Morning Television: Part One

I started out with the idea of blogging about one particular thing, but when I went looking for clips of that one thing, I found something else that I hadn’t seen.  So this will be a two-part post.

Part One: Georgia Davis

From the video description: Georgia Davis weighs 33 stone [462 lbs] and is only 15.  She talks to Kate about her weight battle.  (Disclaimer: I’m not sure if everyone will be able to access the video.  I know some television websites will only allow IPs from the same country access the videos on their site, and I just don’t know whether GMTV is one of them.  So my apologies if that ends up being the case here.)

GMTV is on ITV from around 6 or so until just before 9 a.m. out here in the UK.  It’s the British equivalent of a Good Morning America, basically.  I don’t normally watch it.  For one thing, I’m too busy in the mornings to watch tv at all, but if it’s on, the kids have their cartoons and whatnot on.  So I didn’t actually see this until I went to the website looking for something else.  As soon as I saw the title, though, I knew I had to watch it.

What I saw filled me with so many mixed emotions I can’t even count them all.

First of all, it opens up with the female presenter talking about a “normal” person’s breakfast.  And then it pans to a spread of food.  6 sandwiches, 4 donuts, at least a dozen chocolate digestives, a slice of chocolate cake, a bowl of what looks like tortilla chips, and finally, a bowl of what looks like bran flakes.  The female presenter then goes on to inform you that all of this is what Miss Davis has for breakfast.

Setting the issue of Binge Eating Disorder aside for just a moment, what is the point of showing it all spread out like that?  Asking Miss Davis on camera what she normally has for breakfast would have sufficed.  The only reason I can think of that they would do it this way is to humiliate Miss Davis.  Not only is she coming on camera to talk about what is probably the foremost issue in her life at the moment, but hey, let’s humiliate her a little bit more, right?  She’s a fatty fatty two by four – she couldn’t possibly have any feelings, now could she?

Once the camera finally pans away from the food spread, the presenter continues introducing Miss Davis, saying “she admits that she uses food like a drug.”

Okay, that line bothers me.  I forget where I read this, but I admit it doesn’t come from me, originally: FOOD IS NOT A DRUG.  Equating food with drugs is like saying that food is something you need to completely cut out of your life because it’s doing you nothing but harm.

Take a closer look at those words.  Completely cut out, and it’s doing you nothing but harm.  What happens when you actually believe that food has no positive value whatsoever and you have to completely cut it out of your life?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?

You DIE, that’s what happens.

Now I’m not trying to say that nobody, nowhere, has an unhealthy relationship with food.  I’m not making a judgement on eating disorders or disordered eating at all.  It’s the language that bothers me.  To quote George Carlin: the quality of our thoughts are only as good as the quality of our language.  That’s why that line bothers me.  Not because of someone who already has an eating disorder, but for those who might be easily swayed by someone else’s language.  Like teenagers, for instance.  How many teenagers do you think would watch a video clip like this and automatically think to themselves “Must. Stop Eating. NOW.??  I honestly think the numbers would be frightening.

Then it goes on to show some photos with Miss Davis explaining what they are and how she got to this point.  She says that her father died when she was 5, and ever since then, she used food to fill the void that left her with.

I’m not going to knock the “using food” part.  Comfort eating exists, and for some people it is a problem.  That is a fact, for some people, regardless of their weight.  But what struck me was the photo of herself with her father.

She was already fat!!!!

This girl didn’t just eat herself into oblivion, she was already well on her way to being fat.  And from what I saw in that photo?  Unless they were force-feeding her pounds of lard, there’s something seriously medically wrong.  Thyroid tests, anyone?  ANY-FUCKING-ONE???

But oh no, this is all HER fault, right?  Her life went down the shithole at five years old, and it’s all her own fault that she’s fat now.  It couldn’t possibly be something that is totally beyond her control, simply exacerbated by an eating disorder?  Could it?

