“Mom, Am I Fat?”

At some point in their lives, both of my older children have asked me if they are fat. They are not, by any means. However, that  got me thinking about why they would ask such a question. My daughter has to wear slim jeans. This morning, I had to tighten the adjuster bands (what an awesome invention, by the way!) on my kindergartener’s jeans to a level that was so tight it was ridiculous. They aren’t anorexic, but they are pretty darn skinny!

When I taught high school, I showed my students the cover of a magazine with Kelly Clarkson on it. She looked skinny. Then, I showed them a picture taken the day after of her performing at a concert. She looked at least 50 pounds heavier. Oh, the beauty of Photoshop. I explained to my students this perceived beauty concept and how magazines with tiny models on the covers were warping reality.

Today, I read an article about Israel banning skinny models. They will require models have a body mass index of at least 18.5. And, if the editors of a magazine trim down a model with Photoshop, they’ll be required to note that. This sounds like a wonderful plan! Imagine a whole generation of girls not saying, “I’m too fat” or “My thighs look huge in this skirt.”

Have you folks heard comments from your kids about their weight? What do you tell them?


A Campaign Against Childhood Obesity

At my toddler’s two-year check up last week, they gave me the stat sheet that said he was 33 pounds, which is the 97th percentile. A few days later, when he had a fever and I took him back in, they asked how his appetite was. I said he wouldn’t eat. The doctor looked at him and said, “He could stand to miss a few meals.” He’s not a fat kid. None of my kids are. My children may likely never struggle with their weight. My ex and I are both thin, though I struggled with my weight after having kids. But, the comment left me feeling a little sensitive for him.

Today, a friend sent me a link to a story about Mommy bloggers taking on some anti-obesity ads. The state of Georgia has this new campaign called “Strong 4 Life.” It’s aimed at getting parents and kids to “stop sugarcoating” childhood obesity. The Mommy bloggers are, in a word, pissed. They call the ad campaign “shame tactics.”

I went to the site and watched the five ads. They made me sad. They all feature overweight kids talking about the struggles of being fat.

I hesitate to say anymore. Go watch the ads. Tell me what you think. Would this help in the fight against childhood obesity?