Fit vs. Fiction's Blog

Young, sad, sick girls just got themselves a new role model. Thanks Amanda Bynes!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about social media is that it makes it possible to share everything and anything we’re feeling the second we’re feeling it. While this is perfectly harmless when talking about the delicious sandwich we just ate or the soccer goal we scored or the hilarious thing our kid just did, it can be extremely dangerous when we use it to promote unhealthy behaviour and a hell of a lot MORE dangerous if you’re a celebrity.
It’s no secret that Amanda Bynes has become a bit of a train wreck recently. Two DUI arrests and a lot of erratic behaviour have put her on the “needs some drastic help” radar for some time now and this latest development just reinforces that point.
Amanda has decided that she needs to lose weight and for some bizarre reason she’s decided to choose 100lbs as her goal weight. The problem is that at 5’8 inches tall, weighing just 100lbs would make her completely unhealthy. It is just NOT a healthy place for her to be.

Why do I care?

I care because she has chosen to document her feelings and weight loss plan on social media and has even posted pictures of her thighs on Instagram.

This is particularly disturbing considering the latest trend in body shaming among young people which involves measuring their “thigh Gaps”.

As a celebrity, even one whose star is fading quickly, she needs to be responsible when it comes to what she shares with the public. By saying that she needs to lose weight from her already healthy physique, and posting critical pictures of her body parts, she is sending a very dangerous message to her young fans.

I asked a couple of young women how they felt about Amanda’s goal and one teenager shared,
“I think this is going to affect a lot of young girls because so many of us grew up with her as a role model. It’s disgusting what a smart confident woman has become.”
The other said, “If a girl is 5’6 and weighs 110lbs she’ll assume she’s obese when that’s totally underweight! She’s in the media and young girls will see this and think, “Oh she’s pretty and famous, if I want to be like her I should want to be 5’8 and 100lbs.”
Amanda is obviously going through a very hard time and I’m not judging her for that. Having battled my own severe body image and eating disorder issues for over 20 years, I can certainly relate. BUT, while I’m not judging her struggle, I am having a HUGE problem with how her actions may bring a lot of young girls down with her. Like it or not, being in the public eye gives her voice and her actions more attention than the rest of us and with that comes a lot of power. Her comments through social media are reaching millions of young people and can end up causing disastrous results for some of them.

The great thing about social media is that it can connect us to almost anyone, anywhere at anytime. The terrifying thing about social media is that exact same thing.

4 Responses to 'Young, sad, sick girls just got themselves a new role model. Thanks Amanda Bynes!'

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  1. Awful!!! I just completed a weight loss journey myself and am maintaining (rather well I think so far and that’s accounting for the fact that comfort food looks really good in a Canadian Winter) and keeping up my new healthy habits. Setting a ridiculous goal like that is just that, ridiculous. I wish these girls would go for a goal of being healthy and comfortable in their own skin instead of that crap. My weight may not be the ‘perfect’ number, but I have never been healthier and happier and that’s what they should strive for. Glad I swung by from Bloggy Moms. Really glad.

    • fitvsfiction said,

      I know what you mean about our Canadian Winters and think it’s awesome that you’ve found a way to lose weight by focusing on your HEALTH and not the number on the scale. I believe that we can’t lose weight in order to like ourselves, we need to like ourselves in order to lose weight. Thanks for visiting! (I am following your blog too!) :o)

  2. What? “Thigh gaps”? Just when I thought I’d heard it all. I have a two-year-old daughter and I really worry about the media-filled, celebrity-crazed world she will be entering into. It makes me feel so sad and completely panicked!

    • fitvsfiction said,

      I hear ya. I’ve heard from the parents of three different FIVE year olds who didn’t want to go to school because they thought they looked FAT! (One of the kids was a boy!)
      I battled my own severe body image issues for years, which is why I wrote “The Body Survival Guide for parents”. In my book I actually have a chapter for kids o-3 years old! We have to be proactive with how we handle this issue and start giving our kids healthy, positive messages from day 1.

      Thanks for your comment!

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