"Throw out the diet products"

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Posted by HSG on March 02, 2005 at 04:41:59:

In Reply to: "Stop dieting, start dating" posted by Melanie W. on February 27, 2005 at 18:59:05:

That is indeed a haunting and powerful graphic--a memento mori for the twenty-first century. It may not be able to reach girls who are deep in the throes of the illness, and have lost sight of reality, but perhaps it will help reminds parents that whenever they fail to positively reinforce the self-esteem of their daughters, they run the risk of initiating a self-destructive process that can ultimately result in death.

And what a brilliant and original idea for fostering positive body image--to "throw out the diet products." So-called "health" advocates always flog the idea that girls must "throw out desserts" and such, and replace them with calorie-deprived items. But what about the emotional "health" of these girls? Being surrounded by weight-loss products simply makes a healthy young girl think that she is less than perfect the way she is, that she needs to change her body to "improve" it. As the Real Women Have Curves tagline reads, "Go Ahead--Eat the Flan." Or, as our favourite slogan puts it, "Sexy girls have dessert."

Our only hope is that, in the future, eating-disorders organizations not only achieve their objective of raising awareness about these frightening ailments, but also focus more on prevention.

One of the causes of eating disorders, at least in the early stages, is a cry for attention (a natural consequence of adolescence), inasmuch as young girls sometimes envy the attention that anorexia victims receive.

Therefore, one of the best ways to avoid this pitfall is by applauding young girls for not starving themselves in the first place, and for reveling in their natural shape. Let peers envy the positive attention that a curvaceous girl receives, and yearn for that, rather than envying the negative attention that girls who starve themselves attract.

Lindsey G. (Arthur Arthur, Miami)--healthy, happy, and ready for the prom:

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