Fit vs. Fiction's Blog


Mayor Bloomberg, do you want us to be healthy or just skinny?

The judge has spoken, the ruling’s been made and our right to drink super sized, sugar loaded beverages remains in tact.

I’ll be honest with you and say that I’m feeling somewhat conflicted by the decision. I know that the main argument against the ban was from people who just don’t want the government telling them what to do. Nobody likes to be told what they can and cannot eat or drink and people tend to get a little annoyed when they feel like their being treated like children, or fools, or foolish children. That said, who the hell needs to be drinking soda from a cup big enough to swim in, anyway? If you’re still thirsty after drinking enough liquid to bathe in, you’ve got some bigger issues that need to be addressed. I have no problem with Mayor Bloomberg wanting to limit the size of sugary drinks being sold, what I do have a problem with is that, once again, he is completely missing the mark on doing the HEALTHY thing.

An article by The Canadian Press states, ” The rule prohibits selling non-diet soda and some other sugary beverages in
containers bigger than 16 ounces.”

NON-DIET SODA.

Aye, there’s the rub.

WHY is drinking copious amounts of sugar-laden drinks unhealthy but consuming the same amount of chemical filled crap just fine? WHY are we protecting people from the evils of sugar while promoting, accepting and even encouraging the consumption of chemicals that come with risks related to health issues like depression, severe migraines, inflammatory bowel disease and Cancer?

Oh wait a minute, I know, because they have less calories! Calories are bad because they make you fat and fat is bad, because it can lead to health issues. Can you see my concern here? Why is that certain health risks are acceptable as long as they don’t affect our size? Why are we, once again, putting our weight ahead of our health?

He’s the really crazy part, some research has suggested that artificial sweeteners can lead to, say it isn’t so, OBESITY!

I have no problem with the government wanting to help us get healthier, but I do have an issue with it just wanting to make us skinnier.

I work with kids as young as 7 and 8 years old who have already started counting calories for fear of getting fat and that’s just not okay! If we want to raise healthy children we need to teach them that eating well makes them FEEL good, instead of promoting the dangerous messages that eating less makes them look skinny.

Time to stop trying to lose weight and start focusing on gaining HEALTH!

 

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Why I had to write the Body Image Survival Guide for Parents:

Why did I write this book?

I always thought that if I ever wrote a book about my life, the title would be, “Who knew?”.

It seems fitting because whenever I look at old pictures of myself from when I was just a little kid, before the traumas came fast and hard, I look at the little girl in the pictures and think, “You have NO IDEA what life is about to throw at you. Get ready, it’s gonna get rough for awhile”.

Life has definitely sucker punched me in the gut on more than a few occasions and thrown a crapload of challenges my way that proved extremely hard to overcome. I’ve lived a lot, lost a lot and learned a lot. Along the way, there was one thing that was there for me through it all. My eating disorder.

Yup, when life got too hard and the pain too intense, I turned away from what was hurting me and turned to my disorder for help. At the time, it made sense. When I was 17 years old, my brother Billy died and a huge part of me died right along with him. The pain of his loss was too much to bear and my life seemed completely out of my control so I turned to the one thing I thought I could control. My body. I started starving myself in an effort to feel like I was in control of SOMETHING or else I was sure I’d go completely insane.

It was easier to deal with the pain of an empty stomach than the sadness I felt walking into his empty room.

My disorder was the diversion I thought I needed. I thought it was helping. I didn’t know it would end up robbing me of my friendships, my health and my dreams. It kept me from making new friends and made it hard to keep old ones. It encouraged me to drop out of school and give up my ambitions. It told me I was nothing without it and I believed it.

I know what it’s like to think that everything you are and everything you could ever be depends on what you LOOK like but to feel like you’ll never look good enough. I know what it’s like to feel like you could never be smart, or funny or interesting enough to matter so you sure as hell better be pretty enough, but to never feel that you are. I know what it’s like to hate who you are so much that being the “girl with the eating disorder” becomes your entire identity and even though it hurts so much, you don’t want to give it up for fear you’ll just disappear.

I know what it’s like to battle with body image. I know what it’s like to watch my mother see me in pain and feel completely powerless about how to help me. I know that this is an issue that is confusing and complicated and incredibly hard to understand.

I also know what it’s like to recover.

My body image issues may have taken me to hell and back, but the important part is that I came back.

I know that with the right tools and information, parents don’t have to feel powerless. There is so much we can do as parents to instil the right messages from the time our kids are babies that can help them grow up with the confidence they deserve. Kids younger and younger are feeling pressured to be who they THINK society expects them to be instead of appreciating who they already are. They need our help.

