Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rant #699: A Little Meat

Yesterday, I wrote about fast food chains, and I said that nobody who is on a diet or at least watching their calories should be frequenting these establishments.

Today, the word out of Israel is that a new law passed on Monday prohibits the employment of underweight models, or models whose body weight index does not match their height.

The new law requires models to produce a medical report that is no older than three months old at every shoot that they want to do in the Israeli market. The report has to show that they are healthy and not malnourished, using the standards put forth by the World Health Organization.

The WHO relies on body mass index, which is calculated by weight and height, and using this calculation, a body mass index of 18.5 indicates malnutrition.

Using that standard, a 5 foot eight inch woman should weigh at least 119 pounds.

According to news reports, this new legislation might help even non-models to regulate their weight according to these standards. About 2 percent of Israeli females between the ages of 14 and 18 have severe eating disorders, a rate that is similar to other developed countries, so the legislation might show some girls that if models don't have to be paper thin, neither do they.

Of course, that is simplifying the problem of eating disorders that so many women go through, but it might be a step in the right direction to show girls that paper thin isn't necessarily in.

I never got the model thing. Some of these models are so thin they look like sticks with legs. Many of them are completely unattractive in my eyes, only around to show off some designer's hideous outfits.

And, on the other hand, I never got the bulimia thing either, eating and then throwing up. To me, that is more a psychological thing than a weight or body image thing, but then again, I am not a doctor, so what do I know.

But those eating disorders can kill you. Some girls purge so often that their insides can't take it. Singer Karen Carpenter may have purged herself to death, as has been reported, and this was a woman who was thin as a rail, probably naturally so, but she wanted to be even thinner.

This obsession that we have with perfect bodies is so off base, but it isn't going away because of some Israeli law.

I have never figured out why so many women, in particular, go under the knife to change their looks, whether it be to increase or better shape their chests or to get nose jobs and face lifts.

Why can't we be who we are and be happy about it, or at least be comfortable in our own skins?

Some people are naturally thin. My mother is built like a pencil, has always been that way, so it is natural for her to be skinny as a rail.

My father, my sister and I are not built that way, not even close.

And that is what makes the world go around. You have fat people, skinny people, and people who are moderately skinny and heavy.

This obsession with being like actors and models--who also go under the knife to assure that they look "perfect"--really is appalling.

We should be who we are, and not be somebody else's approximation of that.

They say beauty is only skin deep, and I truly believe that.

Not that this law will make that much of a difference for many of us who are obsessed with how we look, but I guess it is a step in the right direction.

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