Posted in Body Image, Culture, Food, Health on December 23, 2008|
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The Holidays are upon us and you know what that means. A million articles like this one about how to avoid Holiday weight gain. The Holidays are a time when we see people that we probably haven’t seen all year, which means comments about our bodies and weight gain/loss are inevitable. I have personally gotten at least one comment about my weight from a family member every Christmas since my Freshman year of college!
Whether you have lost weight or gained weight, chances are, your body doesn’t look like it did this time last year, which probably means your great aunt Murial will say something to you about your body! Maybe you have a really nice family that keeps rude size/weight comments to themselves, but if your family is anything like mine, you might need the following Holiday Survival Tips:
1. In the event that someone makes a comment about how you have gained weight this year, respond with, “Why thank you! It’s really nice of you to notice!” The confused look on their face will be a nice holiday treat!
2. In the event that someone makes a comment about how much better you look since you have lost weight, respond with, “Is that supposed to make me feel good? Because it doesn’t!” They will be baffled that you bothered to challenge their rude comment and will probably look at you with shock and confusion.
3. In the event that someone makes a comment about a particular food you are eating or the amount of food you consume, since they seem to think they know so much about what types of food you should or shouldn’t be eating, respond with “I didn’t know you were studying nutrition! Congrats! When do you graduate? I would love to attend the ceremony!”
4. When your mother warns you that the apple pie you are currently enjoying will go straight to your hips, respond with, “Which hip do you think it will look better on Mom? My left or my right?” or “I was actually hoping it would go straight to my thighs!’
These tips are just a few generic examples so feel free to tweak them according to your specific situation. It will take courage and boldness to challenge your relatives/friends who say these type of things to you about your body but it will feel good to stand up for yourself.
Happy Holidays to you all!!!!
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Extra! Extra! Read all about it: Oprah’s gone up a few dress sizes. That’s right folks. Among the many important global current events that were reported last week, this one made it to the top: “Oprah Winfrey says she weighs 200 lbs”. By her own admittance, Oprah has always battled with weight and body image. And she has been notorious over the years for her yo-yo weight gains and losses and the plethora of diets and “lifestyle changes” she has ventured upon.
Winfrey also writes that her goal is no longer to be thin; instead, she wants to be strong, healthy and fit.
So if thin isn’t the ultimate goal, why make a statement like the one below in which she is comparing her formerly thinner frame to her current 200-pound frame?
“I’m embarrassed,” she writes. “I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, `How did I let this happen again?'”
The point of this post is not really to talk about Oprah’s body issues (that is a whole other discussion). It’s to point out the absurdity of this type of story even making the front page! I mean really…there are SO many other very important and serious issues to be discussing right now. The U.S. is facing one of the most difficult economic times in history, there are politicians, lawyers and CEOs alike getting caught for doing seriously illegal things almost weekly and there are terrorist bombs going off all around the world. With these things in mind, do we really have time to discuss Oprah’s weight, especially considering the endless articles that have been done about this exact subject in the past?
As the reader who submitted this article to me wrote in the subject line of her email: “Do We Care?” Great question EAC reader! And the answer, at least for me, is “No, I don’t care!” So please media, stop asking Oprah about her weight issues and please, oh please, stop writing about it!
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For years, the classic “hour-glass” figure was a very popular body shape (recently replaced on the runway by the stick figure). But one Anthropologist says, the hour-glass figure may no longer be “optimal.”
While pop culture seems to worship the hourglass figure for females, with a tiny waist, big boobs and curvy hips à la Marilyn Monroe, this may not be optimal, says Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah.
That’s because the hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist.
Interesting. The article continues…
However, women around the world tend to have larger waist-to-hip ratios (more cylindrical than hourglass-shaped) than is considered optimal by these medical and social standards.
Specifically, Cashdan compiled data from 33 non-Western populations and four European populations, finding the average waist-to-hip ratio for women was above 0.8. So if 0.7 is the magic number both in terms of health and male mate choice, Cashdan wondered why most women exhibit a significantly higher ratio.
Although it’s good to hear that the “hour glass figure” as the ideal body type in Western society might be soon forgotten, the problem in general is the idea that there is a certain type of body that is more ideal than another and that one can determine fertility levels and productivity by the shape of a woman’s hips. Why is it so important for us as a society to continue to put women’s bodies under such scrutiny?
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