Anorexia, the media and role models.

A question.

21 to 40 of 49 messages
23/08/2012 at 09:32
kittenkat wrote (see)
mtbrDot wrote (see)

I wonder why you let kids just watch this stuff. I really wouldn't!

There was nothing in the slice of the program yesterday afternoon that was unsuitable for children of that age.

I guess you've never watched it...

I depends on whether you think a programme promoting under-nourished 'celebrities' is suitable viewing for impressionable girls, I suppose.

Edited: 23/08/2012 at 09:33
seren nos    pirate
23/08/2012 at 09:42

With all programmes.and films if the parents watch them first they can record them and share them with the family if deemed suitable..you never know what is going to happen on the reality shows.......they do not reflect any normal behaviour ever...

i love the phrase naturally thin.............if someone says they are naturally fat or big boned then people say...oh yes ....just eat less..........but naturally thin is used a lot.....

also i bet the lady in question does not think her bones stick out and that she looks too thin...........most people who have bones sticking out and look too thin  would say that they are just naturally thin but have no bones sticking out and look healthy......

we all see ourselves different to others.............maybe its because we have learnt to be happy in our own bodies and accept them that we see ourselves as ok and not too thin or too fat as others see us......

23/08/2012 at 09:57

I remember when I was growing up there was a lot about stick thin celebs and I grew up with a group of friends where 'eating disorder' was the norm and a badge of pride. I have the vivid memory of a friend of mine beaming with pride because she hadn't eaten for 48 hours (her record then) and the response: "No food tastes as good as being skinny feels".

I look at victoria beckham for instance and I see: ill, frail, sick. I look at Amanda Holden, Jess Ennis, Nel McAndrew and I see healthy and slim. For me - it's not just shows like BB that encourage eating disorders it's the entire celeb culture that buy in and encourage people that it's great to be that thin.

23/08/2012 at 10:03
kittenkat wrote (see)
I've had years dealing with this stuff in teenagers back in the time I was teaching. Basically my rule of thumb is that you can look at someone and their body frame, if the bones show overly, that's not natural unless they're ill. I've got a very slight frame and weight, but no extruding bones or shark spine.

Yeah, you're right, I can think of several friends who are positively bird-like without being overly skinny or bony. One of them's actually what I think of as a fat thin person, as she's a bit flabby and un-toned and actually has a small pot belly, yet still wears a size 6-8. On the other hand, no matter how low my own bodyfat goes I'm always going to be fairly big framed - at 5'6" and with a sixpack I still weighed nearly 10 stone...

But then there's also the folk with bulimia who have relatively 'normal' to slim looking bodies but seriously awful screwed up eating habits. Can't always tell just by looking...

23/08/2012 at 11:17
kittenkat wrote (see)
mtbrDot wrote (see)

I wonder why you let kids just watch this stuff. I really wouldn't!

There was nothing in the slice of the program yesterday afternoon that was unsuitable for children of that age.

I guess you've never watched it...

I judge by the show which is a local ripoff from Big Brother, never seen british version. It's highly marginalized here and considered quite fruity. Nonetheless, aren't we supposed to set standards for kids? I'm trying to maintain some stardards after all, although my tongue is my worst enemy at home but no tabloid level stuff - never!

kittenkat    pirate
23/08/2012 at 11:22
Wilkie wrote (see)
kittenkat wrote (see)
mtbrDot wrote (see)

I wonder why you let kids just watch this stuff. I really wouldn't!

There was nothing in the slice of the program yesterday afternoon that was unsuitable for children of that age.

I guess you've never watched it...

I depends on whether you think a programme promoting under-nourished 'celebrities' is suitable viewing for impressionable girls, I suppose.

Do I stop them walking into a newsagent because there are magazine covers full of undernourished women? My point being that they are going to see this stuff because it is everywhere, such as our culture has come to dictate.

I think that we had a healthy discussion about it yesterday, I would rather be in that position than for them to see stuff which they will and not talk about it.

Anyway there's just one person in that house that looks like that in my opinion.

kittenkat    pirate
23/08/2012 at 11:25
mtbrDot wrote (see)
kittenkat wrote (see)
mtbrDot wrote (see)

I wonder why you let kids just watch this stuff. I really wouldn't!

There was nothing in the slice of the program yesterday afternoon that was unsuitable for children of that age.

I guess you've never watched it...

I judge by the show which is a local ripoff from Big Brother, never seen british version. It's highly marginalized here and considered quite fruity. Nonetheless, aren't we supposed to set standards for kids? I'm trying to maintain some stardards after all, although my tongue is my worst enemy at home but no tabloid level stuff - never!

