With such heightened awareness of eating disorders, it seems shocking that more adolescents are being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with statistics that show a soaring rate of eating disorders in young people, with the biggest jump occurring in male and minority children.
These statistics actually dovetail nicely with our nation's obesity epidemic, as the children at highest risk to develop a disorder are those who diet. Our unhealthy relationship with food in this country has been discussed, freaked out about, and even legislated. Yet the hospitalizations of young children due to eating disorders are rising. Clearly, we're doing something wrong.
Or at least you are. If you're perpetuating the celebrity obsession of tabloids and lady mags.
Tabloids have taken a turn in recent years, as the baby bump and post-baby weight photos saturate the newsstands. Who's got a bump? Who just had a big lunch? What does Jessica Simpson look like today?
The tabloids of our youth were tame in comparison; mostly dissecting Elvis sightings and spreading rumors about love affairs between co-stars. The body obsession is relatively new, and our kids are watching. Sure it's interesting to see pregnant celebrities when you're also in the baby-making stage of your life, but celebrating her return to an unhealthy weight six weeks postpartum isn't helping you -- or the teens who want to be just like her.
And no matter how hard Jezebel fights to show us all un-photoshopped images of models and celebrities, the skinny lady smiling out at our kids in the line at Target is the first thing they see.
The message is constant: Be as skinny as you can be, or you are a failure.
As we all moan about the death of print, it seems the magazines in the business of showing us fake women are doing just fine. So how about we stop buying them? Sure kids can still find photo-shopped pics of Beyonce online, but they won't be bombarded every time they walk into a 7-Eleven if these magazines are out of business.
Can you stop your celebrity habit, for the sake of our kids?
Image via daniellehelm/Flickr