But they never even talk about that part.  The way they talk about this, it’s as if she was thin as a rail until she started doing this to herself.  To be fair, they never used the words “doing this to herself,” but that’s the meaning behind the language they DO use.  But they never even bring up the fact that in some of these photos, she’s obviously younger than 5 years old, and yet she’s already fat.  They never talk about her medical history whatsoever, other than the fact that her doctor told her she had to lose at least 20 stone (140 lbs.).

Oh, and another thing: her father?  Fat.

She goes on to talk in a pre-recorded segment about her eating patterns, and another woman appears on camera – they never explicitly say who she is, but I would guess that it’s her grandmother.  She talks about how they used to go on walks together but they can’t anymore, as Miss Davis can only walk a few feet before she’s out of breath.  But guess what: Grandma?  Is fat, too!

Then they show Miss Davis in front of her school, and she tells the camera that she was BANNED from the canteen at school because she was “eating the wrong things.”  I can just see the conversation now.

Head Teacher: Mrs. Davis, your daughter is too fat for our liking, and we’ve noticed she eats the “wrong” things, so we’ve decided she’s not allowed to eat at school at all.

Now, assuming that this is all 100% accurate and not this young girl’s self-hate blowing her eating habits all out of proportion (because that does happen), is going all the way to the other extreme really the way to go here?  Is this really the solution?  To completely deprive her of ALL food at school?

Then they finally go back to the studio, and they give you your first good glimpse of the girl and her mother.  And hey – wouldn’t you know it?  Mom’s fat, too!

So, let’s see…. Dad was fat… Grandma is fat… Mom’s fat… and yet we are still told that Miss Davis has done this all to herself?  We’re still meant to believe that her “misuse” of food is the ONLY reason she’s gotten to this point?  Seriously?

Am I the only person with eyes?  Are my glasses REALLY that good?

Oh but then it gets really good.  Now it’s the mother’s fault!  “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?” the presenter asks her.

The mother goes on to explain that after her husband died, they were on a limited income, so their food choices were limited to bread and potatoes and the like.

So EVERY PERSON who eats bread and potatoes gets to be 460+ pounds?  Really?  Wow.  I guess the whole world is hallucinating my underweight husband whose favorite foods happen to be bread and potatoes.

“Was there a point where you said ‘okay, she’s TOO overweight now,’ and tried to make some changes in her diet?”

Like any mother who watches her child gain THIS much weight would just sit back and do nothing.  I mean seriously, folks, regardless of the outcome of the situation, it’s safe to assume that the mother did try.  But, contrary to popular brainwashing, weight is NOT a simple calories in/calories out equation.  If I were the one asking the questions?  It would be something along the lines of:

What did you do when you realized how far this was going?  And what was the outcome of that?

Apparently the girl is traveling to the U.S. to enroll in some sort of fat camp-cum-boarding school.  In theory, this sounds great.  She’ll be able to keep up with her schoolwork, she’ll get counseling (and if the death of her father seriously brought on B.E.D?  Counseling can’t be anything BUT a good thing), and she’ll learn about “healthy” eating and exercise.

I just wonder what it’s going to be like in reality.  I’ve seen some American “fat camps” on television, and they’re far from ideal.  The kids end up coming out of there worse off psychologically than they were when they went in.  They are beaten down in an effort to “help” them.  You know the kind of thing I’m talking about – telling these kids that their entire lives are already ruined simply because they happen to be fat.  That excess adipose tissue is the worst thing that could ever happen to them.  That they are worthless, unworthy of anything or anyone simply because of the number on the scale.

I really hope that doesn’t happen to her.

Here is a girl who needs medical attention – because she couldn’t have gotten that fat at 3, 4, and 5 years of age without there being something medically wrong as well.  But all anybody has said is that it is her own fault for “using food as a drug” and her mother’s fault for “not stopping it.”  Nobody nowhere has even brought up the possibility of there being a medical issue ON TOP OF her probable Binge Eating Disorder.

Oh yeah, but shaming fatties into thinness has had SUCH a positive effect so far, hasn’t it?