I don't believe that exposure to stuff is bad in itself, it's how the subject is approached and digested.

23/08/2012 at 13:42

Earlier this week my 8yo daughter asked me what her ideal weight should be as an 8yo,  which was a bit worrying that she's come out with that question.  However it did prompt a good long discussion about ectomorph / endomorph body shapes,  exercise,  growth spurts,  muscle v fat etc......and more importantly I managed to avoid giving a direct answer or referring her to her mum

23/08/2012 at 14:01

I don't recall having any concept of ideal bodyweight when I was 8.  I do remember my dad trying to persuade me to eat more green vegetables, but being happy enough that at least I liked my carrots and sweetcorn. 

23/08/2012 at 14:08

I can see where you are coming from, but I tend to think that it is the responsibility of the parents rather than the media to encourage their children to develop a healthy attitude towards food, exercise and their bodies. Clearly you are doing a good job with your kids because they were able to identify that the girl looked unhealthy, rather than deciding that she was a good role model. 

 

kittenkat    pirate
23/08/2012 at 17:34
xine267 wrote (see)

I can see where you are coming from, but I tend to think that it is the responsibility of the parents rather than the media to encourage their children to develop a healthy attitude towards food, exercise and their bodies. Clearly you are doing a good job with your kids because they were able to identify that the girl looked unhealthy, rather than deciding that she was a good role model. 

 

I agree that it's the responsibility of the parents, but here's a more general question. Should the media have a conscience?

Hope    pirate
23/08/2012 at 17:51

I've always taken the view that there is plenty in the media I would prefer my children not to be exposed to, but it's my job as a Mum to filter, discuss and arm my three with knowledge, so they can make sense of the mad world portrayed through TV etc.

Do I think the media should have a conscience towards what my kids are exposed to? No. All sorts of stuff is 'out there'. I think it's my job to equip my kids to deal with it.
Big brother just wouldn't be on in my house. I hate the thing lol, but we've had similar discussions about other programmes.

kittenkat    pirate
23/08/2012 at 17:58
Hope wrote (see)

I've always taken the view that there is plenty in the media I would prefer my children not to be exposed to, but it's my job as a Mum to filter, discuss and arm my three with knowledge, so they can make sense of the mad world portrayed through TV etc.

Do I think the media should have a conscience towards what my kids are exposed to? No. All sorts of stuff is 'out there'. I think it's my job to equip my kids to deal with it.
Big brother just wouldn't be on in my house. I hate the thing lol, but we've had similar discussions about other programmes.

Big Brother wouldn't be on in my house normally, but my friend got me hooked on it. Well not hooked so much as mildly entertained.

I think I'm aware from my own childhood and also all the kids that have filtered through my hands in my teaching career; that there are many subjects that aren't broached until it's too late. I had sex before anyone talked to me about sex for example. Every kid gets such a varying childhood and guidance/lack of it depending on their parents. They also get their parent's perspective, when I was 18 I voted labour because my parents did...

23/08/2012 at 18:09

I have a seven year old daughter who has asked me if she is fat, which is very upsetting. At her school, "fat" is one of the worst things you can call another child, regardless of their size. My daughter is tall and thin and loves sports, but worries about the "fat" on her thighs - it's just skin. Besides, even if she was an overweight child, she is active and eats well and just shouldn't be thinking that way about herself.

I enjoyed watching the olympics with her as there were so many bodies on show, of all shapes and sizes, and all of them healthy. I look forward to the Paralympics for the same reason.

One thing that annoyed me though was the highlighting of "British Fashion" during the closing ceremony. Not that so much, but more the fact that, after watching all these beautiful healthy athletes we were once again looking at stick-thin models being adored by cheering crowds.

But the moment passed, and luckily for me, my daughter was tucked up in bed and so missed the skeletal clothes horses undoing all the hard work of the olympics in the minds of impressionable children. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to this, but I would rather my daughter look up to Jessica Ennis than Kate Moss.

Hope    pirate
23/08/2012 at 19:52

Springle, I felt exactly the same way!

23/08/2012 at 20:11
Springle wrote (see)

 the skeletal clothes horses undoing all the hard work of the olympics in the minds of impressionable children. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to this, but I would rather my daughter look up to Jessica Ennis than Kate Moss.

I haven't got a daughter so I can't really comment on whether you're being over-sensitive but I'd like to think that on balance anyone who watched more than just the closing ceremony of the Olympics would be left with a positive impression of what healthy female bodies look like. Looking at Team GB alone with the likes of Jess Ennis, all the cyclists, rowers, etc. this must've been our most successful Olympics ever for female athletes.  Not to mention the female footballers showing the men how to behave. 

