I just finished watching Oprah who had on Jamie Oliver to promote his new show the "Food Revolution" which goes on tv tonight.
They showed a clip where a double size casket was shown. Oprah mentioned that these oversized caskets are a booming business. During the clip they spoke about how there is little chance for dignity when someone is buried in one of these caskets.
Earlier in the show, a picture of a 11 year old Ryan Seacrest was shown as Ryan told Oprah how he was ashamed to go in the pool without a tee shirt on. The photo they showed was of a normal kid. Seriously, the fact that this photo was considered something to be ashamed of was in and of itself sad.
They spoke about dignity. Shame on them. Ryan Seacrest letting kids think that being ashamed of their bodies when they swim is normal. If Ryan Seacrest thinks it, then it must be true. And what a shame, because swimming is great, fun, healthy movement.
They spoke about dignity. Shame on them. How many kids do you think will be teased and shamed about needing a huge casket that requires a forklift when they die after this show is broadcast.
You know, I did notice that when Oprah asked Jamie Oliver about how a family he worked with was doing he said this, "Well, Ya know, ultimately the family they're losing weight, I mean Justin whose 12 years old when I met him has lost 20, 30 pounds which is great but you've got to remember I am not doing a diet show. This is about real food. This is about health. There are just as manny unhealthy skinny people. We can't just label it as obesity. It is about what goes in us, medicating ourselves through food."
He said this in front of a giant casket that Oprah's producers arranged to have wheeled out onto the stage.
Shame on them. I guess it is a win when at least he says something like there are unhealthy skinny people. The town his show is centered around wasn't chosen because it was the unhealthiest town in the county. It was chosen because Huntington, West Virginia was listed by the CDC as one of the most obese cities in america.
So I think Mr. Oliver is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he says "We can't just label it as obesity" when his show is framed around the most obese city in America.
So I am upset. Because I agree with the nutritional stuff and the cooking and the variety of fresh in season produce that he is teaching about. I am upset because all this good information is on network tv because of the moral panic about obesity. This show is not on the air because there is an overwhelming concern about improving the health of all kids. It is about war on the obesity..
I think that this show will have a greater effect on increasing the moral panic about obesity than it will in increasing the quality of the nutrition in schools and on the kitchen tables of America. There will be more teasing, bullying, self hatred and of fat kids and adults than heathy eating.
So one of the things that bugs me about a lot of the blogging in out Size Acceptance Community is that most of what we do is point out the problems, identify with the angst. We are very light on solutions.
So I will make one suggestion here. If you have any contact with teachers this weekend, please try to educate them a little about stigma and bullying and teasing. See if we can get a little empathy about the path a young fat person has to walk in school. See if a teacher can let a fat kind know that they can make efforts to improve their health that have nothing to do with decreasing their weight.