So after reading this:
I decided to make these:
I just read an article regarding an artist who has taken the measurements of the average American woman and created a Barbie doll based on those proportions. Below is a link to the original article, but to get the gist of it, you really just need to look at a few of the pictures.
K, so, before I get started on what my issue with this is, let me just preface with a few things so as to avoid a bunch of angry, over-sensitive pussies picking up their torches and swarming my virtual front door.
1. I was extremely overweight in high school. I had a great body in college. After having twins, I am a size bigger than I was – which is to say, I am by no means “skinny”, but I also wouldn’t consider myself fat.
2. That being said, I sympathize with the bullshit overweight people have to go through. It fucking sucks, especially when you have hot, skinny friends. If I ever found out my children were being cruel to a kid in school solely because they were hefty, they would be punished severely, because that shit is seriously uncool.
3. That being said, I have every intention of impressing upon my children the importance of eating healthy, exercising, and avoiding being fat. It is not okay to tease someone for being heavy, but it is also not okay to allow your child to develop poor eating habits and to permit them to be idle and lazy.
So, moving on to the aforementioned issue.
I do not, nor will I ever, condone the idea that settling for “average” is okay. This is particularly important when it comes to academics, but it applies here as well. When you consider the fact that the “average” American is overweight, the last thing our children need to strive for is average when it comes to their body. Over half the country is fat, people – that figure includes adults (35%) and children (17%). That doesn’t mean 52% of the population has a genetic predisposition for being plump. It means that most of us will pick a cheeseburger over a salad, will buy our kids candy at the grocery store to shut them instead of just disciplining them, and will drive our car two blocks away instead of walking.
That’s not a medical issue, folks. That’s a choice.
Furthermore, the artist does not appear to have used the measurements of the average American woman because, per the CDC, the average American woman has a waist measurement of 37.5 inches and is a size 14 – this is mark where “plus-sized” begins. Based on those numbers, it can easily be inferred that the average American woman has a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.85+. A healthy ratio should be between .70 and .80. Using my own measurements, I determined my own waist-to-hip ratio is .76 and, with the use of a virtual modeling tool, created the body shape below, which reflects my own remarkably well:
I’m certainly no Sharon Stone, but I’d have to say my shape is a bit better than the American average, particular in the upper region, thank you very much. That’s not to say it couldn’t use a little improvement and a great deal more muscle definition, but if the designer of “Average Barbie” was so bent on providing a representation of an “average American woman”, then why is her shape so similar to a size 10-12 with a 32 inch waist, instead of a size 14 with a 37.5″ waist?
I know why, but the truth is gonna hurt (as it so often does): no one wants to play with a fat doll.
They want to play with a pretty doll, and no matter what we tell our girls (and our boys for that matter) about self-esteem, self-worth, and having a positive body image, most people don’t believe that fat is pretty. Yes, there are some men who are in to heavy women, but if you present him with a good looking overweight girl and a Sports Illustrated model and tell him he gets to pick one to spend the evening with, those very same chubby chasers are going to pick perky tits and a flat tummy over jiggly thighs and love handles. And yes, there are plenty of overweight women who are comfortable and happy with their appearance and indeed are more confident than some of the skinny girls I know…but present them with the opportunity to undergo an overnight transformation that would give them perfect proportions and muscle tone and I doubt you’d find many women that would turn that down.
But hey, if you think I’m wrong and that the majority believe that there’s nothing wrong with being heavy, ask yourself why so many magazines feature cover stories about diets, why there are reality shows focused on losing weight, and why gyms are still in business.
Or, if you think I’m just another conceited, superficial bitch, ask yourself why you feel it’s more important to provide obese children with obese dolls than it is for the parents to care about the health and well-being of their own children.
So why are we so hell-bent on ignoring the obesity issue? If you’re going to tell 80 pound five year olds that they should learn to love and accept themselves then that’s awesome, because they should. But if you spent a little more time teaching them what constitutes junk food, a little more time making them run around outside instead of handing them the remote, a little more time preparing healthy meals instead of microwaving whatever frozen brick of shit you pluck out of the icebox, you wouldn’t have an obese kindergartener to begin with.
I don’t doubt that at least one person will read all this and conclude that what I’m really saying is that I hate fat people and think that they’re gross and that it’s okay to act like a dick to them. These people have completely missed the point. These people are also the type of people that post asinine pictures on Facebook that say stupid shit like “Curvy girls do it better!” and “Curvy girls are better than skinny girls any day!” Guess what, Curvy Girl? Saying shit like that makes you no different from the cheerleaders that ridiculed you in high school because of your size.
In conclusion, ladies, how many of your body issues (if you have any) are a direct result of the Barbie you played with as a child? Did you develop issues with self-esteem because of your unrealistically designed toy doll, or was it because of mean girls who weren’t taught any better? If you have a love for fashion, style, makeup, shopping, and shoes, did you first discover that playing with your Barbies?
Let’s be honest, people. What really wreaks havoc on a teenage girl’s self-image is more likely to be an issue of Seventeen, stuffed with ads featuring clothes they can’t afford and bodies only 2% of the population has (yet still require some photoshopping). Not the memories of a fucking toy they played with a decade ago and probably loved the hell out of.
Before you hit play, I’ll relay the same advice given to me by my friend Tara, who shared the video on her Facebook page: you can get the gist of the situation by watching the first minute and the last three minutes. Anything more than that and it’s entirely possible that your head may explode.
All right. So those of you who heeded the warning and still have your heads intact – are you as appalled as I am? Are you also as surprised as I am that it took so goddamned long for the adults in charge to do something about it?
Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a school bus and my own children don’t start school until this fall so I’m really not up to speed – pardon the pun – on school bus protocol. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say that calling the police was the only thing the bus driver could do. Obviously they can’t smack the little bastard, and it’s pretty likely that school policy now dictates that you can no longer eject a child from the bus and make them walk home – the school would be liable for anything that happened to the kid en route. And if the parent or guardian isn’t able to pick them up from a safe point – like the school itself, for example – what other options are there?
Personally, I think it would have been hilarious if the adults had the cell numbers of the parents of each child on the bus, recorded a little video of the kid mouthing off and texted it to mommy or daddy or grandma or whoever.
But then the question is: would the parents even care? Can’t the argument be made that if a 7-year-old is speaking in such a manner, his role models are either shitty or non-existent? Is it possible that the interaction he had with the police officer and the punishment he’ll face at school is the only disciplinary action this child will face?