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Friday Fun: Talk Like a Pirate Day

It be that time of year again, me mateys.  Today is September 19, and it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

From the FAQ on the official website:

Q. The big one: WHY?

A. Why not?

Talking like a pirate is fun. It’s really that simple. It adds a zest, a swagger, to your every day conversation. Do you need another reason?

Try it out. Let go, have a beer, burp in public. Say “Aarrr!!” Feels good, doesn’t it?

So grab yerself a beer, sit yer arse down, and have at it.

Savvy?

Guest blogger SugarLeigh: And they worry that FAT is going to bring down the country/world?!

When I first read this, it struck me so deeply that I just had to ask SugarLeigh if she’d let me repost this here as a guest post.  Fortunately she said yes.

Listen up, Fat Haters. I have a tale to tell you. I’m angry. I’m very, very angry.

There’s something you should know, Haters. There’s something every small-minded jerk should know, every one who ever judged someone, maybe even someone they love, on the basis of how they look, and who has fretted to them about their health or well-being based on an arbitrary standard of any kind.

I’ve known loss, Haters. I know where loss comes from. I know what loss feels like. I know helplessness, I know fear, I know despair. You’re afraid to lose them? Your barbs, your jeers, your diatribes, they’re well-intentioned? Because you want to keep them close to you?

Here’s the thing, Haters. You CAN’T keep them. They’re not yours. They are themselves, and their story, like yours, is always being written by their secret heart and the Universe, and the end of their tale is not yours to dictate.

My baby sister, sixteen. One of my dearest friends, twenty-three. A girl I hung out with for most of my freshman year of high school, who always had a ready smile, in her early twenties. A classmate of one of the girls I talk to on Dogster, who wrote poetry and said that pink was for manly men, won’t see the first day of eighth grade. And as of today, as it turns out, one of my sister’s closest pals and in fact, one of her pallbearers joins the list, and he was my sister’s age… she’d have been twenty.

Fat did not take them, Haters. Nor did drinking nor drugs, nor smoking nor lack of exercise nor poor oral hygiene nor any of the long list of behaviors we see fit to judge others on, because it might potentially shorten their lifespan.

Cars, Haters. We drive them every day. They mean more death than any of your fear-mongered points of loathing.

How. Dare. You. HOW DARE YOU sit there and nag at people you love, and make them cry, and make them hate themselves, and say it’s for their good?! HOW DARE YOU?! YOU SELFISH MOTHERFUCKING BASTARD PIECES OF VILE, ODIOUS SHIT!!!!!! YOU HAVE THEM. YOU CAN SEE THEM, SPEAK TO THEM, TOUCH THEM. WHAT THE FUCK MORE DO YOU WANT?!

I would give anything to hold my sister one more time. I would do anything if it meant I could tell my friend the things I never said, could have made right by him, could have heard him tell me what was bothering him that he didn’t want to talk about that day. ANYTHING. And you, you smarmy, smug, know-it-all wise-asses, you could be holding these people to you, could be telling them how much they mean in your life and that you don’t want them to go, could be kissing them, laughing with them, holding their hands, and WHAT are you doing instead? Making them feel like SHIT, and for WHAT?! So you can feel righteous?! Go. To. HELL. Rot and die there. Practice coprophagia and expire, horribly.

I HATE IT. I HATE IT. I HATE IT AND I CAN’T STAND IT AND IT MAKES ME ANGRY.

They were not perfect, but they were good. And they are not here, but many, many people who only cause hurt to others ARE.

That’s the deal, Haters. Selfish Ones. You don’t know how good you have it. And you never know when it’s going to be snatched away from you, either, nor how, so you should enjoy the Now to the very fullest. When that person walks away from you, angry, upset, crying, and you think “no, I’m not going to say anything, I’ll talk to him/her tomorrow,” did it ever occur to you that there might not BE tomorrow? You don’t always have it. You’re not guaranteed it. Do you want tears to be your legacy with that person?