I wrote the book I wish my own mother had had when I was struggling. I want parents to feel EMPOWERED. I give practical, solid answers to sticky questions and suggest games and projects that build healthy body image and self-esteem. I’ve included positive internet resources and body image pledges and include tons of stories from real people sharing real experiences.

My goal is to teach people that the “Best” bodies are HEALTHY ones and that SELF-WORTH IS NOT MEASURED IN POUNDS!

xoxoxoxo

Childhood-Obesity is NOT the problem!

Childhood Obesity isn’t THE problem.

There, I said it and I’ll say it again: CHILDHOOD OBESITY is NOT THE PROBLEM.

While it’s become nearly impossible to turn on a TV, listen to a radio or read through a newspaper without hearing about our society’s obesity epidemic and it seems like there are anti-obesity programs and campaigns popping up everywhere, I believe we are focusing our energy and efforts on the WRONG problem. Is obesity a serious issue? Yes, it is. But obesity is just one SYMPTOM of the real issue which is unhealthy living. By focusing solely on obesity, we are turning a “lifestyle” issue into a “fat” one. By doing this, we’re completely missing out giving people the information and the tools they need to be truly HEALTHY. The dangerous part about this is that instead of encouraging people to get healthy we are demanding that they get skinny and the truth is, skinny is not always synonymous with healthy. As a result of our “war on obesity” we’re creating a generation of kids who are TERRIFIED of being overweight and because of our society’s obsession with thinness, they don’t even know what being overweight truly looks like! Watching TV or flipping through fashion magazines and being inundated with unrealistic images of unattainable physiques can have most tweens and teens feeling inadequate and insecure about their looks within minutes. When the media is telling them that they need to be skinny to be beautiful and anti-obesity campaigns are telling them they need to be skinny to be healthy, the only message they’re hearing is: YOU NEED TO BE SKINNY!
Here’s a shocker: You can’t always tell how fit or unfit a person is simply by what they look like.
Being a little overweight and active is healthier than skinny and sedentary. Weight is not the ONLY factor in a person’s overall health, and we shouldn’t be made to feel like it is.

WHAT ARE THE DANGERS?

1.Thin kids become apathetic:
There are some kids who can eat as much junk food as they want and do very little physical activity without gaining any weight. Lucky for them, right? WRONG. However, IF they’re constantly being told that OBESITY is the issue than they won’t see the risks related to their present lifestyles. Things like: Diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and Cancer.

2.Skinny at all cost mentality:
How about the kids who are so afraid of gaining weight that they become overly concerned with every piece of food they consume? I get emails and phone calls from parents of kids as young as 5 years old who are already struggling with eating disorders! While it wouldn’t be surprising to hear our toddlers worry about imaginary monsters or witches, hearing them cry because they feel they look fat in their snowsuits is something most parents are not prepared for. More and more kids are putting their health at risk through dangerous behaviour related to weight loss and a huge part of it is because of our society’s Fat-Phobia!

Recently, many schools have tried to get on board the fight against obesity by implementing programs aimed at making our kids healthier. Unfortunately, in an effort to solve one problem, they are inadvertently creating an even bigger one by encouraging disordered eating and negative body image. While numbers and charts may offer a little insight into a person’s health status, they can be drastically misleading if other important factors are ignored.

Take for example, the recent story about the 10 year old Massachusetts boy who was sent home from school with a letter saying he was obese. This boy’s athletic (healthy) build was considered obese by the BMI rating his school was using to measure their students body weight. To be honest, I am completely against ANY KIND of program that has school faculty measuring (judging and shaming) a child’s weight and the fact that they’d use such an inaccurate system to do it, makes it all the more frustrating.

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2013/02/27/17119287-fat-letters-sent-home-to-students-cause-a-stir

Schools need to EDUCATE, not HUMILIATE.

3.It’s become okay to point fingers at the chubby kid.

You’d think that with all the talk about bullying going on these days, we’d be able to recognize when we’re doing it ourselves, but here’s another example of good intentions lost on bad execution. By singling out the “overweight” kids we’re making them easier targets to be picked on. Some might argue that if they’re overweight, they’re probably already being picked on, but the difference is that they’ve now got school staff agreeing with the bullies. This kind of negativity will only make them feel less worthy of respect from others and themselves. HOW does that help??

We all want the same thing. We want our kids to grow up as healthy and as happy as they can be, but we really have to be so incredibly careful about how we go about doing that.

