When Fat is not Fat…

by Leisa on June 30, 2008

I don’t read major newspapers because I don’t believe in supporting their mainly misinformed views, corporate and political pandering, and negative stories with my dollars. But yesterday I was visiting my family and flicked through one of the Sunday papers they had next to the lounge.

As I turned the pages, a health story grabbed my attention (as they always do). I wish I had cut out the article and bought it with me, because I can’t quite remember the headline, but it was about how women are increasing in weight around their mid-section because they are now drinking as much alcohol as men are.

Men have been known to suffer from the “beer belly syndrome” where chronic drinkers increase in weight around their waist, but can lose it from their legs, giving them a certain type of appearance. The article went on to explain how this body type (fat belly, skinny legs) is now occurring in more women as their alcohol consumption increases.

All sounds quite straightforward up to now doesn’t it?

And it would have been, except for the photo’s they chose to put with the story. Two young girls, Brittany Spears and Charlotte Church, both in bikini’s and being described by the newspaper as “overweight” and representative of the problem featured in the article.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. These girls both looked absolutely gorgeous. Feminine, womanly, totally in proportion, not anorexcially thin, but by no stretch of the imagination could you even call them plump. They looked fantastic and I was left wondering about what motivated the matching of these photo’s to that particular article.

To me there didn’t seem to be any connection whatsoever.

Ok, maybe the girls drink a bit, but the story wasn’t about drinking per se, it was about drinking related to a certain body shape and the health risks associated with that. But the girls didn’t have the body shape they were talking about in the article at all.

Quite obviously the photo’s were chosen because the girls are famous and it provided the content with a celebrity link that probably grabbed more readers attention than it would have otherwise.

But what message is this sending out?

That we all must be skinny to the point of emaciation to gain approval in the eyes of the mass media? That a woman’s naturally fit, healthy, curvy body is not to be appreciated, but denigrated in print?

No wonder I don’t read newspapers! They take the worst of human nature and glorify it for mass marketing consumption and that does not help the state of our minds or the world we live in.

What we fill our minds with is just as important as what we fill our bodies with, and this derogatory slant on what could of been an informative article, just highlights what a warped sense of “news” abounds in the world.

I think next time, I’ll just line the bin with newspaper BEFORE I flick through it!



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