Edited: 23/08/2012 at 20:12
kittenkat    pirate
23/08/2012 at 20:17
PhilPub wrote (see)
Springle wrote (see)

 the skeletal clothes horses undoing all the hard work of the olympics in the minds of impressionable children. Maybe I'm just hyper-sensitive to this, but I would rather my daughter look up to Jessica Ennis than Kate Moss.

I haven't got a daughter so I can't really comment on whether you're being over-sensitive but I'd like to think that on balance anyone who watched more than just the closing ceremony of the Olympics would be left with a positive impression of what healthy female bodies look like. Looking at Team GB alone with the likes of Jess Ennis, all the cyclists, rowers, etc. this must've been our most successful Olympics ever for female athletes.  Not to mention the female footballers showing the men how to behave. 

If my kids had watched it, the size of the people involved wouldn't have been on their radar; which is good. It wouldn't have been on my radar either I don't think but take the point. However my OP and the woman involved is really not looking healthy, and it grabbed their attention and comment. Maybe it's so much more obvious because she's strutting around in a bikini.

23/08/2012 at 20:50

I haven't seen the lady in the big brother house Kittenkat, but I am glad that your children were able to see just how unhealthy she looked. I wonder at what age we suddenly start seeing thinner as better, rather than "fitter" as better.

I was devastated to hear my own daughter worrying about her "fat legs," I had thought she had a few years yet before all that business started. The timing of the olympics was perfect as I was able to use it to illustrate my point to her; that people of all shapes and sizes can be healthy and happy, and if you are healthy and happy it shines out of you and you just glow.

24/08/2012 at 00:42
Wilkie wrote (see)
kittenkat wrote (see)
mtbrDot wrote (see)

I wonder why you let kids just watch this stuff. I really wouldn't!

There was nothing in the slice of the program yesterday afternoon that was unsuitable for children of that age.

I guess you've never watched it...

I depends on whether you think a programme promoting under-nourished 'celebrities' is suitable viewing for impressionable girls, I suppose.

So Wilkie, what would you have us parents do?  Given that you've made it common knowledge that you have no children, and therefore, whether auntie, part time carer, teacher or involved in childcare in any other way than being a parent, not actually wholly knowledgeable in the common everyday issues associated with hands on parenting.  What would you do?

You're a in a shop, you are paying for your goods and your 8 year old daughter is scouring the front page of the gossip mags that adorn every checkout (where the sweeties were kept in our youth).  Do you shield their young eyes and make believe theses articles do not exist or do you, in the middle of a supermarket, explain to them that these women are potentially very sick, risking either a fascination in them or an obsession in the child about weight?

Pan forward four years.  Your daughter is 12 years old and beginning her adolescence.  She is surrounded by a legion of other hormonal girls, the vast majority of whom subscribe to the BB/Heat ideal of 'thinner is cooler'.  Peer pressure far outweighs your meagre efforts at common sense and reason.  You talk to them, you be honest about the implications, you are open and honest and frank with them.  What more can you do?  Keep them in after 5pm and ban all media?

Once again your sanctimony with regard to child raising, especially given your self proclaimed childless nature, is astounding.  Yes, childless people are entitled to their opinions with regard to child raising, but it is always better recieved when a little humility is displayed, rather than judgemental condescension

And tell me, what exactly is so bad about Adele and Beth Ditto (I know who she is KK, so , The Gossip - youtube her and Jarvis Cocker).  Whether or not you like their music, they are both successful, talented, articulate and confident young women.  I would far rather my daughters - and my son for that matter - look on them for their immense achievements and potential than look at them and assume that because of they're 'fat' they are somehow a bad influence on what is an already vacuous society. 

24/08/2012 at 10:20
Springle, I was the same as your daughter - worried about my fat thighs as a young child and 15 years later I'm just starting to tackle a severe eating disorder. I'm not saying that your daughter will go the same way but with warnig signs there it's the confidence and support from her family that will swing it the other way.

I don't agree very clearly underweight women, and sometimes men, being pushed forward by the media; they promote an unhealthy ideal for young women and normalise very low body weights. I think the media should take some responsibility in shielding our young people from things like this. Why not promote people like Jess Ennis and Chrissie Wellington? While the media certainly doesn't cause an eating disporder, the advent of pro anorexia sites, along with very thin "role models" splashed over the tv and magazines certainly doesn't help.
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