Eating with balance and moderation and being physically active shouldn’t be something we feel forced to do because we hate our bodies, but something we WANT to do because we love and respect them. We can’t lose weight in order to like ourselves, we have to first like ourselves in order to lose weight.

Enough with the “ANTIs” and bring on the “PROs”. Instead of an Anti-Obesity approach, why not try one that’s Pro-Health? We shouldn’t be fighting AGAINST our bodies but working WITH them.

FAT isn’t a bad word. It’s an essentially nutrient necessary for good health. Why have we turned it into an insult? Teaching kids that fat is “Bad”, can be a dangerous lesson. However, educating them about the benefits and risks related to different kinds of fats can be extremely helpful without being judgemental.

A truly healthy child is one that is healthy physically, emotionally and psychologically. By focusing simply on the physical, we risk damaging everything else.

The question I’m asking is: Do we want HEALTHY kids or just skinny ones?

Olympic medallist Leisel Jones criticized for being "Fat".

Olympic medallist Leisel Jones criticized for being “Fat”.

Olympic medallist Cathy Rigby.Admits that she and many teammates battled eating disorders while competing

Olympic medallist Cathy Rigby.
Admits that she and many teammates battled eating disorders while competing

Healthy bodies have less to do with how they LOOK and everything to do with how they WORK.

“Self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds”

Body image concerns: Advice for Grandma and Grandpa

A woman approached me at the grocery store the other day because she had read an article about me in the newspaper where I talked about (what else?) body image and kids. She explained that she was a grandmother and was worried that she was putting a little too much pressure on her grandkids when it came to food choices. While she didn’t want to make them self-conscious about what they were eating, she also didn’t want them to feel free to eat whatever they wanted and risk becoming overweight.

Not too long after that, I heard from another grandma who was very concerned that her daughter-in-law’s own body image issues were setting her grandkids up for their own issues and was unsure how to handle the situation.

What so many people don’t realize is that body image issues and eating disorders don’t just affect the people who are struggling with them, but also impact the lives of those who love them. Watching someone you care about obsess over their weight/ food/ appearance can be beyond frustrating and heartbreaking since it’s really difficult for them to know what they should say or do.

It’s easy to overlook the stress put on friends and family of eating disorder sufferers, which is a huge oversight since having a strong and stable support system can make all the difference when it comes to recovering from such an insidious disorder.

For my next few posts, I’m going to talk about the people around the people who are suffering (grandparents, parents, siblings, friends) and offer some tips on how to feel a little less powerless.

1. Compare notes.
Grandparents don’t usually see their grandkids on a daily basis and it may be easier for them to spot the subtle changes that may be happening than parents who can be too close to a situation to have a clear view. If you are concerned about something you’re seeing, whether it be physical or behavioral changes, don’t be afraid to bring these concerns up with the parents. Find out if they’ve noticed anything concerning and make sure there is an open line of communication so you can work together to make sure the kids are safe.

2. If you suspect that something’s not quite right with your grandkids,Talk to them directly but make sure your conversations are non confrontational and your questions don’t come across as accusatory. Instead of asking, “What’s wrong with you lately?” Or, “I know something’s going on, what is it?” Try instead to ask about things like school and their friends while you’re out for lunch or just hanging out together. For a lot of people, opening up about body image anxieties can be tough, but talking about other kinds of stress can be much easier. Just chatting about what’s going on their lives can give you a great perspective of where added anxieties can be coming from.

3. It’s time to give up the cute nicknames that may not be so “cute” anymore.
We all do it. We all have cute terms of affection we come up with for our kids and grandkids and they come from a place of pure love. Sometimes, however, it’s time to let those nicknames go. Calling your granddaughter/son “Chubby cheeks” or “Chunky Monkey” may be cute for an infant, but not nearly as sweet for an older child.

4. Cancel your membership with the “Clean your plate club”. There are still a lot of parents and grandparents who guilt their kids into finishing every last morsel of food off their plate at mealtime and this is a really bad habit to get into. It is so important for kids to learn how to listen to the messages their OWN bodies are sending them. They need to know when they’re hungry and when they’re full. If they are taught to just keep eating until the food is gone, they will end up eating for all kinds of reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with hunger. Kids need to work with their own bodies and not have them micromanaged by anybody else.

5. Love them unconditionally.
Sadly, the world can be a very judgemental place and kids need to believe that they have a support system that will always have their backs. A woman once shared with me that while spending the weekend with her grandparents when she was a child, she overheard them talking about the fact that she gained a little weight and how worried they were about her getting fat. She’s a grown woman now, and that memory still haunts her.

