What isn't wrong with the Chicago Tribune's prom weight loss story?

Posted at 7:40 AM Mar 04, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

It would almost be cute that the Chicago Tribune thinks teenaged girls are picking the paper up and checking it out for diet tips if the Chicago Tribune didn't clearly think teenaged girls are ... picking it up and checking it out for diet tips. I struggle to find something that isn't problematic about "How To Lose 10 Pounds Before Prom," least of which is my difficulty imagining a high schooler picking up a daily newspaper these days.

Let's break it down, slide by slide.

  1. "Shake up your fitness routine." You know, that fitness routine you already have because you are super-fat at age 16, and what, you don't already have a fitness routine, don't you know you are going to GET FAT, which is the worst thing that can happen to a girl? By the way, fat means anything above a size 2. So don't delude yourselves, ladies.
  2. "Don't starve yourself." Tips in this section include eating a sandwich with just one piece of bread. That doesn't sound like disordered eating--or a slippery slope to self-starvation--at all!
  3. "Beware of high-calorie drinks." Although really, should we have to tell you this, you massive size-8 porker?
  4. "Measure yourself differently." This slide encourages girls not to "obsess over numbers on a scale." You know, like that "10 pounds" this article is telling you to lose. If only "measure yourself differently" meant "don't evaluate your self-worth by how much you weigh."
  5. "Get enough rest." When you're not kicking up that work-out routine into high gear, counting every calorie and measuring every inch of your body, try to get some sleep.
I hate it when grown women are told to obsess over their weight, but I hate it even more when  girls are encouraged to do so. Because this mentality isn't just sticking with 18-year-old high school seniors--it's going to trickle down to their younger sisters and friends, and ever earlier, thinness will become the measure by which girls value themselves. Prom is already such an overblown, lame "milestone." Adding weight loss to the whole virginity-losing issue creates all kinds of ridiculous pressure--on girls, specifically. All guys have to do is show up and bang something. Probably while wearing a cummerbund. Ugh.

[Via Jezebel]


erika said:

It kind of reminds me of every time I pick up a bridal magazine or visit any sort of wedding-planning website and see 8 bajillion tips to lose weight before your SPECIAL DAY, you FAT COW.

Articles like that make me hungry for McDonald's. The greasier the better.

Susan said:

Also problematic about this is that around age 18 is when most girls experience their first metabolism slow-down (hence the freshman 15 many of us gained at college). So a weight gain at this time might just be a function of your body changing as opposed to something you are actually doing or not doing. Which would be a good thing to educate girls about.

The Admiral said:

Size 8, huh? When I was in high school (8 years ago, if anyone's interested) I was a size 10 and regularly got called fat. Too bad I didn't have this article then, huh? *end sarcasm* I didn't have any weight gain during the 18-21 age period, but I will say this - I decided a year ago to walk off some pounds (and eliminate leg jiggle). In five months, walking around 4 miles a week I gained FORTY POUNDS. I didn't go up a size, but I'm about as dense as a black hole. No leg jiggle but weighing myself sucks - I'm 5'4" and 175 pounds. Thank God I'm not going to the prom, or getting married, as Erika mentioned.

Kiala said:

I was a size ten in high school too, except during that glorious period where I STOPPED EATING and weighed 120 lbs.

Thank you society. My metabolism has been fucked ever since.

Seminymous Coward said:

"Instead of obsessing over numbers on the scale, [obsess over numbers on a measuring tape or a dress' tag]. " is so nonsensical that I'd swear it bends reality itself slightly when I look at it.

© 2014 Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy