So I already kinda did a post on this subject a few weeks ago, but apparently the world just can’t get enough of making sure we shame our children into hating their bodies.
Thank yoooou, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! I mean, what we really need is some somber faced fat kids looking like the criminals they are. And I love those sublines. First of all the implication that people get fat from eating too much. JUST GET AWAY FROM THE BUFFETS AND GO JOGGING YOU FAT FUCKS!
The ads feature children talking about their weight issues in between harrowing messages such as, “Some diseases aren’t just for adults anymore,” and “Being fat takes the fun out of being a kid.”
Hear that, kids? If you’re fat you better not be having any fun! It’s not allowed, like so many other things fat people can’t do. Wear colors, for example!
Also loving that you aren’t a real little girl if you’re fat. You are, instead, a hideous monster in need of treatment. In treatment via “fat prevention,” in fact. It’s pretty awesome. It’s just like smoking and meth use, or that’s the direction they’re taking it at least. A disease in need of a cure! With how obviously dangerous this disease clearly is, with how necessary the Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta found it to purposefully created these ads to be as “grim” as possible, surely they have an answer. Some insight as to what you can do to keep this horrendous travesty of mutated flesh from infecting your precious children.
Some public health experts, however, say the approach could be counterproductive when it comes to childhood obesity. The commercials and billboards do not give families the tools they need to attack the problem, some critics say. Others say the images will simply further stigmatize obesity and make it even less likely for parents and children to acknowledge that their weight is unhealthy and should be addressed.
LOL, NOPE. The entirety of their campaign is “fat kids are icky. Make them stop existing please.” I don’t even have to pretend that these people might genuinely consider or care about the many issues this lumps on fat kids who, frankly, already have a hell of a time getting through school without bullying as it is. Linda Matzigkeit says it all for me.
Children’s Healthcare doesn’t mind the controversy associated with the campaign. “There are people who don’t like it and people who like it,” Matzigkeit said. “In the end, I think people are saying it really is time for a wake-up call. We have to do something about this or our state is in jeopardy. It’s not good for business if your state has the second-highest obesity rate. Obese children turn into obese adults.”
They just need a wake-up call! Clearly they have no idea that they’re fat and need to be roundly schooled.
It scares me how much I’ve heard about this kind of thing lately. How often kids are being taught to watch the scale, count their calories and fat intake. Record all your calories so you know how much jogging to do that night so you can burn off that cheeseburger! A lot of parents think they’re doing their kids a favor. Maybe they were fat themselves and remember the horrible stigmas they faced growing up and want to keep their kids from suffering through the same. Here’s a tip for you, parents: you’re hurting more than helping.
Imagine you’re a twelve year old kid. You’re fat, and sometimes you’re picked on at school, but not really very often. You have your group of friends, and kids pick on other kids for all kinds of reasons, you figure. It doesn’t mean you’re ugly or horrible or should hide under a rock until you die– it just means kids are jerks.
Then you go home, and your mother makes passing comments about your weight.
“You’re really too young to be getting stretch marks, you know.”
“Honey, you can’t wear that top. You’re too fat.”
“I know it looks nice on the model, but you know that dress will look worse on your figure, right?”
“Is eating that cookie a good idea? Look at your thighs.”
And the literal weight of it settles on your shoulders. Your own family thinks that you’re ugly. Or that you’d be “so pretty if you just lost some weight.” That you are unacceptable. That you are shameful. That you don’t deserve to be seen in public as you are, because you are flawed unless you lose enough weight to look like that model.
“Don’t you wish those other kids wouldn’t pick on you?”
The problem isn’t that bullies are victimizing you, child. The problem is that you’re doing things that make you worthy of becoming a victim. Your existence is worthy of victimization, and maybe one day one of them will just beat the fat out of you. And then it won’t be the bully’s fault. It’ll be your fault for being fat.
Here, take these diet pills with you to school. These will make you thin and worth loving again. It doesn’t matter if they make your heart rate shoot up or you’re breathing is a little shallow– just think of how many pants sizes you’ll drop. Think of how cute you’ll look.
Let’s join Weight Watchers together. I’ll teach you how to obsess over a scale number and celebrate your “victory” over your body. I’ll teach you how to hate yourself when you fail at a diet system designed to fail. I’ll show you by example that you’re only worth complimenting if the compliments involve “You look so thin in that!” and “Have you lost weight?” I’ll teach you that your health is second to how you look.
I’ll teach you by example to hate your body. And that if you just dropped one more size you’d be so much happier.
Parents, by teaching your children to obsess over clothing sizes and numbers on a scale you’re teaching them all the wrong things about health. You’re also teaching them that while you might say you should be accepting of all kinds of people who are different from themselves that there’s one class of people they should always hate– fat people, because they’re probably just stupid and lazy and brought it on themselves.
Stop it. Cut it out. Let your kids be kids. There’s plenty of time for them to learn to hate every inch of themselves later on, plenty of time to watch television ads from poisonous programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers that teach you that anyone can (and should) lose weight, and that it’s as easy as being reliant on our program and paying us money forever. That if you fail, it’s your failure.
Fat kids get enough shit at school. At the very least they should be able to trust that their parents won’t bully them too.