“Our children deserve the chance to learn and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of, or worse…”
“… make our schools and communities a place where no one is made to feel alone, or afraid for being different. Where all of our children can thrive.”
“Because putting a stop to bullying is a responsibility we all share”
I absolutely, positively, could not agree more with this. Hell to the yeah is what I’m saying here.
Now, let’s talk about her “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity campaign:
First, I continue to believe that Michelle Obama has the best of intentions with her Let’s Move program. But it’s time for some accountability: Mrs. Obama could have chosen to be FOR children’s health: FOR fun movement options that kids enjoy, FOR healthy lunches, FOR healthy behaviors.
But she didn’t. Instead, Mrs. Obama chose to be AGAINST childhood obesity.
The major problem with this is that you can’t be against childhood obesity without being against obese children. Obese kids are not thin kids covered in fat, they are fat kids and the last thing that they need is the First Lady having an anti-them campaign.
But there she is, using her considerable platform and public profile to be sure that obese kids know that there is a war against them.
Both she and the President have called their own children chubby on national television.
She put her 8 and 11 year old daughters on diets.
Despite the fact that obesity is not a disease and intentional weight loss has only a 5% long-term success rate, Mrs. Obama felt comfortable saying “”This isn’t like a disease where we’re still waiting for the cure to be discovered. We know the cure for this…this doesn’t require new technology, or, you know, new research. We have the solution in our hand.”
Thereby setting up the 95% of kids who will statistically fail to become thin for a heaping helping of bullying for being fat – because Michelle Obama says they could have been thin if they tried hard enough.
She repeatedly refers to childhood obesity as a “problem” that needs to be “fought” and “fixed”.
Yeah, that’s going to lead to fantastic treatment of obese kids. They will in no way feel bad that the body they live in 100% of the time is a problem that needs to be fought and fixed according to this National Campaign targeted at parents, teachers, doctors, and kids. For a kid, being told by your doctor, teachers, parents, and the First Lady of the United States that your body is unhealthy and a problem is not just charming, it’s superb for your mental health and will have absolutely no future negative ramifications. That is certainly the kind of thing that gives kids the “chance to learn and grow without constantly being picked on, made fun of, or worse…” (sarcasm meter is a 10 out of 10 on this.)
While I’m on a sarcasm roll, apparently kids shouldn’t be made to feel “afraid for being different” unless the difference is their size. It’s ok for everything in nature from horses, to trees, to rocks, to feet to have a wide array of sizes, but if their body doesn’t fit into a very narrow range, it should be considered a problem that needs to be fought and solved – and do let’s point that out as often as possible. It’s not about being healthier, it’s about being smaller you see.
Since the First Lady says that we don’t need any “you know, new research”, let’s go with some research that we have:
According to sources sited on the non-profit National Association of Anorexia and Associated Eating Disorders website:
•47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner.
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
So our kids don’t need the First Lady’s help to be unhealthily obsessed about their weight – they’ve got that going for them already.
While we’re at it, there are some compelling reasons not to put kids (like, say, for a random hypothetical example, 8 and 11 year old girls) on diets:
Again according to ANAD:
- 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting.
- 22% dieted “often” or “always.”
- 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
- 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.8
So maybe we could back the hell off of fat kids and be a nation that is for kids and their parents having healthy options, and against telling obese kids or adults that the bodies they live in 100% of the time are a “problem” that needs to be “fought” and “fixed”.
For the record (so that I can feel justified when I mock the commenters who will accuse me of exactly the opposite of what I am trying to say):
I am for healthy kids and if Mrs. Obama’s program was also for healthy kids I would be behind it 100%. I am against conflating health and weight and singling out fat kids when it’s completely unnecessary to the goals of the campaign, and does nothing more than create panic, fear, poor body image, and the perfect environment for bullying.
I am against bullying. I am very happy that they’ve started this anti-bullying campaign. However, I am also against hypocrisy and I would like them to apply their anti-bullying standards to programs like “Let’s Move” so that they are very careful not to accidentally encourage bullying when they intend to encourage healthy behaviors.