Mamavation has spearheaded a wonderful campaign to get the Strong4Life billboards pulled from Georgia. These billboards demean overweight children and adults as well in my opinion. As Leah (aka Bookieboo) states, “Fight obesity, not obese people…” and I couldn’t agree more.
I’m not saying that childhood obesity isn’t a problem and neither is Leah. We just disagree with the way that Strong4Life is approaching the problem. Instead of taking a positive approach to the problem, like the phenomenally popular Food Revolution spearheaded by English chef, Jamie Oliver, this group uses the shock value of putting an overweight child on a billboard with the following text below her, “WARNING: It’s hard to be a little girl if you’re not.“ What’s wrong with this is first people are more than their physical appearance and second, no child should be demeaned because of his/her size. No one knows why a child is overweight and a child shouldn’t be made to feel bad about herself/himself as a person.
I don’t have any issues with the purpose of the Strong4Life initiative (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) and their site has some great information on how to raise physically healthy children. I’m purposely not linking to them because there are better sites with positive messages and I suggest them instead. Especially Jamie Oliver’s website.
Yes parents should take on the responsibility of encouraging children to be healthy, but bullying is bullying whether it’s done by children or adults and quite frankly, it’s time to stop judging people. If you’re of the camp that shaming will work, I find that sad. As Leah says, “…we feel in order to combat this statistic, it needs to be done in love and support….not with shame.”
Fight obesity, not obese people…
Want to help? Join the chat #ashamed on Twitter 2/16 9pm EST – RSVP on Leah’s site to be eligible for prizes as well.