Monday, January 09, 2006

Food for Thought

I have finally shaken a head cold that has incapacitated me a couple days over the past two weeks. On those days I had the painful lesson re-taught to me that daytime television is incredibly boring. I could not concentrate on reading. Sleeping was a good alternative. I kept the TV on to help me go to sleep faster. I could only sleep on the couch because the couch allowed me to sleep in an upright position letting me breathe better.

While hovering on the edge of sleep, I heard a guy on some show announce the segment on the latest workplace fashions. His next statement actually woke me with laughter. 'Alright. Let's bring out the grossly underweight models now.'

This statement got me to thinking about the realities of body image. If people in our country are becoming more and more obese, why are models and fashion projecting underweight norms? The two have a symbiotic relationship I am sure. (I am too lazy / busy to go look it up.) Both images are unhealthy and trying to achieve one image can propel a person into the other.

My friend, Maria, is on a diet. (ok considering it's January, who isn't?) She is on a medically supervised diet and exercise program. Listening to what she has learned about the way our bodies handle food and the nutrition food provides leads me to wonder how we as a nation became obsessed with body image and then food.

What triggered it? Fast food? Technology? The increasing sedentary nature of the workforce? All of these factors, plus a few more, combined?

la dolce Divas have blogged their frustration and have come up with a simple but effective suggestion on the dieting resolution season. But does our obsession with body image seem to be increasing? I know I could list ten things I don't like about my body without hesitation. Most of my friends can do the same.

Frankly I am tired of looking at my hips and wishing they were not so curvy. I want to focus on being healthy. I rather work on getting my cardiovascular system in order than think about the caloric intake of anything I ingest.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Amazing. Have been despairing of my body forever, but especially just lately. I think curvy hips are fine, by the way. YOU are fine. I can't stand stick-thin women who look like they survived a Nazi prison camp. You are right - I would rather focus on bodily health, specifically cardiovascular, than appearance. I know they go hand-in-hand, to an extent, but not entirely. It's difficult not to feel like a repugnant toad when side by side with a model who threw up anything she ever ate, who also has the benefit of two-hour hair and makeup sessions and access to a wardrobe of expensive yet slutty-looking clothes to show off her razor-sharp hip bones. I think most guys like someone they can grab hold of. Not all guys will admit that, though... I do think it's an incredible struggle to pass over the dividing line between listing things we like about ourselves vs. things we don't like.

Consider this: if I asked you to name 5 things you liked and disliked about yourself physically, and 5 things you liked and disliked about yourself personally, which would be the more revealing list? Both! But the fact is, you could probably easily rattle off 5 things you liked about yourself personally, and even more easily say 5 things and more that you disliked about yourself, physically. And so could I. (about me, not you!)

And that is precisely one of the million things wrong with the world today!!