by ALISON LEVIER Section Editor
It is no secret that obesity is becoming more and more of an issue in this day and age, but the campaign to correct this problem appears to have taken a turn in the wrong direction. More and more PSA-style billboards, commercials, and any ads in general have used fat shaming as a way to get the message out that obesity is a disease, and it needs to be stopped, especially among children.
What is fat shaming? I will give an example. There is an ad flying around with a picture of a little girl, no older than 12, with a caption reading “Warning: It’s hard to be a little girl when you’re not.”
The only difference advertisements like this can make is a difference in self-esteem, or self-value. The people who developed this image, the ones who took the poor girl’s picture, or the authors who came up with that horrifying caption, should be ashamed. Obviously the did not take into consideration how this girl may feel, being the poster child for obesity and how awful it is, because if they had any sense this never would have happened.
With the atrociously high suicide and self-harm rates among teens nowadays, you would think people would have more sense than this.
“What makes them think this is not going to lead to some girl cutting herself? Or feeling insecure about the way she looks? I just do not understand how anyone would think this was a good idea,” said sophomore Jordan Bussiere.
That picture will be around forever. That girl will have to live with that her whole life. Her kids will probably see it when they Google her name.
The fact is that things like this do not even seem to work. What works is positive reinforcement.
“I feel that there are better ways to go about this. This is just cruel,” said sophomore Lindsey Frankel.
Instead of a picture of an overweight person with a caption talking about how awful they look, advertisers should use a picture of a fit person talking about how a healthy diet makes a healthy lifestyle. Oh, but that would be too nice. They are trying the “tough love” approach.
There is absolutely nothing loving in fat shaming; it is degrading and humiliating.
Moreover, the people who probably need to hear it the most already know. Obese people know they are obese and do not need it constantly thrown in their face. What they need is moral support and help in changing their lifestyle, not a demeaning attitude from strangers.
Personally, I think whoever made these ads needs to reevaluate their life choices in making a young girl the face of unhealthiness. They should probably get some psychological help if they think this was a good decision.