I was talking to mum today. She’s in her 80’s now and although she creaks a bit and takes more pills then can be good for a person she is very lucid and her memory is sharp as a button thankfully.
I don’t see any of my family other than one niece and I only speak to my mum, there are reasons which I can’t explain but which are perfectly valid why I don’t visit and I’m at peace with my choice and so is she.
I was telling her about my healthy lifestyle (knew it would be a mistake but hey ho) She said “Oh again? Why, are you even fatter now?” and me brushing it off with a “Yeah I thought I’d give it one last go and yeah because I’m the size of a house, in fact if you stand at your gate I’m so huge you can see me from there” and her laughing (not laughing because she realised how negative her comment was but because she thought I was being silly, not sarcastic, silly) and me laughing (not laughing because I know my mother doesn’t know how offensive and demoralising what she said was but because I knew that she did know how offensive and demoralising what she said was).
We got over that I’m used to it by now. Then she said “Isn’t it strange though that when I was young it was virtually unheard of for anyone to be fat, definitely not men and the odd woman but usually later in life, there was the odd fat kid at school but it would be one in a huge school, very rare. We didn’t have healthy eating, we just ate what there was. We ate full fat cheese, cream, butter, milk, we ate meat with great chunks of fat on, we even ate fat on its own in the form of dripping from meat (tell me if you don’t know what dripping is and I’ll explain), all the fat from meat went into gravy, we ate tons of puddings and fatty milk puddings and I don’t recall anyone jogging, there were no gyms, we had a swimming pool and people walked more and used bikes but other than that there was no health or fitness fads. What went wrong? I think that as soon as they brought in healthy eating and all this modern stuff it just made more fat people.”
We discussed other factors such as changing lifestyle and the advent of fast and convenience foods but even so she said “Yes but still we were eating tons of fat before Macdonalds.”
I wonder does she have a point? Were people more content to be the average size they were,(thinking of the photos that do the rounds of Marilyn Monroe having been a sex symbol and icon and yet she was far from what would be widely regarded as ‘hot’ today. That was the average size and women were happy there, they wanted to emulate that.
So it’s the media at fault all the way then. The media just made us want to be thinner pressured by business to create new markets for their products.
I guess the intention was originally to make us buy a wider range of products and then those products became brands in their own right. Heinz owned Weightwatchers for years and I believe retained the rights to the Weightwatchers food branding after they sold the weight loss section of the business for silly numbers of millions of dollars.
Whatever, the beast was born.
I saw on Facebook the other day one of my year mates posted a photo of our girls athletics team after winning regional championships. They were all 15/16, all wearing the school vest top and sports pants (the big knickers type ones) and were proudly standing or kneeling around the trophy and the sports instructors. (This was around 1982/3)
I showed my kids and said “What is the first thing you notice about that photo?”
They looked for a minute and then said “They’re the sports team and yet they’re all fat”
I remembered some of the faces, my friends at school and I remember going shopping with them as teens and how they’d wear size 10 (the skinny ones) and a 12 (the normal ones). I tried to remember seeing anything less than a 10 in the shops and realised there was just no such size. It all ended at 10. Even catwalk models had to be a size 10. So when did 10 get fat? When did it become OK to be a 2?
When did it stop being OK for 15/16 year old female athletes to have a bust and hips and some meat on her bones?
And a size 10 has changed because my mum always points out that Marilyn Monroe WAS a size 10 and she knows this because her sister was an official Marilyn lookalike promo girl and she had to be the same size and she wore a 10 in replica outfits sent by Hollywood to her door. (Evidently when Marilyn had a new movie out, icon that she was and transport being what it was, she couldn’t be present at every premier or promo event globally so an army of Marilyn official lookalikes were recruited all over the world and they were contracted to ‘be Marilyn’ at regional and local premieres and promo events. They were styled and dressed as replicas of the original and my aunt was one of these who worked in Singapore/Hong Kong/Malaysia region)
The health food and exercise sector, the diet industry needs us to be fat and needs more and more of us to do so because we pay more for our food than regular food and let’s face it we just eat more of it. They make us fat so that they can make more money from us and make us more miserable.
If nothing else when you find it hard to resist temptation today think of that and don’t let the fat cats win. We can have our own mini revolution and we can have our victories each and every time we put something in our mouths and we can help others have their victories by supporting them.
Viva la revolution fellow fat fighters! We can win this one.