by Jennifer Bowman
With the sudden massive popularity of the Atkins diet and the early nineties collectivist "accept all people for who they are no matter what" thing coming to a slow end, once again, it is not cool to be fat.
Yes. All the fat celebrities we ridiculed - Al Roker, Carnie Wilson, Anna Nicole Smith, Oprah, Starr Jones, and even Roseanne - are now thin and becoming part of the righteous formerly-fat league in Hollywood. Fast food restaurants are showing new healthy, active commercials (which amuses me the same way that Phillip Morris anti-smoking ads amuse me) and some people are only thanking God for their food if it's Atkins Approved.
Now we certainly shouldn't blame the late, great, ice-prone doctor. He's mostly right, you know. If you're not using the carbs or sugars - you don't need them and it will turn to fat. There's nothing wrong with being thin, or promoting health and exercise.
But are we becoming a little obsessive? I'm afraid in the near future we're all going to start wearing spandex to formal events and have required Jazzercise and yoga classes in school. A war will start between the vegetarians and the high-proteiners. A giant portrait of a steak will replace the food pyramid, and we'll all be cuckoo for Tofu Puffs.
Now, as a "big-boned" person myself, I could be speaking out of jealousy. Trust me, I want to look like Beyoncé as much as the next person. But it seems like there is this outpouring of people screaming at me from the television, telling me to lose weight or I'll get diabetes, have a heart attack, die, or worse, get fat. Did we just totally forget about the whole sex, drugs, alcohol, and Janet Jackson thing?
And is it even working? Just as watching John Kerry's daughter flash random tabloid editors doesn't make me want to be a Democrat, watching Anna Nicole Smith act just as stupid as she was at 210 lbs doesn't make me want to lose weight. Sorry.
What ever happened to self-motivation, encouragement from friends, that sort of thing? When did that become extinct? Are we really relying on TV to tell us how to live, eat, sleep, act, and think?
I have to say, I really wasn't that inspired to lose weight until I went to the beach with some friends for a week. Yes, I felt self-conscious looking at all the perfect people with their perfects bodies, but I also felt empowered. I talked to my friend's mom about her personal experiences (the BEST motivation out there) with weight gain and food and diet and exercise. Now I'm focusing on eating better and becoming more active, something I had sworn to do a million times, but have just recently actually wanted to do. And that's the best feeling you can get.