Weighing Down Our Children in Brain, Child

SP12coverI have a feature in this quarter’s Brain, Child about the childhood obesity epidemic. Weighing Down Our Children looks at our cultural obsession with our children’s weight and considers whether or not our current climate helps or harms our kids.

As the teaser shows, this is an issue near and dear to my heart both as a former chubby child (still chubby, the former refers to the child part) and as a mother of a child whose body-type is suspect just by virtue of being that particular body-type.

As always, writing for Brain, Child is a dream. The editing is always A-1 terrific and pushes me to be a better writer; I’m very happy with the results for this piece. I hope that people who don’t already subscribe will pick up a copy. If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear what you think!

Note: This featured got picked up by Utne so you can read a truncated version here (Utne edits their reprints quite a bit). Also there are quotes attributed to Echo Leigh that actually belong to Katja Rowell that didn’t get caught and fixed in the editing process. Echo’s contributions are limited to the discussion about her daughter and everything else belongs to Katja.

Comments 1

  1. I just read part of your piece on BC’s FB page and wanted to tell how glad I am you wrote about your daughter’s experience and “weighed-in” on the subject based on your own experience as a child. I also have an 8 year old daughter whose body has completely changed in the last year, as she hits pre-adolescence early the same way I did, only I was 10 when my body began to develop and change. The speed in which girls are developing and changing in 2012 is startling, but it is even more startling that as young as 8, my daughter is being singled out about her body-type from “skinny” girls who are telling her she needs to lose weight. So, where do these girls get their “lose weight” ideology from? This is what troubles me the most.

    I wrote “Raising Girls for Dummies?” last month and conceded my true thoughts under Motherhood Concessions about “skinny” and how it is affects how I raise my daughter.

    Being a mother in a culture consumed with our weight and looks, HEALTHY and HAPPY appear to be insignificant asterisks in the footnotes on obesity and eating disorders. With headlines in every super-market checkout line that read, “Flat Stomach in Days!” “10 Weight-Loss Rules that Work!” “Get Your Old Body Back in 7 Days!” “Eat Cookies and Lose Weight!” we are bombarded by mixed messages on health and weight. And our children are just as confused as we are.

    I look forward to reading your entire essay in Brain, Child and congratulate you for writing about such an important subject. Brava!

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