SHOW! JUST A MOVIE! Are you saying women are that weak willed that they are compelled to imitate something they see? I would think we should give them a little more credit than that. After all, it’s not a gun pointed at their head making them starve themselves.

    As my friend’s sister told me, she would starve herself so she could get a millionaire. Perhaps unrealistic expectations are a factor too?

  30. 30 Shakhoor Rehman
    April 16, 2008 at 22:44

    A free-market of ideas means that each should be allowed to compete with the other. In this case as in many others its the monopoly of one image that is being imposed without any alternatives on offer. Legislative methods do create a debate but often result in the opposite of what is intended. An educated decision is what is necessary and for that you need choice not monopoly. And that means equal advertising for all options.

  31. 31 Taisa Santana
    April 17, 2008 at 03:36

    What exactly will be considered as ‘glamorizing thinness’? Will fashion adverts with thin supermodels be treated the same way as websites pro-ana? Will Hollywood be banned from making films with thin actresses? What specific acts will be qualified as ‘crime’?

    And although I see a huge difference between a TV show and a ‘pro-ana’ website, I still think that personal responsibility is above any of these things. Criminalizing the media for specific contents, on the account that they represent a ‘threat’ to ‘easily influenceable and insecure people’, is the first step towards censorship and completely contradicts the principles of democracy and free speech.

    What about cigarettes? Cigarettes have caused hundreds of deaths (even if indirectly) and adverts are banned in most countries in the world nowadays. Has it stopped anyone from smoking when it’s so easy to (you just have to go the nearest newsagent and buy it)? In fact, I smoke and it makes me very pissed off when others try to convince me not to! Because it’s MY CHOICE! I’m not saying it’s a good choice or a bad choice, but it’s a choice I’ve made and I am entirely responsible for it’s consequences – not the films I’ve seen, not the TV shows, not the magazines, not anybody else.

  32. 32 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 17, 2008 at 05:47

    Hello, dear WHYS team, listeners and bloggers! 🙂

    I think that anorexic, bulemic and some obese people have the same problem that drug addicts and alcoholics. Once they took the wrong decision and, in a sudden, they cannot control themselves. They were not strong enough to say NO to some pressures they had in life (in society, media, friends, etc.), so they have to face somehow the consequences of their choice, even with their own life, unfortunately.

    We should not blame media completely. But we have to admit the power they have to persuade people, specially those who are not critical and smart recipients. Pro-ana websites are dangerous for insecure women, so even though each person is responsible of his/her own actions, we should help somehow those who are in potencial risk: The main aspect here is PREVENTION. Then media should be controlled in the messages it gives to people, banned if necesary, and also used to transmit positive messages like prevention and self-esteem.

  33. 33 Casandra
    April 17, 2008 at 05:57

    @ steve

    http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebPage_ID=286&Profile_ID=41138

    **42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
    I’m not willing to blame a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grader for their poor body image. A multitude of factors can go into young girls having such poor body images and dysfunctional relationships with food. Their upbringing may very well have plenty to do with it, but what about the media? Do you doubt the power of the media? If so, please read up on the studies done on advertising. As adults we must take responsibility for our own actions and choices. But what if we are adults trying to combat an image that has been engraved into our conscience since we were children? The children of the above study are all adults now. Do you not believe that we are most impressionable when we are youngest, and that we carry many of those impressions with us through life? If so, don’t you believe that it is not as easy as becoming an adult and suddenly shaking all those impressions to make new ones?

    Let’s look at the statistic below.

    **The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds.

    The Media cannot and should not be blamed for all our problems. However, shouldn’t we ask that our media be representatively accurate? Meaning, shouldn’t the media be held accountable for pimping an unattainable image to our young girls, and women in general? We would have to live in the jungle to escape and protect our children from media influence, so don’t you think the Media has SOME culpability in how our society has been shaped? The good AND the bad? Don’t you think they have the moral responsibility to understand their power and its effect on society?

    I do not agree with the proposed bill because it DOES infringe on free speech rights that I hold so dear. I don’t think this issue is any place for government. However, I do think as a society we need to hold the media responsible when we feel they are pushing the moral line.

    And please do not forget that I do not think we should use mass Media as our scapegoat.

  34. 34 Tom D Ford
    April 17, 2008 at 17:15

    This is such an odd problem. Look at men’s magazines and you see that men prefer women with curves. Look at who the Brad Pitts choose, curvy women like Angelina Jolie!

    So who defines beauty in the fashion industry? Who tells women what they should look like? Most fashion designers seem to be gay men and doesn’t it seem odd that heterosexual women would ask homosexual men what is most attractive to heterosexual men? Wouldn’t gay men tell the women through their choice of models that they like men, that is, models without womanly curves? Are fashionable women mistakenly competing for the attention of gay men?

    Odd.

    Or is it that fashion looks back to puberty when the girls first outgrow the boys by getting tall and skinny and the girls first get the feeling of being physically attractive to boys while the boys first get the feeling of being intimidated by newly giant skinny women? Those first scary thrilling moments of coming into puberty and having hormones making them crazy?

    And although I am all for personal responsibility, the advertising and marketing industries spend many millions of dollars researching how to psychologically condition people to desire and buy their products and services and parents have very little help to counter that advertising onslaught. Raising a child with strong Critical Thinking Skills is a tough job.

