The Reconquest of Cool

Bare Bones

We've been sucked into a disgusting cycle: we pile on the pounds, chase them away on the treadmill, and then celebrate with junk food. Where is our balance?

I have a friend named Carolyn who lives in the hospital. Carolyn is 12 years old. She prefers the white-walled rooms to her home, because there she doesn't have to go hungry.

At home, she doesn't let herself eat. Food is a sweet-talking demon that haunts her mind and threatens her life. Her stomach rumbles 24 hours a day, a comforting lullaby to her starved brain. She sees World Vision commercials and remarks, "Those children are so lucky. They don't have to eat."

How twisted have we become? Jealous over bloated African children who would do anything for a crust of bread, while we're regurgitating entire loaves? Something has to change.

CosmoGIRL!, Teen Vogue, YM, Seventeen... piles of wasted trees trashing up the perspectives of today's North American children. Skinny models decorate the pages, bare bones jagged and useless, faces gaunt with disillusionment and hunger, ribs exposed for the world to count.

We've been suckered into a disgusting cycle: we pile on the pounds from chocolate bars and potato chips, drive through McDonald's for a greasy heart-stopper, and top it all off with a Slurpee from 7-Eleven. Later, we race the treadmill for an hour, chasing away our guilt, only to plop in front of the television to gorge on celebratory ice cream and commercials.

Then there are those who veer to the other side of the health-highway: organic fruits and vegetables, extra lean beef, lite cheese, no-fat yogurt, no-calorie sodas, anti-oxidant tomatoes, polyunsaturated margarines, green teas, flourless bread and high doses of Omega 3, topped off with some salty Styrofoam snacks known as Rice Cakes.

What are we teaching our children? To choose between one of two extremes? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned balance?

Cut the cable cord, spend the summer on a farm, and work up an appetite growing your own food. Fill your offspring with nutrients and values that will strengthen their bones and nurture their minds.

Then maybe instead of being jealous of starving children overseas, this generation will weep in compassion for the unnecessary wealth we regurgitate every day.

24 comments on the article “Bare Bones”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 24

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LOL

I don't know anymore. this is like saying its bad to be fat or healthy F%k man i guess everything is bad. I agree that the food we eat is crap but thats what we are given becasue a lot of people are to dumb or busy writing articles that just repeat the same thing over and over. Action is our only hope now. I have different friends and some are fat some are skiny i like them each for what they are some of them have medical conditions others dont they just have fast metabolism and so on...What im trying to say is not to pass judgment on people so much just because you see a skinny person dont asume they are anarexic and vise versa
just talk to people and be happy :

Ian B

nicely done. I first found it a little shocking that this was a 12 year old talking... but I do recall girls in grade 5 reading 17... they were not 17.. I know, strange eh?

I agree, the idea that we can binge and purge lacks sustainability in all respects.

elizabeth tran

food is a drug. i know. my husband is vietnamese and he doesn't like cheese because he didn't eat it for the first 18 years of his life. our 2 year old son chooses RICE and BROCCOLI over anything else! i am learning to eat more asian foods and am much happier/healthier. food is fuel.

College Girl

I totally agree with your 5th paragraph. I am guilty of it. PS. YM Magazine has been out circulation for years.

Concerned

Sorry I put this here, but there's nowhere else. Why does AdBusters have an article on their fight to be on television? I thought you were against television. Why does AdBusters charge $127 for teachers to buy a packet of instruction for their classrooms? Aren't you for getting information out without consumerism taking over? Why does it seem like Adbusters is simply another money happy company that does not practice what it preaches?

G

I think it has a lot to do with how women are treated in this culture. They are supposed to be pretty, obedient dolls just so they can get other's approval. They are not supposed to be strong, independent, free thinkers.

casey jlalonde

first of all, to the first comment under concerned. you're a complete idiot...adbusters charges for their productions BECAUSE THE SHIT AINT FREE TO PRODUCE...second of all, if all the idiotic tranced out blobs are stuck infront of the tv, getting air time is a good way to get the message to them. your just pissed because you want shit for free, well the world doesn't work like that...we all have bills to pay.

Adam

There was never such a thing as 'good ole fashioned balance'. Don't get nostalgic for a world that never was! 'Balance' is only a notion now because it's achievable. For the vast majority of humans in the world now and historically, 'balance' is the result of thwarted greed. Constant struggle creates the illusion of harmony; gazelles and lionesses don't do what they do to maintain Elton's Circle of Life.

Stephanie

Yes, the CosmoGirls and TeenVogues of our time teaches children that being skinny is beautiful. But then Dove comes out with a campaign showing women with different body shapes, and many people mostly men have said crude things. Here are some examples: FAT ISN'T GLAMOROUS, SELLING OBESITY BY THE POUND, THEY'RE DISGUSTING, FAT COWS, The only time I want to see a thigh that big is in a bucket with bread crumbs on it. It's no surprise why children as young as 12 have these feelings about thinness. Living on a farm and growing your own vegetables won't solve this culture's REAL problem: the perception of beauty.

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