Thin Bashing in the Media

I've written a lot about thin-hating in today's media and culture, mostly coming from women against other women, sadly. The following are two recent examples.

I found the first article, Weight Watchers Probably Won't Help You Lose Weight, So Maybe Stop Dieting, to be enjoyable and full of good sense for the most part, as I could relate to the writer since I, too, was on Weight Watchers as a pre-teen in the 1970s and am in total agreement that chemical-laden diet foods aren't a good substitute for learning to eat healthily and enjoy it. However, the writer then arrived at an erroneous conclusion: 
"What we're doing now isn't working, and it's time for change in priorities — one that places health above weight, and real nutrition above counting calories."
But health must include weight! We can be too fat, or too thin! Real nutrition can co-exist with counting calories! And by the way, and I'll be writing about this in more detail soon, I did not restrict my calories, in a diet sense, when I lost sixteen pounds, but I did count them and didn't stuff myself. On the one hand, that's why the weight came off "slowly," but on the other, it's why I'll be likely to keep it off for life. I'd rather have longevity than a brief, lost cause of losing!

I found the first comment beneath the article very interesting, and the many replies to it which I linked to above:
"This article really irritates me. Like a lot of Jezebel articles, it INSISTS that health is possible at every weight (get real - it just isn't) and IMPLIES that anyone who seeks out a lower weight is just kidding themselves that they can do it, are reprehensibly vain, or of some lesser echelon of intelligence because they wish to be thin. I'm fat, so that means my brain is bigger than yours."
Next is a quote from Wendy Williams:
"As a woman of a particular size myself, there is no hating on skinny girls, but there is nothing interesting about their bodies. I think for women, curves and softness is what separates men from women. Three cheers for girls that are built like fifth grade boys, but there is something to be said for womanly women."
So according to this New York Times best-selling author and talk show host, thin women have boring bodies and aren't real, womanly women!

Comments

  1. Averyl, thanks for pointing out this article. I think the author was saying that WW wasn't working, not that calorie restriction in general doesn't work.

    I agree that WW steers it's members to unhealthy foods and isn't a good plan for health. I tried the point system a long time ago and became so frustrated with the busy work of it all and found it simpler to eat packaged foods. Did I lose weight? No. When I was 13, in about 1978, WW still focused on food groups which ensured that I ate enough fruits, veggies, proteins, grains, and dairy each day. That in itself restricted calorie intake and was nutritious. And I lost weight. I know you can't compare the weight loss of a young teen to an adult mother but the food I ate in my first WW experience was much better for my body.

    I think the author wan't saying give up on all dieting but on WW and other diet food plans. What Wendy Williams said is offensive. I don't think thin women look like 5th grade boys. If they're anorexic then they just look unhealthy but to say that thin women of a normal weight aren't interesting sounds stupid. Or maybe "interesting" is just a polite way of referring to fat women instead of calling them overweight, which is what they are. (And I'll remind you that I'm overweight myself!! Trust me, my body isn't that interesting. Lol)

    Thanks for sharing your pictures in the previous post. Your transformation is encouraging and impressive. You look great and the loss of the weight around your middle makes you less likely to get all those dreadful diseases. Best of both!!

    Sarah H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah! You and I went on WW around the same time! I started in 1979 at age 12 and was on it for a year or so! I lost weight on it as well and attended meetings with my mother. I think their old system is far superior to what it is today. I used to eat some pretty kooky 70s WW treats and had a lot of their frozen fish dinners. The problem is that I was unable to maintain the loss afterward, the issue with most diets today. However it did teach me about balanced eating.

      I tried the points system about ten years ago and was starving so was unable to stick to it.

      I'm glad my sharing of my "before" and "after" pics are encouraging as I felt shy posting them! Thank you!

      Delete
  2. Averyl, thanks for pointing out this article. I think the author was saying that WW wasn't working, not that calorie restriction in general doesn't work.

