Did anyone watch the program Truth About Size Zero the other night? If you didn't, i'll give you a quick rundown. It centred around the journey of an english starlet who spent a month putting her body through the trauma that people with eating disorders go through, sometimes for years on end. While she wasn't personally unhappy with her weight, she couldn't stand what girls out there were doing to themselves. This program aimed to show people the damage that they could do to themselves with the kind of life they led to reach a size zero - the size that the media claims to be 'ideal'.
This woman excercised for hours each day and ate portions of food no bigger than the size of her fist, usually green foods, for a month. Closely monitored by a doctor, she was told that she should stop on a number of occasions, due to the harm that she was doing to her body. However, she didn't stop, determined to show people the harm that they were doing to themselves. After the month was up, she had gone from a BMI of 19.6, which is already on the skinny side of healthy, to a BMI of 17.4. Anything under 18 is considered anorexic.
This woman did to her body for a month what some people do for years, in a desparate attempt to become thinner, to become accepted in society. After a month she was anorexic and sick. If she continued, she could have become infertile, could have done irreperable damage to her body and organs, quite simply could have died.
On the one hand, it's absolutely unbelievable that people could put their bodies through this. Simply for the reason that they don't think that they fit the ideal mould of society. On the other hand, with the intense pressure that everyone, especially women, face, i can almost understand the desire to do something so dramatic, so dangerous.
I'm not the only one to think that way. I was talking to some of the girls who had watched the program. While they understood what the program aimed to do, lots of the girls just saw it as an informative program on the best ways to lose weight. Their outright way in which they ignored the point of the program shocked me, but again brought home the level of desparation that people feel to fit in.
The pressure on girls, especially teenagers, is insane. There is no stop to the assault on all of our senses concerning the way that we should look, act and generally be. People obsess over eating, their weight, their appearance, their clothing... the lives that they lead are lives of hunger, misery, dispair and sadness.
I can't decide whether this program did more good or more bad. If it opened people's eyes to the danger or to the best ways to diet successfully.
All i know is that society simply HAS to stop doing this. It has to stop making people feel worthless because of the way that they look. Life should be about the way that people are on the inside. That should be all that matters. Not how people look.
One more thing that i know - no matter what i think about it, i can't make a difference.