My #1 advice is to let your kids/grandkids know that if there is ever anyhing they need to talk about, you will be there for them and they will have your full attention. Even if they have no interest in opening up right away, just knowing that you’re there will give them huge sense of comfort.

#self-worth shouldn’t be measured in pounds

Ho Ho Hold the diet talk so I can enjoy my dinner, please!

“Avoid holiday weight gain”
“How to not get FAT during the holidays”
“Avoid dreaded holiday weight gain”

Yup, as quickly as the holiday decorations go up, so do our fears about how much weight we’re going to gain during the festivities. It’s really not surprising considering how much fat talk goes on at this time. While so many magazines adorn their covers with pictures of yummy, holiday food and recipes, there are even more that fill their pages with expert advice on how to get rid of the calories and fat grams we’ve ingested if we indulge in any.

We need to enjoy more and worry less.

Yes, people do tend to eat more during the holidays, but the last thing you want to do after that happens is throw yourself onto a restrictive diet. Believe it or not, the best thing to do is to just return to your normal eating habits. Our bodies know where they like to be and if we treat them with kindness and respect by being physically active and nourishing them in a healthy, BALANCED way, they will return to a weight that is comfortable for us.

Panicking about the “damage” we’ve done will only increase anxiety and increased anxiety can lead to, you guess it, WEIGHT GAIN!

SO PLEASE try to enjoy the people you’re with, the blessings you have and the food you’re eating because life is too short to spend it chained to a scale.

Does the OMA want us to be HEALTHY or just skinny?

According to a recent article published in The Globe and Mail, the Ontario Medical Association says junk food should be treated the same way as tobacco, slapped with higher taxes and packaged with graphic warning labels.

Why is it that FEAR and SHAME have become the most popular ways of attacking the obesity crisis we’re facing? Pssst..here’s a secret: It doesn’t work.

The OMA wants to start putting graphic images of diseased body parts on “Junk Food”. I suppose their plan is that when people reach for a slice of pizza or can of Coke, they’ll see these nasty images, realize that these foods are unhealthy and grab a fresh salad and tall glass of water instead.

There are a lot of reasons why I think this idea is assinine.

As a body image advocate and author, I can tell you that the last thing we want to do is create fear and anxiety over food. Food isn’t something to be feared, but appreciated, respected and enjoyed. I  fully admit that we are a society that overindulges when it comes to what we put in our mouths, but negativity just breeds more negativity and is counterproductive in fighting the war against obesity. Have we completely given up on education? Instead of focusing on the evils of “Bad” food, why not teach people how to appreciate the healthier ones? Consulting Dietician and Author, Rosie Schwartz speaks more about this here:http://rosieschwartz.com/2012/10/24/childhood-obesity-solutions-has-the-ontario-medical-association-gone-a-little-too-far/

I’m going to talk about something the OMA seems to be completely forgetting about and what their primary focus should be: Our Health.

I would love to ask the doctors behind this plan if they are going to be issuing the same types of labels for all of the “Diet” products lining our shelves that are so loaded with artificial ingredients and chemicals, they’re better suited for a chemistry lab than grocery store. These days, almost every food you can think of comes in a “lite” or diet version with words like FAT-FREE and SUGAR-FREE plastered on their packaging, fooling consumers into thinking that purchasing them means making healthier choices. Are there going to be graphic labels for these products as well? I’m thinking there will not.

So what exactly is their message? It sounds like they’re telling us that high calorie,high fat “junk food” food will expand our waistlines and make us an economic drain on society, but the ones containing less fat and sugar are just fine; even though they are proving to be more and more dangerous to our overall health.

Obesity can lead to illnesses like Diabetes, but do they realize the same can be said for artificial sweeteners? We are so terrified of gaining weight that we are falling into the diet food trap and putting our health at risk everyday by making what seem like healthy substitutions, not realizing that the “lighter” foods can be equally detrimental to our quality of life: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/artificial-sweeteners-and-other-food-substitutes-dangerous-your-health?page=2#copy

I find it INFURIATING when I vist a school with my Fit vs Fiction Body Image workshops and see that in an effort to improve the health of their students they’ve removed the pop from their vending machines. While that sounds like a great idea, that effort is lost when they choose to replace it with DIET pop!

HOW is the diet stuff any healthier than the full sugar ones??

