Thursday, May 04, 2006

Obsessed w/ being T H I N

Seems like nowadays most of the American population is obsessed with being skinny, skinny, skinny. Look at the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richey, Kate Bosworth, Kate Moss, Ashley Olsen, Nicole Kidman, Teri Hatcher, and the list goes on and on and on.....

What about the reality shows like Doctor 90210 - complete sleeze - which has made plastic surgery a staple and a complete necessity in today's society. If you don't have a flat stomach, they'll fix ya up. Don't worry about working out, eating right and taking care of yourself - it's no longer about that. In some circles it is, but not usually.

With stars and shows like these, girls can no longer feel secure w/ their own body types. They feel the need to go out and get breast enlargements, nose jobs, tummy tucks, liposuction, face lifts..... and everyone is always on a diet or on drugs. There are rumors that half of Hollywood is riding the horse (heroin), and let's not forget about the nose candy (cocaine).

Really, I don't think that I know one single person who isn't on a diet or hasn't been on a diet at some time in their life. Even small kids are getting into it. They see their mommies dieting all the time and obsessed w/ counting calories, so they naturally follow their lead.

All you see on magazine covers are super models and actresses/actors w/ rail thin bodies. Ok, sometimes you see chubby chicks, but it's not that often. These ppl are glamorized and everyone knows they live the high life, they always are happy (that's real life), are successful, have the best clothes - basically, they never want for anything... or is it that simple? I know it's made to look like that.

Even guys make it hard on women. They expect and want girls that are super thin because all their lives they've seen nothing but this, all the movie stars look like that, all the models look like that, and isn't that what life is all about?

And yes, there are those girls that make it hard on guys. I know many a girl that would never settle for a man who didn't work out and keep his muscles pumped up, drive the best car, have a killer job..... we all know the game.

What is the world turning to? Pink has a song called Stupid Girls. In the song and, especially, the video, she makes fun of the likes of Paris, Lindsay and Ashley Olsen. She's been criticized for this song and even called a hypocrite but, you know, Pink is all about empowering girls to be sexy and smart, and so am I.

What happened to a girl wanting to be President? Nowadays it seems that all ppl want is their 15 minutes of fame and they don't care how they get it as long as they get it. They think they have to look a certain way, dress a certain way and if they don't, well... life ends as they know it.

I wonder how many ppl realize that magazine covers are air brushed? If the model/actress has cellulite, you don't see it. If their tush sags, you don't see it. Hell, their teeth are even air brushed.

So... what do you do? Do you stop allowing your children to watch television? Do you hide them from these falsities and pretend it doesn't exist for the longest time possible and then hope that as they get older they aren't sucked into it? Or do you just allow this to penetrate the child's mind and become a cancer that eats away the very essence of their being?


MoClippa said...

I dunno, maybe you just do your best to get them to realize how single minded and material that view is, and how woman can be both 'smart and sexy' without being stick thin...

That really can only work if you ingrain that sort of philosophy in their heads from early youth. I mean not harsh philosophizing, but by your own actions as a parent, get them to know there is more out of life then being a T.V.-ready-glamorqueen.

Heh, if you ban those kiddies off the TV and deny them other stuff like that to keep them from turning into anything you don't want, I think you'd have a harsh innevitable reaction. Just give them a normal life, love, and teach them to be understanding and caring... By far Tougher then it sounds I'm sure

tooners said...

I agree, it is VERY single minded and egotistical.

I think the kids would backlash big time if you pulled them from TV and it's not like they're not gonna see it and hear about it anyway... I just think living your life in a way that is loving, healthy and constructive and not obsessing over such helps to put the right thoughts in a child's mind.

I think showing a child that there is no "perfect" is also good. I think a lot of these movie stars and models and such will have a harsh reality awaiting them later in life... just look at Kate Moss. Busted for drugs and she still looks strung out... and she has a little girl.

Ingrid said...

I like to think that part of the school environment helps. It's all about that 'village' they talk about. My son goes to a Montessori school and the attitudes and outlook on life in general, the values etc. are very inclusive and focusses on the intrinsic value and ability of each child. They are being affirmed with the things they are good at and at some point, when they're 8 to 9 and a bit older, they have an idea of who they are.
Yes, pop culture will always sell those idea(ls) and images and for the most part, a balanced exposure to tv plus having them in an alternative environment (socialization wise and activity wise) is the best you can do. Plus, the good old fashioned way of spending time with your kids and each individual kid having special times throughout their growing up, no matter how old.
As for being thin....I have been skinny all my life (now being 42) and now I am 'finally' at my supposed proper weight. But considered 'thin' by those who are not. I don't care personally what people are, I care how you treat me and others. I get singled out and experience the reverse discrimination/commentary actually. It's a shame. When I grew up in Holland, I was always made to feel that I wasn't womanly or whatever BECAUSE I needed 'meat on me' as they'd call it. When I emigrated to North America, I found out how people were obsessed with being skinny and I always thought that it was a bad thing because of the way I was treated. Ironic huh? Hence, I never felt I was the cat's meow's all a cultural thing. In the ME I think still for the most part, women are 'allowed' to have more curves. Yet, this skinny business is heavily being exported..there's money in it, don't you know!!

elengil said...

