August 23, 2010

healthy or obsession?

This morning I heard this great story on NPR's Weekday called Body Obsessions, which asked the question: When is body-consciousness healthy, and when does it become an obsession?

This has me worrying about how altered perceptions are of what a healthy, normal person looks like.

I was recently reading in a trashy mag about how Gwyneth Paltrow has early signs of osteoporosis, and what a shock this was to everyone. I can't be the only person who has ever noticed that she weighs practically nothing (110 lbs at 5'9" one website says). And, she is known for sharing weight loss tips - in the issue following her osteopenia announcement was a spotlight on the master cleanse she does to drop pounds. A woman so thin, with a history of extreme it any wonder that she would have a medical condition related to lack of calcium and vitamin D?

The normalcy that has been created around extreme thinness and the culture of dieting is disturbing. It is a complex issue, and also heartbreaking. I would like very much for us to break this cycle for future generations. Can we please start appreciating the many shapes and sizes we come in? And stop publishing the "lose weight quick" trick of the month instead of focusing on what being healthy really means? Maybe once we learn to honor and listen to our bodies we can be lead naturally to our healthiest selves.

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