I am a huge believer in balance and moderation when it comes to how we eat. Scaring people away from certain foods won’t teach them how to eat, it just teaches them how not to.  I think we’re going about this the wrong way.

I’ve had enough of the ad campaigns that focus on everything we’re doing wrong instead of encouraging us to do better.

Yes, obesity is a serious issue but using fear as a way of getting people to do change is pointless. Eating disorders are becoming more and more rampant among girls and boys as young as 5 years old and anyone who doesn’t think our society’s fat-phobia has a lot to do with that is deluding themselves.

If the OMA wants us to be healthier they need to remove their tunnel vision and start looking beyond the scale for what that really means.

Self-worth should not be measured in pounds.

Whose fantasy is this?!

A few days ago I was walking through the mall with my son and passed by a lingerie store displaying an enormous picture of a woman in a bra and underwear hanging in the front window. I looked at the picture and thought, “Imagine how incredible it would be if the woman modelling that lingerie wasn’t  your typical Victoria Secret-esque model and the picture hadn’t been photo shopped or airbrushed in any way.” I would love that!

Recently, lingerie model Erin Heatherton defended the use of photoshop  saying, “We’re not selling reality, we’re selling a story. It’s all about creating this fantasy.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2219203/Victorias-Secret-Angel-Erin-Heatherton-defends-airbrushing.html)

But I have to ask, “Whose fantasy is this??”  I know it ain’t mine. I know that there are plenty of men who enjoy looking through Victoria Secret catalogues so maybe MEN are their target market. Are they hoping to create a fantasy for men that will encourage them to buy merchandise for their partners? I’m sure that’s part of it. But, as far as women are concerned, I’m not too sure using “perfect” looking models is the best way to sell their clothes. Here’s why:

If I see a cute bra and underwear set being worn by a blemish-free, bulge-free, wrinkle-free and crease-free young model, I may think, ”Wow, that looks great!” I may even want to try it on. But there’s a good chance I may be disappointed when it looks completely different on my body than it does on every  body in every picture in the store. There’s also a good chance I will leave store without buying a thing..

Is it possible, that if these stores were bold enough to use pictures that have not been retouched of “regular” women wearing their clothes that it would actually increase their sales? Think about it. Wouldn’t it be cool to walk into a lingerie store and see pictures of different women with different body shapes modelling their lingerie? I for one would not be offended to see a model with some of that extra skin that pokes through the space between the breast and armpit area, or one with a few creases around her back or a softer stomach around her waistband. I think it would be great. Then women can have a more realistic expectation when they decide to try something on. I would love for all women to be able to walk into a change room and walk out with their self-esteem intact. There’s nothing self-esteem building about trying to compare a real body to one that’s been digitally altered.  It’s been reported that 80% of women feel worse about themselves within 3 minutes of reading a fashion magazine. So I ask again, whose fantasy is this?

Why do supermodels have to be superhuman? When will we TRULY start glorifying HEALTHY bodies instead of just skinny ones?

 

 

When moms/grandmas don’t always know best

I am actually amazed by how many women have approached me for advice on how to deal with the way their own mothers and fathers are affecting their children’s self-esteem. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken, and it’s a tough one to break.

It’s estimated that by the time a girl is 17 years old she’s seen approximately 250,ooo messages from the media telling her what she’s supposed to look like. Now think about how many messages her mother’s heard, and how many her mother’s mother has heard! That’s a lot of messages from people who don’t know us, telling us WHO we’re supposed to be.

As parents, gradparents, aunts and uncles, we need to make sure that our fears and insecurities about food and our bodies don’t get passed on to the children in our lives. Interestingly, studies have shown that when parents focus their attention on their children’s weight, and put too many restrictions on what they eat, the risk of these children becoming overweight actually increases. The last thing we want is to encourage an unhealthy relationship and fear of food at an early age.

“I can vividly remember being at a family gathering when I was 8 years old. The table was filled with delicious food and I went to take something to eat. My aunt pointed at me and said to my mom. “Look! She’s eating again!” My mom walked over to me, slapped my face and told me to stop eating. The sad part is, I don’t even remember eating very much that day.” Jean, 35

“I grew up with a mother who was overly concerned with her weight; hers and everyone else’s. When I got pregnant with my first baby, my mother told me that maybe I’d get lucky and the baby would suck all of the fat out of my body and I wouldn’t gain any weight.” Susan, 43

“My family religiously watches shows where there are doctors talking about how to lose weight. Then they constantly repeat what they’ve heard to me and try to copy everything that they were told to do. I understand that they want to be healthy, but hearing about this all the time gets really annoying!” Hayley, 15

No one wants to purposely mess up their kid, and yet, even the best of intentions can lead to dangerous situations if we’re not careful. Often, in an effort to protect our kids from harmful situations, we unintentionally end up hurting them ourselves.