I don't have children. But then, I don't have TV either.

When (sigh...If) I ever have my own children, I want them to grow up in the right things and remain innocent in the right things.

I think children can handle more than we give them credit for, but should not be forced to handle some things.

I know that doesn't really give much info.. I mean like.. death. It's a part of life. It does happen and will touch a child's life eventually. Whehter the death of a beloved pet or of a relative, I think it's OK for children to understand what death is and learn to .. not accept really, but just not be kept away from it.

The cat wasn't "given away" and grandma hasn't "moved to another place" They have died. I think some lies, no matter how well intentioned, do harm children in the end.

But other things children should absolutely be sheltered from. Violence, sex, racism. I don't want my kids exposed to these things!

I want my kids to grow up, if not in a world, at least in a *home* that is loving and accepting and safe.

I also want my kids to experience life, not just watching it on a tv screen. I want them to actually be out in the dirt getting dirty, not just watching a cartoon about kids playing outside.

I want them to be out planting seeds with me and harvesting it in fall and learning about the cycles of life, I want them to be dancing and playing and colouring and doing children things but also being free to explore whatever their passions are!

I don't want them being told "you can't do this, you shouldn't do that". I don't want their creativity stifled by someone who doens't understand who my kids are.

Most of all, I shudder to think what might happen when they reach adulthood and the realities of the world can not be ignored. People kill each other. People hate each other. People are willing to kill them for no other reason than they exist.

Which is why I might never have kids of my own. I don't know if I have the ability to bring a child into this world knowing what they will face.

That's also why I'd love to adopt.

Leilouta said...

Seriously, I am scared about having kids and bringing them in to such a world.

As much as I always wanted to have kids, sometiemes I wonder if I should.

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

get breast enlargements, nose jobs, tummy tucks, liposuction, face lifts....."

So? What's the problem with that? Obviously it is helping God's perfection, so I don't see what's your beef with this, especially the breast enlargements part as it is quite natural as that will definitely benefit the baby!

many a girl that would never settle for a man who didn't work out and keep his muscles pumped up, drive the best car, have a killer job....

Ah, I'm okay then, I've got all of the above.. so any takers?!


tooners said...

lol... Mahmood, Mahmood, Mahmood... and it benefits the daddy too, huh?

I guess if I had kids and saw that things had sagged significantly, which I hear they do sometimes, then maybe I would think about having breast augmentation... but who knows. I've wondered about it in that instance... but maybe I'll be lucky if that ever happens.

I'll have to admit, I've been obsessed w/ being thin a lot of my life so far. I would rather not be because it's so destructive in so many ways.

If we ever have kids, I would hope to raise them to love all the things that elengil talks about. These are the things I dream about. This is how it was when I was young and I would want the same for my kids. Sometimes I wonder how tough it will be here in Bahrain - but there are many positives as well.

You know, Madonna tried to shelter her kids from things and I read recently where her daughter asked her if she was a lesbian. She had heard it at school - based on the fact that she kissed Britney Spears. Now... I would bet that these are exactly the things she was hoping to shelter her kids from - the things she's done - but... kids are smart, they talk, they watch, they listen...

I agree w/ elengil about death. I was told stories a few times when I was young... about animals and you know, I always knew in the back of my head that they were dead. Death has always been very difficult for me... I'm wondering if that's why.

L.M. said...

I'm amused (and creeped out) with the way t.v. is going. If I was living out my childhood now, by today's standards I'd be far too much of a tomboy. And trust me, I was a normal girl by those standards, neither a tomboy nor a girly girl. I was a ninja/pirate in her favourite pink dress. But this is what has happened to all media, they seem to be saying to me that the only power a girl really has is her sexuality and her control of it. Being pretty, they seem to say is being thin; being beautiful is keeping yourself as far as possible from being fat.
Same thing for boys. Just look how gender stereotypical all advertisements today are! (Including those geared at adult males/females)
Are they trying to say the ideal relationship is a tough guy obsessed with being strong with a wimpy girl obsessed about the way she looks? I know that image is not hard to make up in your mind. Also, is the girl skinny and blonde? There you go.
The media has really taken control of our minds. I remember watching movies or t.v. shows back even in the 90s, never thinking those females were fat, but thinking they were so unfairly beautiful. Now when I watch the same movies or episodes I catch my thoughts of the same women in the same flick being fat. Am I losing my mind? Or has some freak with a tape measure taken it over?
And where are all the "tomboys" gone from the toys R us fliers? If riding a bike isn't cool for a girl anymore, how is she expected to keep a healthy weight? It's like they want us to be fat and want us to desire a thinner body at the same time. It's a conspiracy, I say, there's something far more unpleasant going on as we fixate with a mixture of horror and admiration on celebrity bones hobbling into rehab.

I haven't kids yet, but I'm making sure every child, male and female know the magic of t.v. effects, photoshop, and being underweight is not ideal. Most importantly I remind them that EVERY advertisors primary goal is to make YOU give THEM money.
You don't want beauty, you want grace. How do you plan on striding confidently and respectably into your elder years without your mind, sense of humour and grace?