Living The Lifestyle - - Friday, August 13th, 2021

whathapnd Posts: 1,128 Member
We meet here to explore, share, celebrate and (sometimes) agonize over how we do (or don't) incorporate weight loss guidelines into our daily lives. "It's a lifestyle, not a diet" is easily and often said, but sometimes not so simply put into practice.

This is a thread for everyone. If you're new to GoaD, or to weight loss, your questions and comments are always welcome. If you're maintaining, or a long-term loser, your thoughts on the topic may be just what someone else needs to hear. If you're reading this, join in the discussion!

Each weekday, a new topic is offered up for discussion.

Monday - Al_Howard (Al)
Tuesday – 88olds (George)
Wednesday - crewahl (Charlie)
Thursday - misterhub (Greg)
Friday - whathapnd (Emmie)

Today's Topic: Does The Entertainment Industry Make It Harder For The Average Person To Achieve " Normal Weight?"

Today's Topic is inspired by Steve's recent topic on body positivity.

Imagine for a moment that all the folks we see on TV (actors, newscasters, singers, hosts, people in commercials, etc.) and all the models in print ads and on runways fell into the 85th-95th percentile of what is considered "actuarily normal weight." What impact, if any, do you think this might have on the obesity problem in America? Is it possible our collective struggle is from the fatigue of unconsciously striving for unrealistic outcomes or from the frustration of trying to achieve satiety/enjoy the pleasures of food on a calorie allotment meant for someone at the lower end of "actuarily normal weight?" Would it be easier to be "normal weight" if we were bombarded with images of actual, normal weight people? Or might this have the opposite effect? Do we (the collective "we") try to lose weight only because we are constantly given an ideal to chase?

Bonus Question: Are you extra cautious on Friday the 13th?


  • whathapnd
    whathapnd Posts: 1,128 Member
    Hi Gang! Sorry I missed last week. I'll circle back late tonight or tomorrow with my answer. Busy day today.
  • steve0mania
    steve0mania Posts: 2,231 Member
    I believe that we are bombarded with "normative" imagery. Indeed, this is some of the argument of various post-modern critical theories: that our environment dictates the "norm," and if you don't fit with the "norm," you are viewed as an outsider. For example, if we see only white men playing doctors on TV, then the "norm" is that doctors are white men, and that (at least theoretically) creates challenges for those who aren't white men to be doctors.

    That version of "normative" imagery can be negative and damaging. At the same time, such "normative" imagery can be used to drive positive behaviors. For example, we no longer see glamourous people smoking (on TV, movies, or print ads). That has the positive effect of making smoking non-normative.

    In this framework, I think that there is a benefit to having mostly "fit" individuals in the media. It drives the concept that being "fit" is "normal." It then pushes us to work to achieve a "normal" weight.

    But (and this is a big "but,"), there is a negative side from it being taken to the extreme. Remember, many runway models were underweight, and many were unhealthy because of it. Instead, if we regularly saw folks at all parts of the "fit" spectrum, not just the skinniest, or most muscular, or with the 6-pack abs, I think that would probably help normalize that "fit" can look in a variety of ways.
  • Al_Howard
    Al_Howard Posts: 5,498 Member
    Nope! And Nope!!
  • podkey
    podkey Posts: 4,725 Member
    Doesn't affect me so much. I will say that local TV personalities include folks of various sizes and weights. I am seeing more of that on national tv figures too.
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,145 Member
    edited August 2021
    When I started WW I really tried to take stock of what went on in my head. Soon I totally embraced WW. I decided that going forward I was only taking in info about diet and fitness from WW and my Dr. Anything else I was tuning out. It was a relief. I was amazed at how much misinformation I had absorbed from advertising.

    Getting to imaging and expectations. Actually TV advertising is a lot more up front and in your face than just who plays the characters on the shows where they run the ads. But one image and message stands out in mind. Really burned into my brain:

    20 minutes a day, 3 times per week.

    Remember that? It was a Nordic Track. Must have been an effective campaign because we bought one.

    I came to understand that the guy fitness model in that ad probably didn’t eat for 2 days before the shoot. He’d probably had 1/4 cup of water in the last 24 hrs. The 20 min, 3x expectations weren’t just unrealistic, they were absurd.

    The lack of real models undermines hope. Come over and look at the Motivation board and you can see it anytime.

    The near universal misunderstanding about how to lose weight and keep it gone runs deep. I don’t know how to undo the knot. Yeah, mixed metaphor.

    Digression re TV and movie images. I’m reminded of when I learned that there was a branch of advertising about product placement. When the character pours a drink he’s sure to show that Jack Daniels label
  • crewahl
    crewahl Posts: 1,881 Member
    Hmmm . . .

    I guess the question becomes, in my mind, “do the people we see in entertainment become our role models, and do we strive to be like them?” To me, that’s a different question that “how is the 'ideal' physical appearance established for a society?”

    I think the vast majority of people we see on the news, in movies, as models, etc., are NOT role models that we seek to emulate. I think there’s an “ideal” promulgated in society that we do strive for. That image evolves over time, migrating from the Miss Twiggy look to the more current fit/outdoorsy look. To the extent that “fit” has become a larger component of the ideal, I think it becomes more attainable to the masses and therefore creates less stress. In other words, it’s easier to become fit than it is to become attractive.

    I think that the pursuit to extremes of an ideal is less about society's pressure and more about low self-esteem or self-confidence. I think more people fail because they feel an inadequacy before they give themselves a chance to fail.
  • misterhub
    misterhub Posts: 4,916 Member
    My sole motivation is health, and the desire to be available fully for my family. While I may admire the the success of some individuals in the media (both traditional and social), I can't say they motivate me to be like them.

    Bonus Question: No. I like the number 13.
  • imastar2
    imastar2 Posts: 4,821 Member
    I don't put my faith or mindset in what I see in the entertainment world Models Men and Women alike or the advertisements. Simply said I'm targeted as a potential customer and awareness of products, fitness, etc; is obviously what that's about.

    So to the question at hand:
    Does The Entertainment Industry Make It Harder For The Average Person To Achieve " Normal Weight?"

    My honest opinion is I don't know. What I do know is when I'm ordering that Whopper or Dave's dbl with cheese I'm not really thinking about the guy or gal on the Nordic track or the runway model. I believe I have to have a sufficient why to accomplish my weight loss goals and exercise goals. The scale is my friend and my enemy but a true reflection of my efforts good on or bad along with the mirror of course.