Today Lucy called me chubby. I told her what I always tell her, “There’s nothing wrong with being chubby. People come in all sizes. Some people are small, some are big, some have dark hair, some have yellow hair. People are different.”
She said,”You’re the only person in the whole world that thinks that.”
The first time I heard her call someone fat, it was her father, about six months ago. So I said my line, “There’s nothing wrong with being fat.” And my husband looked at me and said, “You think I’m fat?”
No one would call either of us fat or chubby unless she was a kid who thought she was saying a bad word. Unfortunately, Michelle Obama’s obesity campaign is exacerbating America’s weight obsession when she talks on national TV about putting her young daughters on a diet. It’s a continuation of the unrelenting focus on female body sizes and what they should look like.
For example, there’s no step towards health or progress of awareness that tabloids have become as obsessed with anorexic stars as they are with fat ones. It’s another headline to sell magazines, a popular thing to yell out for attention whether you’re a magazine, a first grader, or a first lady.
It drives me crazy when people whisper, “She’s a size double zero!” Why don’t they headline that the actual clothing sizes have gotten drastically smaller. There was no double zero ten years ago. There wasn’t even a zero. You rarely saw a size 2 in a store. I know this because I am a petite person. I am the same size now that I was then but now it’s a different number.
I wish Michelle Obama would focus the nation on empowering women, and healthy weights would follow. But I guess that’s too radical and first ladies need causes that are non-threatening, preferably child centered. At least now she’s got Laura Bush as her role model.