Nearly a casualty of an impossible cultural ideal

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  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Feb. 9, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    When I was a teenager I attended a junior high school where many of the girls tended to be slightly overweight. I would have never noticed because I didn't care, but they constantly took note of my being "skinny." I tried to gain weight to "fit in" but it didn't work, probably because we didn't have a lot of high calorie foods, and I was constantly doing outdoor work and activity. Eventually I lost interest in the whole issue and the remarks slid off my oily duck feathers. However, I can imagine that had I also been beset by media deluge on the topic, I might have been more vulnerable. We didn't have TV and this was long before social media, and I am grateful beyond words I didn't have to deal with those plagues when I was a teenager. It would be interesting to determine who is susceptible to indoctrination to be thin or tan or whatever is prescribed by the media. It is absurd to have these influences, but they are reality.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    I have never been aware of a national culture that pressures people into being emaciated, or that regards emaciation as beautiful. I don't see many emaciated people around. There are lots of women who "love themselves and their imperfect bodies", lots of men too. No one need feel alone even in being obese; it's such a common problem.

    Why is it so hard to be neither painfully thin or obese? I hear people being called "thin" who are actually a little overweight which, to some extent, is actually healthy. I think you need to carry a little fat around on you as a reserve, but no need to go to the point where you can't walk, and your lungs and heart cannot meet the demands placed on them when performing normal daily functions.

    We all have our flaws but, in the end, everyone needs to learn some self discipline to keep the edge on life, without any necessity whatsoever in going to extremes of thinness or overweight.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    @ Sal: That would be an interesting sociological study to perform.

    From personal observation, there doesn't seem to be a rational connection - sometimes it affects 2 (or more) girls in the same family, such as this author and her sister, sometimes one girl will be affected and her sister(s) won't, popular girls, not-popular girls, athletic girls, non-athletic girls - there really seems to be little rhyme or reason.

    It would definitely be an interesting and worthwhile study to conduct.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    I wonder why some females are afflicted by this and not others. Why do some buy into the culture and others are not affected by it?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 7, 2014 5:52 a.m.

    Thank you.