Criticism is NEVER a good motivator; neither are shame or guilt. It’s not our bodies that need to change, but our negative feelings around our bodies that do.

Here are some tips on how to handle the situation when a family member is making negative or critical comments towards your children:

1. Be honest and firm.

There’s nothing with saying, “You know mom, Jessica is a happy, healthy little girl and we all want her growing up loving herself and her body so we don’t allow any kind of negative talk around food or our bodies around her. I know how much you love her, so I’m sure you understand”

2. Don’t worry too much about possible hurt feelings.

While it would be fantastic to be able to solve the problem without anyone’s feelings getting hurt that just might be unavoidable. Protecting your child is your first priority, and if you show the critic that this is something you are very serious about,chances are they will at least try to be more sensitive with their comments. If not, let them know privately, that criticizing your child and undermining your parenting is not going to be accepted.

3. If a negative, hurtful comment has been said in front of your child, make sure you clearly contradict what’s been said and calmly express your own positive feelings on the subject to your son/daughter. The point of this isn’t to start an argument and shouldn’t turn into a long debate. But since you can’t take back the harmful words that have been said, you need to replace them with words of encouragement and acceptance.

4. Stand up and speak out.

Any time your son or daughter sees you stand up for an issue that you think is important it empowers them with the courage to do the same.

Any time your child sees you stand up for their well being it lets them know that you believe they are deserving of love, respect and acceptance which will help them grown into the self-confident, self-assured people they are meant to be.

The more unconditional love and support our kids can have around them, the stronger their foundation will be. if our goal goal is to raise happy, well-adjusted kids, we have to work TOGETHER to make that happen.

*Excerpt from “The Body Image Survival Guide: Helping Toddlers, Tweens and Teens Thrive” By Marci Warhaft-Nadler

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I call my program FIT vs FICTION!

 

 

can’t even stomach this ignorance anymore.

How unsane is it that people would question the fitness level of a gold medal Olympic Athlete because of the way she LOOKS??

We live in such a pathetically superficial society that pretends to be way more enlightened than it is. On one hand, we are wise enough and human enough to celebrate and admire an incredible athlete like Oscar Pistorius who “looks” different than the other runners..yet find it perfectly okay to make nasty, hurtful, offensive comments about another incredible athlete because her tummy isn’t as firm as the other swimmers??!

All that’s missing are the red swimsuits, Pam Anderson and the Hoff!

            Where’s the Hoff?   

I had to laugh when I was standing in line at the bookstore this morning and overheard an exchange between two young women standing behind me. It went like this:

Girl #1: Are you gonna by this month’s Vogue ?

Girl #2: Naw, it looks like Baywatch!

How right she was. Have you seen this  month’s Vogue magazine cover “Celebrating” Olympic athletes? On it, you’ll find Ryan Lochte (swimmer) linking arms and running on the beach with gold swimsuit wearing Venus Williams (Tennis) and Hope Solo (soccer). The issue is supposed to be less about fashion and more about athleticism, but I don’t get it. I think the thing that I’m finding the most frustrating is the fact that Venus’ body has been slimmed down by the photoshopping powers that be! If they TRULY wanted to celebrate athletes, they would honor her STRONG, MUSCULAR physique instead of airbrushing it away. I guess hard work, dedication and skill make great champions, but lousy cover models. I believe that the girls I heard in the bookstore this morning were exactly the target market Vogue is aiming for, yet they were as unimpressed with the cover as I am. It certainly doesn’t shout, “OLYMPICS!” Instead it kind of whispers Olympics but yells, “Hot Summer Bodies!” Exactly HOW is that different from virtually every other fashion magazine this time of year?

I love sports and am raising two young athletes and think that Olympians are amazing human beings who bleed, sweat and cry their sports of choice and I just find it incredibly disappointing that even something like the Olympic games needs to be sexualized. Inside the magazine are images of athletes posing with model Karlie Kloss (like the one of her being hurdled over by Ashton Eaton). I know, I know, It’s a fashion magazine, with fashion models and maybe I’m being a tad too oversensitive, but I like to call things as they are. Don’t pretend to be celebrating athletics when you’re really celebrating athletic bodies, as you think they should look. I’m just sayin’…

 

 

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