Life is more complex than what can be contained by one single philosophy. Each person contains worlds within worlds. Even when someone we love is truly hurting themselves, perhaps abusing a drug, or self-cutting, or anything at all, is it hate and fear and rage, so-called “tough love,” that they need? One more voice in the cacophony of hurtful dialogue in their head? Or is it perhaps your understanding? The notion that someone is there for them when they can’t be there for themselves? Regardless of your personal stance on what someone looks like, or on health, or on Fat, you still can’t “hate someone for their own good.” And why the fuck would you waste your time on hating when there’s so much love to be had before we die?

You have them. For a brief and precious instant, they are yours to hold. Do both of you a favor. Shut your mouth. And HOLD THEM.

kthnxbai.

And I pass the happy on to you…

Fatshionista-er caramel_deluxe posted this yesterday, and I keep going back to it… because it just makes me smile.  I don’t even LIKE rap all that much, but I can’t help but grin every time I watch this.

SO… I figure if I’m getting so much enjoyment out of this, I may as well pass the happy on to y’all.  🙂

The girl on the street.

While walking down Fawcett Street Friday, I saw her.  I’d say she was in her late teens/early twenties.  Way on the small end of fat, she looked cute.  Black jeans that fit her perfectly, the most adorable black & white striped (horizontal stripes!!!) top, and a bright red jacket.

But it wasn’t her clothing that drew my attention to her.  It was her smile – that trepidatious smile that I know so well.  I’ve worn that smile myself many a time.

You could see it on her face.  The fear, the nervousness.  You just knew that she would rather be anywhere than in such a public place.  Please, her smile said, please just leave me be.  I’m scared and you’re armed with the vicious words that cut like a knife.

Part of me wanted to run after her.  To say something nice to her, something that would transform that nervous smile into a genuine one.  Something that would show her that not everyone in the world is a fatphobic idiot.

But I didn’t.  I can’t really explain why; I have become less and less outgoing in the past 5 years, and I would guess that that’s the main reason why I kept silent.  But as I walked in the opposite direction from this girl, I couldn’t get her out of my head.

I know that smile.  As I said, I’ve seen that same smile on my own face more times than I could count.  To be honest, most of my life I’ve hidden behind that smile.  And it’s only been in the last year that I’ve come out from the shadows of that smile.  It’s only recently that my smile, as I walk down the street, is a genuine one.

And it hit me:

This is why I believe FA is so important.

Not just for me, but for every girl that walks down the street, hiding behind a nervous smile because she knows how cruel and twisted the world can really be.  For every normal-sized girl that cries in secret because she’s convinced that she’s fat, and fat is the worst thing she could possibly be.

For every healthy fat person who is constantly bombarded with the notion that they’re going to die for no other reason than that they happen to be fat.

For every unhealthy fat person whose ailments continue to go undiagnosed – or ignored/disbelieved – because their doctor has bought into the fatphobic fairy tale.

For every person that has become convinced to hate themselves because of the way they look – fat, thin, and everywhere in-between.

Their religion – or lack thereof – doesn’t matter.  What side of politics they support doesn’t matter.  None of that matters when a young, beautiful girl can’t walk down the street comfortably for fear of being verbally and emotionally abused.

That girl on the street was a living, breathing reminder of why I won’t give up on FA.  For myself, for her, and for every person out there.

I honestly believe it’s one of the most important things we can do for ourselves.  All of us.

What the hell. Y’all KNOW I like memes. :)

A.) Go to musicoutfitters.com
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don’t remember (or don’t care about)

1. The Sign, Ace Of Base
2. I Swear, All-4-One
3. I’ll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
4. The Power Of Love, Celine Dion

5. Hero, Mariah Carey
6. Stay (I Missed You), Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
7. Breathe Again, Toni Braxton
8. All For Love, Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
9. All That She Wants, Ace Of Base
10. Don’t Turn Around, Ace Of Base

