Reading about the latest body image flap created by Seventeen magazine makes me thank God I don’t have a girl. Really, what I’m thanking Him for is that I don’t have a 53% chance of dealing with a daughter’s body issues starting at age 13.
Seventeen had a body mass index (or BMI) calculator on its website that gave erroneous results to the girls who used them. When 17-year-old Shirley Wang plugged in her numbers, her result of 14.8 was deemed as healthy by the site, when the same number is considered dangerously underweight by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. Someone with a 14.8 BMI should be seen by a doctor, says the CDC.
Luckily for girls of the world, Wang took her complaint to tumblr, which got the attention of another young woman who started a petition on change.org that got 3,000 signatures, and Seventeen took the BMI calculator down.
Too bad the images will be on the internets forever.
What 12-year-old girl needs to be looking up her own height and weight on an online BMI calculator? Or reading Seventeen, for that matter?
Here is my Christmas wish: that the adults of the world will stop shoving false information and doctored photos down the throats and eyeballs of young girls, telling them what beautiful is. Why can’t they decide for themselves?
Why can’t we decide for ourselves?
Turn away from the media that makes you feel bad about yourself. Turn to sites like this one, that tell you it’s okay to be you. Turn to sites like Proud2BeMe and NEDA, that give you the resources you need to get healthy.
And someone give a raise to that guy or gal at Seventeen who made the smart move to take down the faulty BMI calculator.
Kim Tracy Prince is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. She publishes her personal blog, House of Prince, where she writes about her misadventures in parenting, and a hyperlocal blog called Agoura Hills Mom. Kim enjoys hiking, reading, and a tasty cocktail.