In a culture that teaches you that you can never be too fat or too thin, I don’t blame all these teenage girls that think nothing about extreme weight loss. All the messages that the media teaches reinforce this concept—you are nothing if you are not thin. How did we get to this point?While yes, every point in time honors a different body type, this particular moment is scary. It teaches girls that a plurality of viewpoints is non-existent and there is no space for compromise.
Extreme weight loss is a manifestation of that.I shudder to think that we are raising a generation that values other people’s opinions rather than their own. What kind of world are we giving them when we teach them to be vapid and shallow from such a young age? What kind of message are we sending when being a celebrity seems like the most glorified job in the world?
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Of course, there are still advocates that combat the extreme weight loss posse. There are still movements that want to spread the word of acceptance at every shape and size. But the reality is, these messages of goodwill are only beginning to chip away at an industry that will only listen to money, never its consumers.

More and more, I am finding that the age in which the awareness of one’s weight is getting lower. Children in grades lower than third already have a concept of fat as dirty and ugly. This bothers me more than anything else, to be honest.

Extreme Weight Loss

Children should never be made to feel ugly or wrong in their own bodies. They should be taught the many different things they can do with their bodies—run, play, sing, dance, etc. The fact that they can be aware of a wrong body type unsettles me because that begins a wholly negative astute feeling towards a little bit of pudge.

Shouldn’t we be teaching the value of hard work and talent rather than the virtue of having an insipid show on television? Shouldn’t we be teaching them to celebrate kindness and gentleness towards all peoples rather than teaching them to laugh at those the teeniest bit different from them? Extreme weight loss in teens is just one manifestation of this particular discrepancy.

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I appreciate the steps that some agencies are taking in order to make sure that people know that extreme weight loss is a serious problem. But in the light of the obesity epidemic, I don’t think anyone’s really paying attention to the latter. It seems that between an anorexic teen and the obese teen, people are quicker to point fingers rather than help.

So what can we do to help? Well for one thing, we should all be self aware in the ideas we disperse. We may be preaching tolerance but laughing at your overweight neighbor negates all that.

We start by being kinder to ourselves, then to our neighbors, then to people we don’t even know, etc. etc. We should demand realistic messages from the media—give us real people, not retouched aliens. By creating a buzz around the things we believe in, we make noise that will hopefully lead to the eradication of extreme weight loss.