Monday, November 16, 2009


Weighty issues

Couple months ago I watched an episode of the Tyra Banks show that featured young children who had body image issues. These girls-and note they are most always girls had internalised their mothers views on weight, diet and exercise and found themselves wanting. In my eyes and those of the hostess they were normal healthy looking children who were already seeing critical flaws in their young bodies. Back then it didn't cross my mind that children here in St Vincent and more so children that I know could be carrying around these weighty issues.

That was until today when my friend told me her daughter was barely eating since some "well meaning" adults have been constantly telling the child she is getting too fat. Now the child in question is not skinny but it is a stretch to call her fat but I guess she does not fit their image of what a six year old should look like. The whole thing had me annoyed for a considerable part of the day. It's bad enough having adults starving themselves, trying every fad diet in the book and working out with a vengeance to attain whatever size the fashion industry et al tells them is acceptable. To mess up children's mind with their ill advised chatter is unpardonable. It's as if they forget these children's bodies are still growing and developing and if they refuse to eat it can mean serious damage to their health.

Of course we need our children to grow up healthy which entails proper nutrition, sleep and more outdoor activity. What they do not need is to worry about adult issues. Their concerns should be centred around test scores, longings for a particular birthday/Christmas gift etc. Most of all they they need to learn from the get go that there is no perfect body shape

thats a shame
the biggest misconception is that being skinny is being in shape/fit/healthy... which is not always true...
I wonder if adults are aware of the kind of damage they can do a child's psyche when they say things like that.
Her Mama should find out who those well meaning adults are and have a few words with them. Stressing grown-ups about their weight and size is bad enough, sending a child on a guilt trip over that kind of stuff is almost criminal...
As adults we need to always be aware that our ways have such an impact on children.
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