Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Content of Our Character...Unless Our Character is Inside a Fat Body

What is the message behind, Maggie Goes on a Diet?

The children's book, Maggie Goes on a Diet, according to the book's summary:
Maggie has so much potential that has been hiding under her extra weight. This inspiring story is about a 14-year-old who goes on a diet and is transformed from being overweight and insecure to a normal sized teen who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self-image. 

And, did I mention that the reading level for this book has been determined to be ages 4-8, and that the book is written in rhyme?

Kramer is not without his supporters, including Fox News contributing psychiatrist Keith Ablow, who commends Maggie for "taking charge of her nutritional status, her weight and her life. I think she's a fabulous role model — far better than the size 20 women who go on talk shows and lie about how happy they are with their bodies."

Really?! I didn't know a certain clothing size automatically equated you with being a good role model. Matter of fact, I didn't know there were certain clothing sizes that equated to terrible role models.  Why can't a woman be a size 20, and be happy with her body? Be happy period! Who is he to say what happy is?!

I think the comments that this man made, in support of this book, only help to add to the red flags of why this book should not be made available to children.  This man is a psychiatrist, and he is simply missing the boat on this one. He should be able to see what type of harm and despair this book has the potential to cause. 

But, even though he should be able to see that, doesn't mean that he does.  He is basing what a good role model is on the size of the clothes they wear.  How blind is that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Fat Tax?! Big Sexy on TLC

TLC has a show called Big Sexy. It chronicles the lives of 5 plus size women in their pursuit of their fashion dreams, from model to clothing designer in the big, mean streets of New York City.  In one particular episode, the women are waiting to get into a club. In the clip, you can see the bouncer letting in smaller girls ahead of the plus size women.  The bouncer keeps allowing the tiny women to cut in front of the plus size women, as they patiently stand by.  Finally, they ask the bounder if they can go in, and the bouncer replies, "It will cost you $30, each."  The women, I am proud to say, do not apologetically pay that horrid man the "hush money," so that they can slink into the club.  Instead, heads held high, they walk away from the club, a little worse for wear, but certainly not lacking in integrity, strength, or style.  I am very proud of these women. 

Taking this example from club to corporation, how many times are plus size women overlooked for promotions in the workforce because of their size, rather than their qualifications? Plus size women are paid less than their smaller counterparts, solely because of their size.  From an article on Shine, "Obese women earn about 6 percent less than thinner women for doing exactly the same work", according to Rebecca Puhl, PhD, director of research at the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. "We're observing this around a BMI of 27 in women," she says, referring to a "body mass index" that would, for example, describe a 5 foot-5 inch person weighing 162 pounds.  I do not feel that a BMI of 27 accurately reflects the average size Amercian woman today, which is a size 14.  How dare employers equate dress size to the amount of pay, rather than qualifications.

These are only the instances that have been documented.  How many times has a boss not articulate that they will not hire you, but you could feel it, because you were fat? How many times are you overlooked for a promotion because of how you look? I am guessing more times than we know, and that is just not right.