Sunday, February 15, 2009

Everything in Moderation (Even Tapeworms)

The weekend of the much-loved and revered Valentine's Day may not be the best to start talking about body image, seeing as if you have a sweetie you're most likely gorging on chocolate together, and if you don't, then you're certainly gorging alone. I know I am (but that's neither here nor there).  Body thinning, contrary to popular belief, and to what was mentioned in class last week, is not a modern phenomenon.  

Everyone cites the mass media as the main source of all the weight problems and eating disorders that plague many young girls and some males. With no TV, no fashion magazines, no websites obsessing over celebrity's weight, experts say people wouldn't dangerously diet, models wouldn't be worshipped, and anorexia and bulimia wouldn't be on the tip of anxious mothers' tongues.  

However, weight loss has been on people's minds since the beginning of time, and the certainly the beginning of being fat.  According to this article, Hatshepsut, William the Conqueror, and Marie de Medici all had some weight problems. Elisabeth of Bavaria was the first queen to really promote exercise (and an arguably public bulimic), and Scarlett O'Hara, renowned heroine of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, had a "seventeen-inch waist, the smallest in three counties." 

So, to tackle some of the proposed weight loss strategies: liquid (liquor) diet - this exists on college campuses most commonly as "drunkorexia." 

Inventing health food, such as Corn Flakes and Graham Crackers, might have worked for a while, but nowadays their inventors would stand around and watch their foods be drenched in high fructose corn syrup and produced en masse.  

The parasite diet - who in their right mind hasn't wished for a ginormous tapeworm, a fit of stomach flu, or some nice long bout of food poisoning to help in the eternal struggle with weight??

As for the genius-girl creator of the "calorie" - why, Lulu, why??? I think this, more than magazines covered with bikini models and anorexic film stars, has affected people's mentality.  

The Sleeping Beauty diet, however, is something I can very willingly accept.  If I could hunker down and hibernate for a couple of days and wake up newly svelte, I would certainly try.  If Elvis does it, it has to be good, right?

OK kids, I think I have made a good point - weight loss has been a fad since forever ago, and it has never been especially smart or useful.  So don't do anything too crazy. 

1 comment:

  1. i suppose it has been around for a long period of time, but wasn't there a thing that throughout history, being fat was a symbol of wealth and something more difficult to obtain, so people thought it was more attractive? also, it's interesting that it's just so prevalent right now, more so than probably any other time in history. it's as if the media of skinny just keeps spurring itself on.

    i'd like to hear more about this drunkorexia.