<HONEA EXPRESS: Fat Kids and the Enablers that Coddle Them

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Fat Kids and the Enablers that Coddle Them

I've got nothing against fat kids. Really. I'm a big enough person that I don't judge books by their cover and yada, yada, yada. Besides, I don't blame a kid for being heavy, I blame the parent(s).

I bring this up because I apparently struck a bit of a nerve with some people when I insinuated that Christie Brinkley's 8-year-old daughter, who is a bit of a pudge, ate a whole birthday cake by herself. Granted, I didn't actually say it, hell, I didn't even call the kid fat. I just put it out there, which allowed the reader to put the words and the picture together themselves and then lash out at me for making them draw such conclusions. Yes, I am a crosser of lines and all things meany. I just didn't know that I had the power to control people's thoughts. I wish I had known that in high school. Things would have been much cooler.

So people think I'm an ass. I've heard it. What they don't know about me is that before I was a SAHD, back before I was a bartender, I ran a YMCA children's program for 8 years. I also worked with children in the public schools for 6 years, helping kids with disabilities of all kinds be better mainstreamed into the curriculum that "regular" kids were lucky enough to be bored by. My point? I love kids. I'm a dad for christ's sake. Well, I'm a dad for my own sake, but that isn't as catchy.

Did I throw a little tough love at Brinkley's daughter and wrap it up as snark and sarcasm? You bet. Did I want to hurt the little girl's feelings? Of course not. That's what classmates and siblings are for.

Did I, as one comment suggests, mean to drive young women into eating disorders? First of all, the kid already has an eating disorder. Being obese, and this girl barely falls into that category, is a deathly serious epidemic in this country. Just recently the medical profession has been pushing the idea that society should take the gloves off and quit feeding these kids rainbows and pizza, mostly pizza, and make them get off of their asses and get healthy. See, I'm a front-runner in this area. Besides, I would never suggest a girl start sticking a finger down her throat until she's at least dating age, and even then she should only do it if she can't find a date to the prom (although it might be more acceptable to suggest a heroin habit). See, I'm sensitive to stuff like that.

Personally, I think what I said was funny and relatively innocent. It's not like I poked her with a sharp stick, rather I used my finger, and softly, just to see if she would make the same noise as the Pillsbury doughboy.

If anything, I think the people that are offended and quick to react are probably the same people that tell their kids they love them with cupcakes.

So what do you think, is my subtle suggestion that the kid should be healthier taking it too far, or are tough love and laughter just what the doctor ordered? Phone lines are open.

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