Whether it's portrayed in a commercial for Dove products, or anywhere else
The other day, I was at our local Jewel-Osco, here in Elgin, IL when I saw a young mother with her daughter waiting to be served at the deli counter. They were right next to me.
I wasn't staring by any means but I noticed that the woman was overweight and her daughter, sadly, extremely overweight. She looked to be about eight or nine years old and it struck me that, if her situation didn't change, she'd have a tough road ahead of her, especially in school, where kids can be, and often are, brutal to one another.
I get the Body Positivity movement, but I don't get fat acceptance. There's fat, and then there's dangerously fat. Obese.
According to the Food Research and Action Center, 39.6 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese. That's a staggering number. And, the latest national figures, show that 18.5 of U.S. children are obese.
I'm sorry but that's nothing to be proud about. Or, "positive."
Technically, obesity is an accumulation of body fat, over 20% of a person's ideal body weight. If not addressed, here, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the conditions that can arise as a direct result of unchecked weight gain:
- All-causes of death (mortality).
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
- High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia).
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Coronary heart disease.
- Gallbladder disease.
- Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint).
- Sleep apnea and breathing problems.
- Many types of cancer.
- Low quality of life.
- Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5.
- Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning
I find this frightening, don't you? Enough so that I do my best to maintain a reasonably healthy diet and consistent workout schedule.
In March, Dove launched its "Campaign for Size Freedom," in partnership with the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and the Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights, and Education Project (FLARE Project).
What a bunch of hooey. Rather, this partnership is a clever marketing ploy geared toward getting obese women to buy more Dove products, which is owned by Unilever.
In my opinion, fat is neither beautiful nor healthy, and rather than spread that fiction, perhaps Unilever should put some money toward ending animal testing on its products.
Now that would be something to cheer.
© Sherry McGuinn, 2023. All Rights Reserved.
Sherry McGuinn is a longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. She is currently pitching her newest screenplay, “The Month We Fell Apart,” a drama with dark, comedic overtones inspired by a true story, as well as “DEAD TIRED,” a female-driven, erotic thriller.