The author of this article in The Courier (Australia) has discovered something that will not only help her home country of Australia, but also our own countrys battle with obesity and eating disorders in children: Only people of faith are healthy and happy. (dont worry, she didnt support any of her assertions with 'science' so this article is fr*med perfectly)
The Answer: We need to tell children, "If you were a Good Christian, you wouldnt be struggling with your weight or your body image. You would be thin with lips to die for, just like the Good Christian in the articles accompanying pic."
She starts out with a good pop-culture premise, Super-Girl-Syndrome. Luckily I had very supportive parents, so I was never pressured to always be first in grades, looks, eight sports, volunteering, etc etc etc like Ive heard happens to some girls, but I still had a slight case of SGS when I was in school. I always wanted to be the smartest and get the best grade on every test and in every class, and when I didnt get it, a slight internal mental spaz would occur. Alas, I knew damn well I was a scrawny ugly duckling when I was little, so I didnt have body image issues :) "Meh, Im gangly. What ya' gonna do?" I didnt learn until I was in college that I needed to be eating more protein, I needed to lift weights, and Im still learning now that I need to eat a shitload of calories if Im going to do any cardio (running the puppy every morning and every evening) to turn my scrawny-ganglyness into kinda-sexy-in-a-nerdy-wayness. Sure I had health classes and P.E. in school, even in college, but it wasnt until I started experimenting with foods and exercises myself that I really got 'healthy.' Every body is different.
In a perfect world, the 'answer' to some cases of body dismorphia could be letting kids experiment with lots of different eating plans and exercise programs to see how their bodies respond, teach them how to change things up as they get older, different options if they get bored, etc. It would be hard to do, but it would be my ideal solution. There is nothing like giving a Super Girl lots of 'right answer' options to get her to relax.
"Taekwondo is taking up too much time? Thats okay! If you run with your dog in the mornings, you can kill two birds with one stone!"
"Bored eating sandwiches and carrots every day? Lets Google some easy, healthy, lunch recipes!"
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO dear readers! NO YAY! The answer to life, the universe, anorexia and everything is JESUS!
It is, in truth, all of the above. But there is another profoundly important yet little noticed dynamic at work in the anxious, achievement-oriented lives of perfect girls: they have a sometimes deadly, often destructive, lack of faith. So many perfect girls were raised entirely without organised religion, and most of the rest of us – I admit reluctantly to my own membership in the perfect girl club – have experienced "spirituality" only in the form of mandatory holiday services with a big-haired grandmother, or unconscionably elaborate and expensive bar mitzvah parties, where everything but the Torah is emphasised.
Niiiiice! Even managed to work in a ZING on Judaism!
In fact, our worth in the world has always been tied to our looks, grades, and gifts – not the amazing miracle of mere existence.
Thinness and achievement stand in for qualities of kindness and humility.
Speak for yourself, Biblo. Just because youre pathetic doesnt mean atheists are.
But heres example #2948569146552765 of Religious fundamentalism killing the ability do detect irony.
In essence, they are crying out to our godless culture, showing us just how damaged a child can be who is thrown to the wolves of advertising and amoral media without the protection of any spiritual armour.
There you have it folks. The only kids who have body issues are ones without True Faith. Its not that youre 14 and dont know natural peanut butter is an awesome substitute for Skippy, its that you dont have enough faith. Its not that no one teaches girls how to use free-weights because theyll 'hurt themselves' or get 'bulky', its because you are a complete failure in Gods eyes. If you only trusted Him more, if you only truly gave your heart to Jesus, you would be thin and pretty. Religion is the answer.
**VOMIT!!** <-- non-bulimic
Edited to add: You can leave comments, but they are moderated. Mine didnt make the cut :(
... Or maybe young girls could use some health and exercise courses in school taught by trained individuals. It took me years of self study and trial-and-error to figure out what kind of exercise my body responded to (and I still enjoyed) and what I needed to eat to be healthy.
But yeah, Im sure atheism is the problem, because Lord knows there arent any anorexic or overweight theistic children. Do you think passing judgment on theistic children with body issues, telling them they have problems because they dont have enough 'faith', is 'helping', Courtney? Youre dreadful!
--Abbie, 1.75 meter 61 kg 13% body fat HIV and cancer researcher... and atheist.