I’m sure most people have already seen or heard of Strong4Life’s campaign against childhood obesity. But I just recently actually watched several of the videos and I felt like I needed to comment on it.
I don’t think being fat really sucks all of the fun out of being a kid. Maybe the people that are mocking her and making her life hell are sucking all the fun out of being a kid. Why are we telling this little girl that she needs to lose weight to fit in instead of telling the kids that are bullying her that they can’t treat people that way? I’m sorry. But I would rather my child be fat than be a bully. Any day. I’m way more concerned about the fact that people are letting other people treat people meanly. Maybe we should have advertisements telling people to treat each other with respect and kindness. Maybe adults should be stopping this kind of bullying in younger kids instead of plastering pictures of overweight children on billboards and making them examples of what not to be. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and stuff like this impacts mental health negatively. Need I mention that tons of research has shown that the development of eating disorders is often linked to teasing and bullying? But don’t worry, this little girl isn’t the only victim of weight bullying.
If you want people to be healthy, encourage healthy attitudes towards food and exercise. Target the actions of people, not their appearances. I won’t make everyone read yet again why you can’t judge someone’s health by how they look, I feel like I’ve definitely covered that by now. But seriously. The thousands and thousands of kids that are getting “excused” from these advertisements because their bodies just naturally maintain lower weights despite the fact that they don’t exercise and only eat junk food is just unfair.
How do people think those poor kids and parents that were used as models feel? Those parents have probably been called “awful parents” or “child abusers,” neither of which can be proven by the size of their children. That’s really great. Now they will probably be made fun of at school/work/life even more because the entire country has been told that these children are too fat to be happy. It will be interesting to see how their eating and exercise habits change because of all this. Sorry, but fat shaming is not exactly a new concept. I’m sure pretty much everyone has been made fun of because of their weight before, underweight, overweight, whatever. And quite frankly, it clearly isn’t causing everyone to reach their “ideal weight.” So maybe we should stop trying to pretend that it will.
And what kind of message does this send to everyone else? If you do something wrong then you will be publicly humiliated? Obsessing and worrying over trying to please other people will get you absolutely nowhere, and will make you more miserable than being fat ever will.