The internet is the greatest time suck ever invented. Yes, it's where I make my living. But I'd probably get a hell of lot more sleep if I stopped reading Things Written by Other People. Like this story on CBS News about the judgmental asshat getting ready to present giddy little kids decked out in their vampire costumes with candy....if your kid passes the visual once-over for not being too fat, that is. No, I'm dead fucking serious. My friend Deb over at Truthful Mommy already wrote about it here. Normally, I'd be happy to just pretend I don't have an opinion (which, frankly, I suck at) but this is important. Mainly because What The Hell?
As a mother, I can't imagine the effect on a child's body image, self-esteem, self-image (and quite obviously) a letter like this one will have...
As a life-long recovering bulimic, I can tell you what this letter would have done to me as a young girl; it would have crushed me, broken my very spirit, and sent me into a frenzied sugar-filled binge/purge cycle because the mean lady called me fat. Obesity rates and BMIs go right out the window on all levels when you're dealing with an eating-disordered child or adult. We can be so rail thin that our fragile bones can barely hold us upright to so severely overweight that we cheer ourselves for successfully masking our inner-turmoil behind the fat society won't bother to look beyond. Giving anybody, child to adult, the once-over and making a judgement-based call on perceived health is not only irresponsible, it's stupid.
What if the kid has a bum thyroid, y'all? What if it's that cute pudgy stage a lot of kids go through before hitting another growth spurt before they lean out again? And what if they are actually fat? I'll tell you what...when they knock on that door or ring that bell and you look out into that sea of happy faces who still believe strangers are nice people from whom we can still take candy? It's time to smile back, drop the Preachy Judgy Bullshit and just had out the fucking chocolate. Not your child. Not your job.
It takes a village to raise a child, she says? Let me tell you what I say in The Letter For the Lady with the Fat Letters:
Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays, Neighbor!
*Insert Unimaginative Photo Shopped Pumpkin Here*
You are probably wondering why I'm writing up this note. Have you ever heard the saying It takes a village to raise a child? Oh, you have? Interesting... seeing as how you're note to our children indicates you have no fucking clue where the village holds its monthly meeting. Turns out only Those Who's Homes My Kid has Defiled With Peed Carpets While Potty Training have voting rights and even they know I'll kick their ass for even broaching the topic of weight in front of said child. That shit is best saved for when the kids are running off the sugar high and me and the Village are kicked back with a nice bottle of wine. I might not like or agree with what they have to say, but at least their words won't be the reason my kid ends up in therapy in five years because they said TREAT and you said COMPLEX!
My child is moderately obese, you say? I'm sorry but I didn't catch your name...Doctor...???
They shouldn't be consuming candy like The Other Children, you say? I'll bet you are a hoot at the office Christmas party after a few paper cups of boxed wine.
You hope I Step Up as a Parent, you say? You got it. I've already alerted the village and I'm sorry to inform you that you've been voted off the island. Cease and desist all contact with our children immediately.
P.S.: If you didn't want to pass out candy, just fucking say so like the rest of us.
The Head Villager