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Things to Read if You Want to Get Depressed | Manolo for the Big Girl

Things to Read if You Want to Get Depressed

1) Sunday Magazine’s cover feature in the New York Times entitled (on the cover, at least), “Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

Francesca cannot sum up this article for you because she does not want to Get Depressed. So she just stares at the screen with her hands over her eyes, peeking through her fingers, trying to build up the courage to read the damn thing. Can someone with more stamina please tell her what it says?

Also tell her whether that article contradicts the study Francesca was recently reading about (and which she now cannot find; help?), in which it was found that skinny people who ate next to an obese person were unlikely to copy the obese person’s eating: If the obese person ate a lot, the thin person would eat less (presumably so as not to get fat like that other guy), and if the obese person ate very little, the thin person would eat more (possibly under the logic that the fat person is on a diet, but if one is already thin it’s OK to indulge). So, in a way, the best way to stay skinny is to have lots of fat friends who eat a ton and inspire you to … not be like them?

Oy. Francesca is so depressed!

2) Many bloggers have been discussing this article, about 34-year-old Samantha Clowe, who died shortly before her wedding, after being on a 500-calorie-a-day crash diet for 11 weeks.

First, Francesca expresses sadness for Samantha and her loved ones.

Second, Francesca notes that, technically, we do not know for sure that the diet is what killed Samantha. Anyone who has seen House M.D. or CSI knows that it can take a while to figure out what happened. The coroner has not made a statement about this. It is possible she had some other, underlying, condition and the diet had little or nothing to do with it.

Third, all that having been said, Francesca also notes the pressure to be a slim bride, and the fact that a physician gave Clowe the go-ahead to eat only 500 calories a day (a starvation diet, given that she was 5’9″), for weeks and weeks. This doctor should be ashamed, and read this blog.

Fourth, Francesca also notes that Clowe went on this diet “to get respect at work.” What was going on at Clowe’s job? It is possible that Clowe was too sensitive and perceived a lack of respect when there was respect; but Francesca suspects that her co-workers, too, should be taking a long, hard look at themselves.

Oy, depressing.

7 Responses to “Things to Read if You Want to Get Depressed”

  1. Mrs. Hendricks September 14, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    I have skimmed the article for the obvious reasons and basically it’s a big fat correlation. Correlation, I’d like to repeat. Is this the height of no one taking responsibility for anything? I’m not saying that we’re completely responsible for our size (no matter what it is), but really: our friends (or, more accurately in the article, friend of friends) can cause obesity, happiness, smoking, drinking, etc.? Isn’t that a little crazy?

    It’s just all so weary-ing, isn’t it?

  2. Lisa September 15, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Making my friends fat? PUHLEZE. That is *just* the tip of the iceberg of my evil-fat-powers. If these people _only knew_. Not unlike Plumcake, I make my friends buy things they probably oughtn’t. Like, every time one says to me “I probably shouldn’t buy this hat/purse/necklace/suit/riding crop should I?” I’m always totally like “Way yah, you should because it’s fabulous.”

    If it hadn’t been for me, my friend Sharon would NEVER have gone to Vegas, and then she NEVER EVER would have decided to wear that grey silk evening gown with the slit down to *there* which attracted the attention of that professional hockey player who was *fantastic* in the sack but who never returned her Replacements DVD, and then if it weren’t for me, my friend Izzy would never ever had had rumaki at her wedding, she wouldn’t haven’t gotten her nose pierced, and she wouldn’t have watched absolutely all the Lipstick Jungle from the first episode to the last in one weekend while wearing her pajamas and drinking pitcher after pitcher of mai tais. Were it not for me, my friend Donna would never have gotten a Brazilian wax, which then led her, not unlike Sharon, into a divine if otherwise ill-advised weekend-long relationship with somebody we’re pretty sure was a grifter but who claimed to be a member of the Belgium royal family.

    Oh, I could go on and on. There was the time I convinced this girl I hated (her name was Staci) that she had *great* legs that would look *even better* if she bought the melon-and-silver print prom dress with the handkerchief hem and butt bow. Oh, and the time I told my one brother that the other brother ratted him out on something and let the two of them beat each other senseless (it was so easy-how could I not?)

    It’s nice to know that I am, in fact, the single cause of all my friend’s problems, including any issues they might have with their weight. I mean, really, what are friends for if not to judge whether you measure up for them as a role model. I mean, really, I only want friends with no dysfunctions in their lives. Perfect people. Thin people, whom, as we all know, only exert positive, pro-social peer pressure on each other so that we can all conform. That way, we’ll all be thin, have terrific teeth, understand boundaries and appropriate social behavior, recycle, never smoke (not even if we spontaneously combust) and will never shirk at work again.

  3. dcsurfergirl September 15, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    Now I’M depressed. I don’t want to eat in public ever again.

  4. marjorie September 15, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    wow, lisa, you are ONE POWERFUL FAT. (and standing o for that post!!)

    i haven’t been able to bring myself to read the story either. i’d love a summary from someone who has.

  5. sarahbyrdd September 15, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Interesting. I read the article online yesterday, and the teaser was “Is happiness catching?” I pretty much skimmed all the discussion of fat and diet as already covered ad nauseum, and focused on the discussion of other behaviors. I’m very surprised to see that the print edition was presented as yet another fat article. Indeed, it’s all correlation not causation.

    I will say that, from personal experience, being around positive people (or negative people) will affect your own mood and outlook.

  6. enygma September 15, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Re: Samantha Clowe: TV shows like “Bulging Brides” aren’t doing any favors, either.

  7. pelican September 15, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    Huh, well, I am at home with a fever and the flu, so I am certainly not at my critical-thinking best, but I read it as “if you spend time with other people (of your own gender) of varying body sizes, you’re going to think variable body size is okay and thus, you’re not going to take the extreme measures necessary for most people to fight the against the multiple, powerful, and pervasive (yet almost always unacknowledged) dietary/cultural factors that have been driving up the average weight in the population.”

    I will be curious to see if anyone is ever able to reproduce these findings.