The Kids

The Kids

Friday, September 2, 2011


I came across an article today about this upcoming book.  The book is titled, "Maggie Goes on a Diet."


I do not know which was worse to read-the summary of the book or the yahoo users opinions typed below the article.

Apparently, this book is geared toward kids ages 8 and up (Maggie is 14), but because of the written style, ages 4 and up will be targeted.

The cover alone makes me angry.  Let us take a young girl, full of emotions that are out of control, put her in front of a mirror and have her long for the skinny look.  Best part of the book is that she loses a ton of weight in a short time, becomes pretty and popular and has guys interested in her. 

I am all about kids being healthy and exercising and eating the right foods.  However, throw the word "diet" in front of little girls, and you are practically forcing the eating disorder to start early.  Abby is six-years old and is already starting to compare herself to others (which deeply saddens me).  The last thing these young girls need is to have a book geared toward their age, telling them that they need to look like this ideal.

My kids eat healthy because I give them their food.  They even get to have cookies and ice cream and candy-all within reason.  So far, they all seem to be "good enough" for the standard by which our society says is beautiful.  For kids who have more freedom to eat anything they want, then perhaps weight problems can arise, but is that their fault?  Even if the author is writing this for a 14-year-old, I highly doubt most 14-year-olds are cooking for themselves.  Write a book for parents.

Oh wait.  Those have been written.

Does this author honestly believe that by writing a book about a junior high girl dieting to be popular, he is going to convince young girls to eat healthy?  If anything, it will just force them to feel even more bad about their already fragile selves and take more drastic measures to achieve the ideal.

People who support the book are responding to "anti-little girls dieting" opinions by saying, "All you fatties do is complain and eat!  Oink, oink, oink."

That was actually one of the more mature responses that I read.

Well, I am not a fattie, I do not eat and complain all day.  Neither do my children.  But, as a mother of an impressionable little girl, I do object.

I do not live in a dream world.  I know that their are many obese children who need to understand healthy eating and exercise habits.  However, their parents are 99% part of that outcome.  If the parents do not care enough to feed their children properly, they certainly will not care enough to buy them a book about dieting.  The ones who read the book will most likely be the kids who have nothing to worry about.

But, then they will worry.

Weight problems, even with children, all stem from something else.  Ask anyone who has struggled with either over-eating or any kind of eating never goes away.  This Maggie will still be the same person inside no matter what size she shrinks down to.   Her insecurities will remain the same.  And her beauty. 

Since I will be one of the ones avoiding this book in the library, I suppose I am one of those "fatties who eats and complains."  Because, there is no other logical explanation to object to this book, right?

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