Article: Calling someone fat could be made a HATE crime as girls as young as 5 'mentally and physically ill' over weight worries (The Daily Mail, 30 May 2012).
Now that I've stopped laughing at the use of 'the scale of the problem', having read the article above, I found this article quite interesting and there are a few points I'd like to talk about.
a) How can a 7 year old go on a diet? Surely they eat whatever they're given by their parents? Maybe things are different these days, or in different families, but when I was a kid I ate breakfast under the watch of my parents, I had a packed lunch for school and we ate dinner together as a family - at what point in that cycle I would be able to decide to go on a diet, I do not know. I won't get into a debate on parenting skills, as that's slightly off topic...
b) I've thought for a long time that body confidence and self esteem should be included at school to some extent - I am not certain that it needs a dedicated class, but I guess time will tell if they introduce such a thing. Asides from individual self esteem, I think it would aid in the way that children view their peers - something that, as a bullied child, I always found to be distinctly negative. Then again, is all of this just reacting to the problem rather than solving it?
c) I think that 'appearance-based discrimination' being included in the law is long overdue - not just based on weight but on other matters too, such as those who choose to have tattoos for example. Though, as with many types of discrimination, I expect it will be very difficult to prove - and I doubt people are going to start taking people to court for calling them 'fat' but who knows.
Overall I feel that this article and the proposals discussed is just skirting around the problem as usual - why can't we start looking at WHY people are feeling this way (*cough* the media *cough*) and work towards prevention rather than cure?
As always I would love to hear your thoughts.
Image from gabi-rl (Tumblr).