The Bathroom Scale: A Weapon of Mass Destruction
Without the bathroom scale – a fixture in most homes – there wouldn’t be a diet industry. In fact, until the 20th century most people didn’t use a scale or even know their body weight, let alone worry about it. They had more pressing concerns like dodging deadly diseases, getting the crops in and not freezing to death in winter. The only way to determine your weight back then was to step on a large balance scale used to weigh grain, animals or machinery. Platform scales, invented around 1830, started popping up at country fairs after the Civil War where a carney would attempt to guess your weight. Weighing yourself was frivolous entertainment, not a daily requirement.
Initially, bathroom scales were heavy and expensive. To increase demand, manufacturers developed smaller, cheaper, scales for home use and propagated the false idea that weighing your body daily was essential to health. By the 1930s, as the ads for the “Health-O-Meter” illustrate, male marketers were already trying to make daily weighing an obligation… the key to health, beauty, success and happiness. An “obligation,” wholly created by marketing departments and ad agencies.
In the 1943 the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company published the first “ideal weight” tables and required people to register their weight to get insurance. Weight was on the road to being, “medicalized.”
As scales invaded bathrooms nationwide, “obligation” evolved into obsession. By 1965 even Barbie dieted! Slumber Party Barbie came with pink satin PJs, tiny plastic slippers, a diet book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with one piece of advice: “Don’t eat” and a fuzzy pink scale stuck on 110!
If Barbie were an actual women she would be 5’9” and have a 39” bust, 18” waist, 33” inch hips and a size 3 shoe. She probably wouldn’t menstruate and her BMI (Body Mass Index) would be an anorexic 16.24… and she comes with her own diet book! How sick is this?
Numerous psychological studies show that what I call the “Barbie Syndrome” has a very negative effect on the health and self-esteem of preteen and adolescent girls. Girls who dislike their bodies frequently resort to unhealthy weight loss methods like smoking, fasting or drugs. Dieting increases the risk of eating disorders, negative self-esteem, abnormal growth, poor nutrition and even sudden cardiac death. Plus, normal girls grow significantly during adolescence — averaging 10 inches and 40-50 pounds. They need healthy food to thrive, not caloric deprivation!
Cigarette manufacturers and their ad agencies spend billions to, “Hook ‘em when they’re young,” so they’ll be hooked for life. So does the diet industry. They just start warping a young girl’s mind at an even earlier age. The diet industry could teach the nicotine pushers a thing or two.
Fifty year after “Diet Barbie” things have only gotten worse. The idea that skinny is good starts in elementary school. Research shows that 42% of girls in elementary school want to be thinner and 81% are afraid of getting fat. By adolescence 77% want to be thinner. Media, marketers and their bought and paid for diet “doctors,” are brainwashing another generation to weigh themselves obsessively, hate their bodies and diet… forever.
You are not a number on the scale. Fixating on some arbitrary digits determined by marketing men keeps you stuck in a box, just like plastic Barbie. When you focus on a number instead of yourself you’re not open to the life and the lives around you. You can’t grow and thrive when you life is focused on self-criticism and denial as you wait for the day the scale says, “okay.” But it never really does, does it?
SMASHING YOUR SCALE is the first step to letting go of that fake media imposed number. Remove the judgmental device from your life that keeps telling you you’re not good enough. Don’t let a bunch of plastic and glass dictate how you feel. Don’t let marketers manipulate you into being rated and categorized by a device originally designed to weigh cattle and grain. When you destroy the scale as the focal point of your existence you make room for something exciting to happen… a new, happier and healthier you.
You and I, all women, are worthy. Weight has nothing to do with our value. Let’s get weight out of our life equation.
Categories: Dieting Truths