    Life is kind of like a minefield that parents need to teach their kids how to successfully negotiate; avoid smoking, avoid anorexia, avoid unprotected sex, etc; but encourage them to keep on going towards the positive rewards of life.

  35. 35 steve
    April 17, 2008 at 17:56

    @ Casandra, you’re still blaming the media for the 1st -3rd graders. Guess who is to blame? The parents. I don’t know many 1st graders who can afford to go out and buy CosmoGirl. When I was in 1st grade I needed parental permission to watch TV, and they approved of what I could watch or not. Notice your study focused on girls? Why don’t boys do that? Are we implying boys are smarter or something? I would watch GI Joe, yet I didn’t run out and want to be a soldier, or have guns or anything like that. I would watch professional sports and didn’t want to cut myself or became depressed because I was never going to be a professional althlete or 7’7 and play in the NBA. Again, we’re just making excuses for poor decisions, and this time, it is of the parents.

    “**The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds.”

    Notice the complaints are only about the weight? Are women complaining that models are taller than “average” women? They seem to only complain about the things they HAVE control over (weight) and not the things they have no control over (height). Again, more selective outrage.

    This isn’t the media’s fault. It is the fault of people making poor decisions, then not taking responsibility for their choices, then blaming someone else for their choices. That’s CHILDISH behavior. I had sports magazines and they didn’t give me an eating disorder, they didn’t make me move into the g ym to constantly work out so I would be an athlete, etc. It’s time to act like adults and accept responsibility for our decisions.

  36. 36 steve
    April 17, 2008 at 17:58

    @ Sandra

    Why should we bend over backwards and cater to women’s insecurities and enable their insecurities? I thought women are equal? They’re going to start a trend of having women’s only hours at gyms, especially at universities because some women feel uncomfortable working out around men. So all men get punished because women are insecure? That’s fair.. It only enables the insecure person, making the problem worse.

  37. April 17, 2008 at 21:15

    Hi to all of you my Precious friends. My height is 169 cm and my weight is 45 kg. So according to “body mass index” I’m considered to be ‘underweight’. I do have what is described clinically as a hyperdynamic circulation. My metabolic rate is so high so even if I eat too much my weight just remains steadily low. In our Iraqi society a woman has to have a filled body so that men would like her. So according to Iraqi traditions I’m considered to be ‘abnormal’, although my weight is logically not that low compared to those poor anorexic or buliemic girls in the US or Europe. When I was a teen at high school I used to be under a huge psychological burden on daily bases because of this issue. Almost everyday I used to hear some mocking comments about my weight from my fellow female colleagues at school, where my teachers used to advise me to go to the doctor! :-). Although my face looks really fine but I had times when I really hated ME, I had times when I really lost faith in ME. But all that totally changed as soon as I entered the medical school four years ago. I started to concentrate on filling my brain with as much informations as possible. I kept saying to myself all the time that I must make a difference in my life, that I must have an ultimate dream to pursue, that my life must have an aim and a purpose. And gradually I started to love ME more, to respect ME more. And by the time I got completely used to ME, others started to get used to ME as well, started to accept ME as I am. So I say to every woman : Get used to YOURSELF. Accept YOURSELF as you are. See YOURSELF as high and precious and I assure you that everyone around you will start to see you as high and precious. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  38. April 17, 2008 at 22:45

    I was thumbing through a magazine this afternoon and stumbled upon a page with a shot of women on a runway. It looks like a single sandwich from Subway could feed the entire runway for about a week.

    As disturbing as these women look, I don’t think that publishers, designers, or any business should be punished for promoting their products with skeleton models. If the French government wants to make a difference, how about they take some of their massive subsidies to farmers and use that to feed the models.

    For discouraging eating disorders, the eating disorder charities are right to lobby “Facebook, MySpace and Youtube to have tighter controls on their content”. I think they should even start their own campaigns to counter what the skeletons are doing.

  39. 39 steve
    April 18, 2008 at 15:31

    @ Lubna:

    That’s pretty common in the US. Overweight women tend to hurl insults at thin women, accusing them of being anorexic, just because they have self control and the accuser doesn’t. I think cattyness is a universal trait, if someone is jealous, they’ll insult or whatever.. sour grapes.. It’s very childish, the product of insecurity.

  40. 40 steve
    April 18, 2008 at 15:34

    @jaredude:

    I still don’t think anyone should be asked to restrict their content if someone cannot control themselves. I see advertisements for cigarettes, does it make me go out and buy a pack? No. I see advertisements for Absolut vodka all the time, do I go out and buy it? No. Car advertisements. Same.. Why do we have a different standard for females. It’s like I’m expected to have self control and be responsible for my decisions where women get a pass. If they make a poor decision, it’s someone else’s fault. Doing what you suggest will only enable them. Are we going to have to babysit women their entire lives so they stop making bad decisions? That doesn’t sound like equality to me if we have to treat them like children to stop them from harming themselves due to shallowness and insecurity. Time to expect adults to act like adults and takeresponsibility for themselves.

  41. 41 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 09:06

    NO!

    Because it is gives people ideas on who to lose
    weight on the short and quick way!

    they should be taught the eating right and
    exercising can often lose weight that
    way and it is easier to do than crash
    diets….

    Dennis
    Madrid, United States of America


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