Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Must Do Better

I'm currently in the throes of one of my extremely rare bouts of anger and thus you are going to get lots of wrathful posts until it passes. Now aren't you blessed?

The current angry post was provoked by an article in the Bazaar, a fashion magazine for women. The article, called The Eating Diaries (which I kept misreading as The Eating Disorders), chronicles the eating and exercise habits of three women who are given to the reader as examples of women in a fantastic shape (they certainly are very slim). ("We asked three toned and trim women of different ages to reveal the details of their diet and exercise habits. Read on to discover how they stay so slim.")

As you might expect, each of the women lists an extremely healthy diet (no fats, really, no chocolate, no cakes, mostly no caffeine): some sawdust in the morning, a perfume of steamed fish at night, lots of water from a secret and holy well on Mars. And the exercise schedule is equally fantastic. All these women work out harder than people in training for the olympics.

Nice. But guess what happens next? A nutritionist and an exercise guru are asked to comment on what these women do wrong. Perhaps a leaf of spinach could be removed from the plate? How about another five hours of weight lifting? And some cheese, for calcium. But not just any old cheese: cheese without any fat whatsoever.

So I read this and laugh. But then I got angry again, and thought about how the messages of unattainable perfection just keep coming. And coming. And coming.

And yes, this take on the article is sarcastic. Do you have a problem with that?