“What’s the difference between fat and dumb?” asked my five year old. She had no idea. My kid. She’d gotten in a fight with another kid in her kindergarten class and maybe or maybe not called her fat. This according to the other kid’s mom. My kid denied using the word but then asked me that question. For what its worth, the other kid is not “fat.”
Today, Cinderella Ate My Daughter author Peggy Orenstein posted on her blog “Fat is a Preschool Issue.” She writes:
What’s new, however, is the ever-earlier age at which children—girls particularly– become conscious of weight. In Schoolgirls I cited a study revealing that 50% of 9-year-old girls were dieting (check this Wall Street Journal article by a reporter who, to see for himself, interviewed a group of girls when that study came out; he talked to them again recently as adults). But now, it appears, by age three girls equate thinness with beauty, sweetness, niceness and popularity; they associate “fat” meanwhile with laziness, stupidity and friendlessness.
Orenstein posts pictures of characters then and now.
Here are three:
Rainbow Brite’s before and after pictures:
Dora the Explorer: