It seems the world has hit a new low when it comes to women and body image. Fitness First, a chain of gyms in the Netherlands, launched a new ad campaign -- they rigged a scale up to the benches in bus stops so that when someone sits down it displays their weight in big red numbers. The display is right above their logo, of course, so that as soon as someone is appalled by the number they know exactly where to go to change that.
Enough is enough!
Just last week, John McCain's daughter Meghan tried to engage in thoughtful debate about the future of the Republican Party. Conservative radio pundit Laura Ingraham responded by calling her fat. McCain's response raises some excellent points about how women are judged on their appearances before their accomplishments and that whether or not she's overweight is irrelevant to the conversation she was trying to start.
This is ridiculous. Younger and younger girls are dieting and developing eating disorders. A designer recently said he thought Heidi Klum was too fat to model. People are denied health insurance and lose jobs because of weight-related discrimination. There are hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to hating fat people (women in particular) -- and they don't get shut down no matter how many times they get reported.
So many people out there let it slide because it happens under the guise of 'health.' Somewhere along the line we figured out that you could be thin but still be unhealthy. But, despite all the research that's out there, we can't figure out the vice versa -- that you can be fat but still be healthy and in shape.
I've known this for a long time thanks to personal experience. Crossing the finish line at last September's Race for the Cure solidified that one for me (despite the confused looks I sometimes get when I say I run).
Let's stop shaming people about their appearance and focus on their accomplishments. All this body hatred does is take our minds and energy away from countless other, more important, things.
(photo credit www.womanist-musings.com)