I'm not ready to say a Barbie doll, in isolation, destroys self-esteem and causes eating disorders. But when you stack Barbie on top of all the other impossible images heaped on to children, she may contribute to a child's sense-of-self crashing down.
What I need more than anything in 2014 is calm; I need to get off the scale, relax, find balance, eat for health, and parent my children from a place of grace. There is more, but I will not fix everything in 2014; I shall save the rest for another year.
Most women are so hyper-aware of their perceived flaws that they could tell you their least favorite body part faster than they could remember their mother's birthday. "My chin... and ummm... I think February 11.
A great deal of money is being made from our nutritional confusion. Even worse, the government created these guidelines in much the same way it creates laws: by listening to lobbyists and by making compromises.
Food is more formative in our memories than we think. We just have to learn when to stop chomping at the bit, and when to let go and enjoy -- not to give it too much meaning, but in any case, take a more balanced yet relaxed approach to eating.
Memorizing this list isn't important. It is important to know that any form of caloric sweetener harms our health and leads to weight gain. Put differently, our body does not care where sweetener calories come from.
These campaigns are great in one sense because yes, they address the fact that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. But I think it pits women against each other in a way that gives heavier women a pass for mocking other women's bodies if they are doing it to prove they love their own.
None of this is easy. We can dumb it down all we want but kids are smart. They live in the same world we do. As parents or teachers or mentors, let's guide them with honesty and information rather than glossing it all over.
Didn't Emily Post or some Manners and Etiquette person ever establish rules about polite society when it comes to compliments on appearance, and on weight specifically? Why are we such a weight-obsessed society anyway?
Most of the time when the number went the wrong way, Dad knew why. One day, it was three vodkas. Another time, too many carrots. One of my favorites: "freakin' lasagna." And seeing the number edge upward motivated him to make small changes day by day.
Both approaches can get you to "the other side." But counting calories is like frantically zigzaging through a minefield. Eating more and exercising less -- but smarter -- is as natural and low key as strolling through a meadow.
Over the past few decades, we've been trying harder and harder to be healthy and fit. The result: We got heavy and sick. What's going on here? When did healthy and fit start making us heavy and sick? And why is everyone calling us lazy gluttons?