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Hi loyal friends!

I apologize that we have fallen off the cheeseburger radar. We are both in school at the moment so cheeseburger posting has taken a back seat but we still love you all very much and are going to get better at posting.

On that note, I have a really interesting story to share with you all about my recent visit home to visit my parents. I went home last month and during my visit I went out for a big family lunch. The lunch included about 16 of my family members, several of whom I hadn’t seen in years. Once we had settled in and ordered our food, one of my uncles started making the rounds and talking with everyone at the table. As he approached my chair, I just knew he was going to say something rude (because he usually does). And sure enough, he grabbed my arm and said, “You got fat!” He then proceeded to tell my mother, who was sitting next to me, “She got fat!” He chuckled at himself as if he had said the funniest thing known to man while my mother, grandmother, aunt and I just stared at him.

This incident of course brings up the issue that we have talked about a lot on this blog which is the crazy things people say.

I have found that for some reason, so many people feel the need to make extremely rude comments about other people’s bodies. It happens all the time. I’m really not sure what happens in people’s brains to make them say such things.

I think the moral of this story for me is to remember to not let what other people say to me about my body effect me. What’s important is how I feel about my body not what some crazy person tells me about my body. I want to choose to love and embrace my body no matter what others say. It’s such a hard task sometimes to disregard what others say/think about you and choose to love yourself, but the way I see it, what choice do I have? My options are to be miserable with myself and let people’s negative opinions of me make me sad or to love who I am and let those negative comments roll right off my back.

So the next time someone calls me fat, I think I’ll say something along the lines of “Not sure what you mean by this comment, but I love my body and I also love to eat cheeseburgers!”

In a recent article from UK’s daily mail, Kate Hudson talks about her recent weight gain that she did for her role in the movie “The Killer Inside Me.”  She plays the girlfriend of a serial killer from a small town. When commenting on the weight gain she did for the role, she is quoted as saying,

I wanted to look plainer, not glamorous. Small town,’ she has said, adding that she quit the gym so she would plump up for the role.

Shame, shame, shame. Plainer look? What is plain about curvy? If we really want to talk about plain and glamorous then she could have left it to the idea of  possibly no make-up and plain clothes, that I could maybe understand (although you can still be glamorous with no make-up and plain clothes). Why are we bringing weight into it? I think she needs to be a lot more careful with her words because many women are much curvier, but certainly aren’t plain. And, I don’t like the idea of equating thin with glamorous, which is what she was inversely saying.

I’m a little perplexed, as well, over the article’s use of the word curvy because, as far as I can see, she looks just as thin as always.  I’m not really sure that this is a good representation of curvy or proper weight gain, to be honest. Just because she’s sticking her butt out in the picture doesn’t make her curvy, sorry. The article then goes on to say how she struggled to eat a waffle on the Letterman show as she was trying to lose the weight she “gained” for her movie role.

‘I’ve been counting calories and it works,’ she told David Letterman earlier this week.

The American talk show host was tempting her with waffles smothered in butter when she visited his show Tuesday night.

‘It’s so much butter,’ marveled Kate, who has one son with her rocker ex-husband Chris Robinson.

‘What kind of butter is it? I don’t really want to eat this,’ she added.

But eventually Kate yielded to temptation, enjoying a few bites of the decadent treat, then rattling off her estimation of its calorie content.

She debated over eating a waffle? A waffle? I have to repeat it to myself twice because I am utterly bewildered at this thought. Some of you may argue, well she’s in the business and this is what it takes to be in the business. And I would have to say I disagree.  If you are truly good at what you do, weight won’t matter (as much)–Queen Latifah, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, are just a few ladies who haven’t compromised their bodies for Hollywood. When I say compromised, I mean become extremely  thin by whatever means necessary. All these ladies have different body types, but what I respect is that they let themselves be themselves, whatever that may be.

Now I’m not foolish in thinking that all producers and casting directors base their decisions on acting alone, but I do believe it is possible for many others. That is the place I would like to see some of these actresses get to: a place where they have a little more respect and love of their own bodies, a place where they are not willing to deprive those bodies for someone else’s notion of beauty. On that note, I really want some waffles.

Image found here.

According to this article, it turns out that those cute, chubby babies you love to cuddle, aren’t so adorable…they’re really just covered in unhealthy fat. So now babies are under pressure to be thin? They are just babies! The article is also quoted as saying,

interventions aimed at school-aged children may be, if not too little, too late.

So, if you’re out there and you have a chubby school-aged child, it’s too late for him/her as he/she is destined for a life of obesity. While I’m not trying to debate that there are children who may suffer with health problems as a result of a poor diet, I am questioning this new scientific research that suggests that babies are in danger of being obese straight out of the womb! This type of obesity-crazed scare tactic doesn’t always get the effect it sets out to produce. Most will take these harsh measures upon themselves and think, “Yes! This is an excuse for me to not eat and try to be thin! Obesity is an epidemic.” Now, whether you believe it is or isn’t, an epidemic is a whole other issue, one that I’m not willing to get into (but if you really do want to get into it I suggest reading Paul Campos’ Obesity Myth). The reality is that many people (many women) have been made to believe that the obesity epidemic is real in their lives and that they are just one to two cheeseburgers away from obesity. It also goes on to say,

While obesity prevention programs have typically refrained from addressing weight gain in toddlers and infants, Birch’s study committee is looking specifically at developing a set of obesity prevention recommendations for children between the ages of 0 and 5.

