Archive for August, 2009

side-saladOne of my friends told me a story several months ago, which I found quite shocking. She was at the gas pump one morning when a homeless woman approached her and asked for 30 cents so she could buy a salad. My friend obliged and as she was looking in her purse for a dollar to give her, the woman decided to divulge a little extra information about why she was on a hunt for a salad. She proceeded to tell my friend that she had recently “gained fifty pounds drinking beer” and was now on a diet to try and lose the weight. She had gotten “fat” and was trying to limit her food intake to salad (and apparently cigarettes as she was smoking while she told my friend her “fat” troubles).

When my friend relayed the story to me I shook my head and said “only in L.A….” Not to say that something like this wouldn’t happen in another city, but it’s so typical that in a city which is especially obsessed with body weight, dieting, exercise and image, that even a homeless woman would deem herself fat and in need of a diet.

I mean, not to point out the obvious, but this woman is homeless! Without a home! Without consistent and steady food and shelter. So why is her priority the size of her butt? I certainly don’t mean to sound insensitive or presumptuous. There could have been a number of things going on with this woman that I have no idea about and I do not mean to judge her in anyway. I just simply wish to point out the irony in this story which is that this is a woman who is deemed part of a group of society that is generally thought of has hungry and in need of food (without regard to body size or image) and yet, she actually is quite concerned with her “fatness.”

This story is quite sad because it just goes to show that our obsession with dieting, thinness and image touches all members of society. ALL women in our society, no matter social class, race, age or ethnicity are affected by the thin culture in some way shape or form.

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