Friday, February 26, 2010

Media Inquiry

Like Mother/Like Daughter? Help a reporter with a story on the mother daughter eating/body image connection. . .

A reporter is doing a story for Glamour Magazine on the connection between mothers and daughters when it comes to issues around eating and body image. She is interested in the kind of habits and attitudes that seem to plague many women -bingeing, consta-dieting, emotional eating, obsessive exercising, body-loathing, not strictly clinical eating disorders. If you are in your 20s or 30s, deal with these issues and SO DOES YOUR MOM, she'd love to speak to you. If you'd be willing to talk--on record or off--email Diana Kapp, at

Monday, February 22, 2010

All About Weight

It seems the most important thing about celebrities these days is their weight.  Kevin Smith was kicked off a Southwest flight for being "too fat."  "You [messed] with the wrong sedentary processed-foods eater!" he tweeted. 

The 5'6", 105-pound American ice dancer Tanith Belbin, who admitted to restricting her intake, was given an ultimatum by her coach to gain 10 pounds.  Still underweight, Belbin reported she's skating more strongly.  You know it's serious when your ice skating coach is forcing you to eat.

Mad Men star Christina Hendricks vented to New York magazine:  "Anytime someone talks about your figure constantly, you get nervous, you get really self-conscious.  I was working my butt off on the show, and then all anyone was talking about was my body."

Jessica Simpson, who, if you remember, soared to fame with her voice, came crashing down with her weight.  In a recent issue of Allure, Simpson referred to America's weight-obsession as "disgusting."

These are just a few examples I've seen in the media in the last few weeks.  Can you remember a time when we haven't had such a focus on everyone's weight?  How do we get back to that place?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let's Move

What do you all think about Michelle Obama's campaign to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity?  If you're unfamiliar with the campaign, here it is:

I support most of her ideas (especially increasing physical activity among kids, making a variety of foods more available to less advanatged populations, etc.), but keep getting stuck on schools' initiative regarding cutting out sweets (e.g., cupcakes on birthdays) and taking variety away from the kids (e.g., in the vending machines), rather than promoting the idea of treats in moderation.  Eliminating certain food groups tends to backfire, resulting in overeating when there finally is access to these foods.  Thoughts?

Monday, February 08, 2010


The last six weeks have been filled with the requisite New Year's diet and fitness interviews, which should taper off soon.  But, before I'm through, I'd like to put in a special plug for Zumba Fitness.

I love Zumba.  Have you tried it?  For the uninformed, it's a Latin-inspired (but internationally flavored) dance party (that, by the way, takes place in a traditional aerobics room), replete with a funky blend of salsa, merengue, a little hip hop here and there, hip gyrations, shoulder shimmies, and, in a class I recently attended, the late 80s' snake (are you old enough to remember that move?) 

So many people are uninspired by the gym these days, stale in their workouts, looking for something new.  Sick of not getting anywhere on the elliptical?  Of running the same course outdoors?  Zumba may be the answer.  I'm a big proponent of finding exercise motivation through activities you like, and if you're into dance/music, Zumba may be for you.

What inspired me particularly to write this post was attending a class at my local gym a couple of weeks ago--a studio that was packed with 60 or so women (and one man--straight men, if you can shake it, this is a great way to meet the ladies!), a much more heterogeneous bunch than the typical group fitness crowd.  In a studio that's usually filled with women who look vaguely alike, this class stood out--there were Latina women, women of color, fat women, skinny women, conforming only in the chorus of their moves and the smiles on their faces.  The class was upbeat/playful/sexy, requiring more concentration on mirroring the instructor than staring in the mirror.  For this, I give Zumba a body-image A+, with a focus more on what your body can do, rather than how it looks.

Check out a class near you!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Melissa Broder--Poems on E.D.'s

Melissa Broder, author of the newly published, When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother, sent me a couple of her poems that relate to e.d.'s.  See below for the inspiration for her work.

Core vs. Flex
Madame Famine is hairless apart
from her lanugo, and when she sucks you into
her glory hole, a bald telephone, it’s

wrong. You’re supposed to be the one who’s lived
a thing or two, you’re supposed to be teaching her
to grow. There’s no room to live inside

her little Grey Gardens, so try and
let go. Stop lining up lacy aprons
with training bras and just have a damn happy

accident. You are frightened of going
over. You are not as fragile as you think.
Madame Famine should be left to rot in her

dream car with a frozen Jenny Craig
glazed salmon. Of course, she would rather
ride the bumper cars with your husband.

Prayer of the Teenage Waifs

We want security and we want out!
The groceries have cobwebs. French toast sticks
and sickie chicken sausages turn lettuce
for breakfast. Put dinner in a locket,
then sniff to get to clavicle heaven
where Mommy gets pinched and shock treatments
are ice capades, Sweet’N Low sensations

of Fatherland. Oh Fatherland! She’s been
a bad babysitter. Deliver us
from Burger King with People magazine.
Let the basement be our basement, the bones
and ringtones our only breath in mirrors;
let mammaries unbloom, let fumes be food
and we’ll massacre into cylinders.

Regarding the inspiration, Melissa writes:
In Core vs. Flex, the character of Madame Famine came to me in a dream. To me she’s restrictive eating-personified, though my publisher and editor, who are both male, think she is a well-groomed nether-region. The poem was actually longer in another incarnation, involving Oreos, but that piece didn’t make the cut.

Prayer of the Teenage Waifs arose experimentally. I used one of my favorite writing devices, which is to comprise a list of nouns from the lyrics of a particular rock band and then construct a poem using those nouns. This time it was The Ramones. If you look at their canon, you’ll find the nouns in this poem (from “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment” to “Hangin' out on 2nd Avenue/Eatin' chicken Vindaloo.”) Also, I was taking a prosody class and asked to write in iambic pentameter, so most of the poem is metered that way.
The title of the book is the punchline to a joke: “What’s a Freudian Slip?” I felt that it captured the tone of the book, which is playful, yet mild to moderately neurotic.