Saturday, July 1, 2006

View of Two

The latest NutriSystems Weight Loss ad features an ecstatic woman who lost 30 pounds with NutriSystems and is down to a SIZE TWO! Size Two??? I didn't even realize they made a size two. Of course, when I'm out clothes shopping, I pretty much only have to go down the size rack as far as the 16s, so maybe I just stopped too soon. I'm truly curious. Does anyone out there wear a size two? If so, do you have a difficult time finding clothes that fit or is this size more common than I think?

If you wear a size two, and the answer isn't too personal, what do you weigh? I was trying to figure about how large this woman was before she lost her dreaded 30 pounds. I have friends, whom I've always considered extremely lucky to be naturally small (not realizing, of course, that they were practically obese in NutriSystems world). When I recall hearing them talk about buying clothes, I seem to remember the sizes they most often mentioned were 6 and 8, maybe even an occasional 4 depending on the brand name. But, I honestly, don't think I've ever heard anyone I know telling me they wear a size two.

So, I'm estimating roughly that a size two person would have to weigh under 100 pounds, let's say for the sake of discussion, 99 pounds. So that means she was a grossly fat 129 pounds prior to her glorious NutriSystems transformation. And what size does a 129 pound woman wear? A ten, maybe? Unfortunately, someone else has to answer this question because my memory doesn't go back far enough to remember what size I wore the last time I weighed in at 129 pounds. I do know one thing. I would joyful if I DID weigh 129 pounds! It would never occur to me that I needed to join a weight loss program. In fact, if I got down to 129 pounds, I would probably make an appointment with the doctor on the grounds that I must be afflicted with some dreadful wasting disease.

But, the NutriSystems woman was obviously nearly to the point of being suicidal with her 30 extra pounds of blubber. She tells us that NutriSystems helped her get her sense of self esteem back and feel good about her body again, and further, that her husband felt like "he got his wife back". So, it is clear that, although he courageously supported her during her however-long-of-a-time she was a porker, he no longer found her desirable. Her marriage was very likely heading for divorce court had she not joined NutriSystems in the nick of time.

You know, the thing is - I don't give a damn about the NutriSystems' view of what women should weigh. They want to sell their product and they don't care how deceitful or slimy their ad campaign is if it helps them accomplish their goal. What I do care about is what kind of message NutriSystems sends to America's daughters when they see this ad encouraging them to believe that they should strive to wear a size 2 in order to be attractive and sexy. We already know that in our society extreme thinness is in to the point that even girls as young as six are conscious of their body images, with most of them believing they are too fat. We know that the diet business is a mega-billion dollar industry. We know that lots of women willingly go under the knife in invasive procedures such as liposuction. We know that we have a serious problem with eating disorders as young women try to live up to the ideal of emaciation as illustrated by models like Kate Moss. And, we flat-out know that for the average female, a size two is an aberration, one that very few can achieve, NutriSystems or no NutriSystems, - which leaves the size 8 girls and the size 10 girls and the size 12 girls and God forbid, the size 14 girls feeling that they are ugly and unnatural.

NutriSystems is only playing into a hurtful attitude that has been prevalent in this country for a generation - but they've upped the ante to a whole new level.