Everyone is talking about it: Maggie goes on a diet. The new book by U.S. author and father, Paul M. Kramer. Written in verse, the book is aimed at 6-12 year old girls, inspiring them to lose weight, feel great and become their school’s soccer team stars. Wow. Makes me want to puke. That this book was was written by a guy from the land of the “big”, adds insult to injury.
The book comes out just in time when my oldest bonusdaughter starts pulling her t-shirts down, stretching them to her knees, and sighing a very old mantra: “my thighs are too fat.” I am paralised. Did I just hear what I think I heard? an 8-year old girl complaining about her thighs? The 8-year old boy who complains about having fat thighs is still to be born. This is a girls-only case. From society all around the world, to us girls, a true heritage, an omnipresent message.
In Sweden, one in 5 girls in the age of 7 wants to be thinner. That is 20%. I will rephrase: In Sweden, 20% of the 7 year old girls wants to be thinner – mainly to avoid being bullied, and because they believe (you believe, we all believe…) that thin, beautiful people are the happiest, most popular, most liked, most accepted.
Only recently did a shop in UK were ordered to remove the famous Kate Moss t-shirts with the slogan “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” from their children’s clothing range.
So what did the author had to say for himself? at an interview on Fox News, Kramer said the book is not aimed at the preschool set. He continued:
“I’m not advocating, never did, that any child should go on a diet. First of all, this is a change of lifestyle. This is not meant to be to go on a diet.” However, just seconds later, he acknowledged that Maggie did indeed go on a diet, as the title of the book clearly indicates.
Shame on you, Kramer.
I will be reading this book, I must confess, purely from a journalistic perspective, and only if borrowed from the library (I would never give my hard-earned money to this author or his publishers!), and will be sure to keep as far as I can from the kids. It is dangerous, thoughtless, and completely wrong. As for the little one, after my temporary paralysis I somehow managed to convince her that her body, including her thighs, is perfectly normal for a girl her age, and was quick to dismiss the subject. If I don’t worry, maybe she won’t either?