April 14, 2021

Blame Your Weight on Your Parents?

Gisele BundchenIn the latest volley in the war of the weight, supermodel Gisele Bundchen has come out to blame families for girl’s anorexia:

“I never suffered from this problem (anorexia) because I had a very strong family base. Parents are responsible, not the fashion industry,” she said in the Friday edition of O Globo newspaper.

Now, I have to agree that different people have different metabolisms. I was one of those guys that could eat anything (quantity wise) and not gain weight. That was, until college. I believe I can link my weight gain to a particular shift at the Dining Common where I worked and a meal where I didn’t have to go back to work until I finished eating– so I just kept eating.

Suffice it to say, each of us is different in what we can and cannot eat. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to blame the parents for eating disorders– since women who have them have to have a goal or something that they are trying to look like– but I also don’t believe it’s totally a model’s fault. Although models are far from innocent, parents should be aware about what their kids are eating and what they are taking in, and who they are idolizing.

So to me, more than it being a parent problem or a model problem, it is definitely a sin problem and a culture problem. We just have to do whatever it takes to keep our kids from destroying their bodies. It might be that we have to give them better role models whatever way we can– through parents or through mandating healthy weight in the current ones. Whatever we do, life is more important than fashion.

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5 thoughts on “Blame Your Weight on Your Parents?

  1. Seems like parents are always the first to be blamed and the last to be accoladed. What about peer pressure at school? That has a huge impact on body image–esp. in junior high. Same thing for Barbie dolls and TV and commercials (which is where I guess your model was going with her spiel on not wanting blamed…whatever!).

    In the same breath, I do feel parents need to take an active role in this area as well as every other area…they are our children! I’ve always thought the best way to promote family health was by taking walks/bike/horse rides together, or family vacations that were active–like 4-wheeling or hiking in the mountains. I’ve often been glad we live in the country, because with homeschooling it’s challenging (for me) to come up with indoor PE type activities (besides the same ole jogging in place, sit-ups, push-ups, toddler sitting/hanging on me during an entire aerobics video…). Since we’re in the country and I’m not worried about letting the kids out during school hours, I can send them out to run around the house several times, jump on the trampoline or ride their bikes. Or, make snow forts (we’ve got the perfect wet snow right now!)…

  2. This is a tough one, and an issue that I think of as more of a societal issue, and not just what Dad and Mom have done. I’ve read so many things written by girls and women who have been/are dealing with anorexia, and much of it seems to be their own unrealistic longings for “perfection” paired with out-of-context home experiences.

    For example, a girl hears her mother talking about losing weight, and views her struggle. Let’s face it, in today’s society, that is usually the case in almost every home. What are our overweight/obese statistics? She sees all of these super-skinny folks on tv, and all of her friends are wanting to be that skinny too. I guess the big difference is that somewhere in the mix, girls look so closely at their bodies that they are never slender enough, never good enough. I don’t think that this is something that happens because mom struggles to eat the right foods and exercise, or because there are skinnier people out there than the girl. I would be more interested in knowing why she hates herself so much. Why does she expect perfection from herself? Why does being skin and bones look like perfection?

    It seems to me that the real problem goes way beyond parents and models. I think that it gets into the heart, and why some girls don’t have the same love for themselves as God has for them.

  3. It’s a weird and fine line parents must walk. At the same time they need to encourage their children (especially their girls) to want to have a healthy life while at the same time taking into account who they are. You can have two vastly different body types in the same house (not even looking at the whole model thing), and that’s a challenge. It’s a challenge to say “God loves you the way that you are” and so the girl goes out and eats the wrong things to her heart’s content.

    Same thing with our spiritual life and our physical life. We can see that “bodily exercise profits little”, so let’s not worry about the physical and do nothing to stay healthy. Or we go the other way and obsess about our health.

    A lot of things– I’m learning– are not one extreme or the other. In reality, either extreme is sin.

  4. What I think is one of the reasons of this drive is the society fixated on the body and bodily achievements, and not having high aspirations as to God and Heaven.
    When you are an unbeliever, the only hope you have is here and now, and it depends on your looks and how others will perceive you. the slightest criticism results in the decreasing of one’s self-esteem, and with girls especially, may lead to eating disorders to the point of a life-threatening disease.
    Your body and looks are your only assets. I read in today’s newspaper a somewhat ironic remark of a woman working in a home for elderly people, that now is the time when the first generation of breast implants enters their home, and she was picturing old, shrinky ladies with very large and stiff breasts… I thought about it and imagined today’s generation of artificiala women entering such a home…

  5. It is my opinion that anorexia is a spiritual problem as Anna points out.

    I totally agree with the statement about how when you are an unbeliever you have no hope for the future, because they do not know God. This problem can only be remedied permanently by the knowledge of Christ. Otherwise the person will have only partial victory. (Just as in the case of an alcoholic who is “free” from the use of alcohol but is “bound” to the AA meetings!)

    Furthermore there is plenty of room for demonic attack for the believer. (Now, I am of course NOT saying that a Christian who is filled with the Holy Spirit can be possessed!) But we are clearly to stand against the attacks of the enemy, therefore we can be under spiritual attack. I think in the case of a believer anorexia is a spiritual attack. An assualt of the mind, with intrusive thoughts such as “you’re so fat” “no one could love YOU, you’re too fat”. etc etc.. In this case it seems obvious to me that the Christian under this sort of attack not only needs prayer, but to learn who they are in Christ, and to learn how to win the battle in the mind, by taking EVERY thought that exalts itself against the truth of Christ, captive! and by renewing their mind by the hearing/reading of the Word, and the meditating on the Word so that they know Who they are in Christ. Then they will be ready for every battle, and will be able to stand firm as we are commanded. Then they will find JOY in the trial which produces patience.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

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