    I agree that WW steers it's members to unhealthy foods and isn't a good plan for health. I tried the point system a long time ago and became so frustrated with the busy work of it all and found it simpler to eat packaged foods. Did I lose weight? No. When I was 13, in about 1978, WW still focused on food groups which ensured that I ate enough fruits, veggies, proteins, grains, and dairy each day. That in itself restricted calorie intake and was nutritious. And I lost weight. I know you can't compare the weight loss of a young teen to an adult mother but the food I ate in my first WW experience was much better for my body.

    I think the author wan't saying give up on all dieting but on WW and other diet food plans. What Wendy Williams said is offensive. I don't think thin women look like 5th grade boys. If they're anorexic then they just look unhealthy but to say that thin women of a normal weight aren't interesting sounds stupid. Or maybe "interesting" is just a polite way of referring to fat women instead of calling them overweight, which is what they are. (And I'll remind you that I'm overweight myself!! Trust me, my body isn't that interesting. Lol)

    Thanks for sharing your pictures in the previous post. Your transformation is encouraging and impressive. You look great and the loss of the weight around your middle makes you less likely to get all those dreadful diseases. Best of both!!

    Sarah H.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah! You and I went on WW around the same time! I started in 1979 at age 12 and was on it for a year or so! I lost weight on it as well and attended meetings with my mother. I think their old system is far superior to what it is today. I used to eat some pretty kooky 70s WW treats and had a lot of their frozen fish dinners. The problem is that I was unable to maintain the loss afterward, the issue with most diets today. However it did teach me about balanced eating.

      I tried the points system about ten years ago and was starving so was unable to stick to it.

      I'm glad my sharing of my "before" and "after" pics are encouraging as I felt shy posting them! Thank you!

      Delete
  3. Averyl,
    I too have used Weight Watchers. I've used the points system on and off since I was 18- I am thirty now. Once I got to my goal, I stopped using it. Counting points is very hard! WW helped me learn proper portions. It also helped me realize I don't need two or more snacks at every meal like my coworkers. I still use it on and off but if I keep my eating habits similar, I don't have to count points. One thing I see a LOT are people who diet but do not exercise. I see a lot of comments in magazines and on tv saying "real women have curves" so apparently I'm not real. :) I'm a ballet dancer. We look the way we do for a reason. We kick our own asses of our own free will. Most women would kill for some of the bodies I see at my studio but there is a price to be paid. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimberly, hi and thanks! Yes, we're subjected to "real women have curves" repeatedly and it's good that you are aware of the messages we receive in the media. Who knew that ballerinas are all fakes! ;)

      Delete
  4. Averyl,
    I too have used Weight Watchers. I've used the points system on and off since I was 18- I am thirty now. Once I got to my goal, I stopped using it. Counting points is very hard! WW helped me learn proper portions. It also helped me realize I don't need two or more snacks at every meal like my coworkers. I still use it on and off but if I keep my eating habits similar, I don't have to count points. One thing I see a LOT are people who diet but do not exercise. I see a lot of comments in magazines and on tv saying "real women have curves" so apparently I'm not real. :) I'm a ballet dancer. We look the way we do for a reason. We kick our own asses of our own free will. Most women would kill for some of the bodies I see at my studio but there is a price to be paid. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am overweight by a lot like 80lbs but I'm working on it and losing the weight slowly but I am honest with myself I caused this and I know we are not meant to be overweight and its not healthy. I don't think thin shaming is acceptable and I think there needs to be more honesty when it comes to being overweight not sugar coating but also not being cruel. All around there just needs to be more honesty like your messages, Thank you Averyl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you are here and honestly working on improving your health without beating yourself up. It's an important skill!

      Delete
    2. So glad you are here and honestly working on improving your health without beating yourself up. It's an important skill!

      Delete
  6. Are they curves, or bulges? Muscles create curves, and overeating doesn't increase muscles!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Are they curves, or bulges? Muscles create curves, and overeating doesn't increase muscles!

    ReplyDelete

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