11. Bump N’ Grind, R. Kelly
12. Again, Janet Jackson
13. I’ll Remember, Madonna
14. Whatta Man, Salt-N-Pepa
15. Wild Night, John Mellencamp and Me’shell Ndegeocello
16. Without You/Never Forget You, Mariah Carey
17. You Mean The World To Me, Toni Braxton
18. Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Elton John
19. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Prince Symbol
20. Fantastic Voyage, Coolio
21. Baby I Love Your Way, Big Mountain
22. Regulate, Warren G and Nate Dogg
23. If You Go, Jon Secada
24. Back and Forth, Aaliyah
25. Now And Forever, Richard Marx

26. When Can I See You, Babyface
27. Please Forgive Me, Bryan Adams
28. So Much In Love, All-4-One
29. Shoop, Salt-N-Pepa
30. Any Time, Any Place/And On And On, Janet Jackson
31. Shine, Collective Soul
32. Said I Loved You…But I Lied, Michael Bolton
33. Return To Innocence, Enigma
34. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
35. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm, Crash Test Dummies

36. Can We Talk, Tevin Campbell
37. Funkdafied, Da Brat
38. I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Meat Loaf

39. Gangsta Lean, Drs
40. Because The Night, 10,000 Maniacs
41. Cantaloop, US3
42. Whoomp! (There It Is), Tag Team
43. Come To My Window, Melissa Etheridge

44. Stroke You Up, Changing Faces
45. I’m Ready, Tevin Campbell
46. 100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
47. Anytime You Need A Friend, Mariah Carey
48. Because Of Love, Janet Jackson
49. Linger, Cranberries
50. Loser, Beck
51. Found Out About You, Gin Blossoms

52. Gin And Juice, Snoop Doggy Dogg
53. Never Lie, Immature
54. Streets Of Philadelphia, Bruce Springsteen
55. Getto Jam, Domino
56. Endless Love, Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey
57. I Miss You w/ Aaron Hall
58. Understanding, Xscape
59. This D.J., Warren G
60. Cry For You, Jodeci
61. Keep Ya Head Up, 2Pac
62. Who Am I (What’s My Name?), Snoop Doggy Dogg
63. Another Night, Real McCoy
64. Your Body’s Callin’, R. Kelly
65. Tootsee Roll, 69 Boyz
66. I Can See Clearly Now, Jimmy Cliff
67. Never Keeping Secrets, Babyface
68. Crazy, Aerosmith
69. Just Kickin’ It, Xscape
70. At Your Best (You Are Love), Aaliyah
71. Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through, Meat Loaf
72 Amazing, Aerosmith
73. Always, Erasure

74. Groove Thang, Zhane
75. Dreams, Gabrielle
76. Mr. Vain, Culture Beat
77. Mary Jane’s Last Dance, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
78. Anything, SWV
79. Beautiful In My Eyes, Joshua Kadison
80. Stay, Eternal
81. Flava In Ya Ear, Craig Mack
82. U.N.I.T.Y., Queen Latifah
83. Prayer For The Dying, Seal
84. Secret, Madonna
85. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
86. Everyday, Phil Collins
87. Don’t Take The Girl, Tim McGraw
88. Got Me Waiting, Heavy D and The Boyz
89. December 1963 (Oh, What A Night), Four Seasons
90. Indian Outlaw, Tim McGraw
91. Always, Bon Jovi
92. I’m The Only One, Melissa Etheridge

93. Back In The Day, Ahmad
94. Love Sneakin’ Up On You, Bonnie Raitt
95. I’ll Take You There, General Public
96. Always In My Heart, Tevin Campbell
97. What Is Love, Haddaway
98. And Our Feelings, Babyface
99. Bop Gun (One Nation), Ice Cube
100. I Wanna Be Down, Brandy

Most of the ones I left alone, I’m not even sure if I heard, let alone liked/disliked them.  I was very into “alternative” music at the time, so although I bolded quite a bit of this list, it wasn’t even the majority of what I was into back then.

But now I’ve got “Please Forgive Me” stuck in my head.  Dammit.

Huh. Apparently I’m a Socialist.

That would explain why I’m so comfortable here in the UK.

You are a
Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(15% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Socialist

Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

H/T to Big Fat Dynamo.