When you watch a lot of daytime television, you see waaaaaaayyyyyy too many ads for diet pills, plots…er…plans, herbal suppliments, and, well, you get the idea. The televisions screams at all of us that we’re Fat! We’re Lazy! We’re Undisciplined! We’re going to Diiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee!
There’s one, however, that ticks me off more than all the others combined. Slimshots. I’m not going to link to their site because I wouldn’t want to encourage anyone to support this company.
What’s so horrible about this one in the midst of all the other companies telling us we’re ugly and inadequate all day long and through the night? It’s the angle their ads take. They ask us all what we could accomplish if only we ate 30% less food every day.
I don’t know about you, but if I ate 30% less food every day…I’d spend a lot of time fainting, snapping at my loved ones because I’m losing it from hunger, and being unable to focus mentally. Fat I may be, but I eat a pretty balanced diet and a pretty standard amount of food.
Worse, however, than the assumption that fat people are fat purely because we all eat too much (a ‘fact’ which has been disproved repeatedly), is the phrasing of that ad. It sounds to me like an invitation to anorexia. Most of the time, anorexia (article includes image not safe for work) isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about gaining control. Someone battling this horrible disease might well find this ad a serious trigger to her – or his – condition.
But in spite of all this, I did take one interesting thought away from it: what could we as individuals and as a nation accomplish if we spent 30% less time dieting and thinking about diets?
I know once I stopped worrying about dieting, I thought more about taking care of the people around me. I thought more about making art, music, and laughter in my home. Everybody relaxed more. Until that happened, I hadn’t realized how much time I was wasting on thinking about not eating food, or what it was doing to my personality.
Maybe if society as a whole spent 30% less time accusing fat people of causing global warming, we could spend that time looking at ways of fixing it. Perhaps if society spent 30% less time shaming people for being fat, more designers would make pretty clothes for us to wear. If society as a whole spent 30% less time assuming that fat people are driving up health insurance rates with their wilful insistance on being fat (read: unhealthy), perhaps more time could be spent finding a way to get basic health services to the uininsured…including this fat woman.
There are plenty of real problems in the world. How about we spend just 30% less time focused on something that really isn’t one?