I think there is a good reason why these programs have generally refrained from “tackling” babies and toddlers because, hmm I don’t know, maybe it’s just a little crazy?

I was in a popular store (which shall remain nameless) about a month ago with a friend when I overheard a very disturbing exchange between two sales associates. I was waiting in line to pay for my item and a few steps away from me was a sales associate who was dressing a mannequin. As another sales associate walked up to him, he said to her “Wow our mannequin is like a real woman.” The other sales associate said something in response that I couldn’t hear. In response to whatever she said, the male sales associate responded in a really sassy tone “I refuse to put a size 8 on our mannequins! I refuse!” I was baffled and utterly confused. My friend and I paid for our items and left the store.

As I was leaving, I got a glance of the size of the dress that was on the mannequin; it was a size 6. So from this brief shopping trip I learned two things from this man. One: a size 6 is the size of a “real woman” and two: a size 8 is really bad.

Now I’m not one to get into labels and sizes but I think for the purposes of this discussion, size is of note in order to point out the absurdity of this man’s thinking. The first question I had was “since when is a size 8 considered extremely large?” and second, “why is it completely unacceptable to put such a large size on the mannequin?”

As much as I understand that there is a collective consciousness in the western world that lives by the doctrine of thinner is better its moments like these that make it reality for me. I mean, I get that in the fashion world; you really can’t make it as a model if you are over a size 4 (and even then you may not make the cut). But that’s the fashion world, not the real world; right?

In reality, very few women are that small. So perhaps that’s what the sales associate meant when he said that the mannequin was a “real woman.” He was inferring that because the dress they put on it wasn’t the typical model size 0-4, her body was somehow more realistic, closer to what a “real woman” looks like in the “real world.”

This man’s comments came down to one thing for me: size politics, which is the idea that a number or letter on a clothing label has some type of merit in this world. This man was assigning very specific meaning to very specific sizes and it seemed very natural to him to do so.

One of the major problems with sizes is how inconsistent they are. I mean, at the end of the day, can you really tell me what your “size” is? I personally wear one size at H&M, one size at Old Navy, one size at Target and another size at Forever 21. One size in pants, one size in jeans (totally depending on who makes the jeans), another size in tops and it goes on and on. I have everything from XS to XL in my closet. So why would I let something so completely inconsistent and ridiculous define who I am?

I don’t think that size politics has any place in the real world; it should stay deep within the dark realms of Vogue and the catwalk. But unfortunately, it’s people like this idiotic sales person who make it hard to keep size politics out of every day life.

Crystal Renn. Truly an inspiration to us here at EAC. What inspires me about her is that I would like to believe that one day we will live in a world where women have choices other than hating the natural design of their bodies. As many of you know, Renn was once the painfully thin model who struggled tirelessly to keep the weight down, but didn’t find success in the field until she accepted her true shape. But what do you see when you look at this photo? Does it make you uncomfortable that her legs are not thinner or that she doesn’t have an ultra-small waste? Or that she looks a lot more like you than what you are used to seeing in the magazines?

The reality is that there are many people who would love to ban these types of photos from the fashion world. We see it every time celebrities gain weight– they are immediately attacked for it. And, so, we take this view onto ourselves. We see weight gain as an ultimate evil that must be conquered at all costs. One of our readers asked a good question: “what would happen to the world if we stopped dieting”? To be honest, I would really like to know.

Do you think it’s possible to get to a place where women are allowed to love themselves? Sometimes I look at the conglomerate that is the fashion world and begin to feel overwhelmed. Can we take back control of our own bodies and our own minds? Well, we hope if you are reading this that the answer is yes! What would happen if we let ourselves look the way we naturally do without all the excess exercise and frugal eating habits? It’s not an easy or a short road but it’s one that must be traveled if we ever hope to free ourselves from the burden of “perfection”.

So as the new year approaches I decided to do some research on the top 10 new year’s resolutions made, and to no surprise, fitness and weight loss were at the top. I am just really confused as to why “fitting in fitness” and “taming the bulge” were a whopping number 2 and 3, whereas “helping others” was nearly dead last. It was nice to see the “enjoy life more” pledge, but my guess is that chasing after numbers 2 and 3 will get rid of any joy you have left. Now don’t get me wrong,  I’m not advocating an inactive lifestyle and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t think about your health, but if you were to look at the real reason most women want to “tame the bulge,” it rarely has to do with weight.

I would like to bet that you could complete a lot of those resolution by just taking out all the ones that have to do with losing weight. How about for once this year you decide to love your own self no matter what, instead of living in a perpetual state of self-loathing. Aren’t you tired of being OK with not liking what you see?  How can you expect anyone else to see you for what you really are when you don’t even see it for yourself?! This year I think it’s time to re-order and delete some of these pledges to a new year. Just a cheeseburger for thought.

Here’s the list compiled from About.com,

1. Spend more time with family and friends.

2. Fit in Fitness

3. Tame the Bulge

4. Quit Smoking

5. Enjoy Life More

6. Quit Drinking

7. Get Out of Dept

8. Learn Something New

9. Help Others

10. Get Organized.