To your horror, your beautiful teenage daughter, whom you love beyond all reasoning, has suddenly, inexplicably begun to forensically and compulsively examine her body shape and complain about her appearance.
She’s becoming obsessed, comparing herself to Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian, and while the hard work and the financial success of these two reality stars/models who constantly bombard impressionable young teens with social media images of their flat stomachs and pert derrieres can prove inspirational, the fact is, it’s unnatural and I worry that it’s creating a situation where many young girls will resort to unhealthy and harmful behaviours in order to try and control their weight.
I mean, you only have to look at a report in this week’s Daily Mail where a young girl, Rebecca Smith, now a 23-year-old personal trainer, is described as a ‘former anorexic,’ whom back in 2012 when she was only 19, was so desperate to emulate the waif and wasted look of a supermodel, she weighed just six stone and was running ten miles a day. I can only imagine what her worried parents were going through.
So, this week, as we are on the cusp of Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is being held from 22nd to 28th February, I have to ask, how does a parent know if their teen is simply experiencing a typical, faddy food stage in puberty or is indeed, suffering a more serious and sinister problem?
Well, according to www.bodywhys.ie, there is currently an estimated ‘200,000 people in Ireland’ who may be affected by eating disorders, with ‘an estimated 400 new cases’ emerging each year, ‘representing 80 deaths annually.’ Now, for me, this means there are too many young lives at risk and some of them are right here in Roscommon with youngsters eating a restricted diet that is based on their desperation to stay thin and emulate some silly high profile personality that looks more like a mutant than a human being.
These poor impressionable kids are in grave danger of doing permanent damage to their health by denying their still-developing bodies’ important fat, the type that is essential for the beneficial and vital development of their young brains and nervous systems.
These kids, whose desire to have the perfect bodies and pouty bad girl attitudes of what I would call The Kardashian Syndrome, are now resorting to begging parents for cosmetic surgery procedures with some even employing extreme DIY behaviours such as self-imposed disfigurement…remember last year’s bee stung lip craze debacle – meaning the word ‘perfect’ has sunk so deep into their susceptible consciousness, tragically, it has almost become the adjective-du-jour.
This leads me to fear that we are now about to morph into a nation of emaciated female sticks, crowned with copper-blonde lowlights – with a hint of ombre-hair extensions; a sort of caramel, candy-apple lollipop on legs and, as a parent, I find this blood-curdlingly chilling.
Now while people deal with poor body image in various ways, and while I do admit I’m also one of those ‘Perfect Body Syndrome Wannabes’ too, I mean what women doesn’t yearn to sparkle and look her best? And, even now, as I’m at an age where I should know better, I still watch what I eat, preferring to cook everything fresh and from scratch and refusing to eat junk food. I have my hair cut and dyed regularly, I marinate in fake tan and crave a higher derriere, firmer boobs and, I’ll let you into a little secret, if my Lotto numbers ever come up nobody will recognise me ‘cos I’ll get nipped, tucked, sucked and buffed to the extent that not even my dental records will be capable of identifying me.
What I will not do however, is starve myself in order to look like some over exposed, gobby tart who permanently stalks the glossies and tries to break the internet with photoshopped images of her hideous, oiled-up bare arse and ghoulishly small waist because you know what girls, in my opinion, ‘celebrities’ who promote such images shouldn’t be on TV, nor should they be on your teens’ ‘friend’ list; rather what they should be on is a psychiatrist’s couch!
If you’re worried about your teen’s eating behaviour, please contact www.bodywhys.ie for advice.
A little public service announcement for dog owners
Do you own a dog? Yes? Well listen up, ‘cos this concerns you. If, like us, you’re responsible dog parents, you may already have your fur babies microchipped. However, if not, bear in mind that as and from next month (March), ALL dogs must be microchipped…it’s the law.
It actually became a legal requirement for all puppies to be microchipped from last September, but, as of 31st March, this extends to all doggies. Therefore in order to comply with this new legislation, take your pooch to your vet now, have a microchip implanted, register your details on a government approved database and make sure you have a valid certificate as evidence of your compliance. A government approved database is one that meets the requirements of SI 63/2015 and they are currently Animark, Fido and the Irish kennel Club but do log onto www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/dogmicrochipping/Databases for the most up to date information/list.
On a personal note, we deal with www.fido.ie and find them very helpful but as I said, you do your own research, consult your vet and do right by your pet. It’s not just the responsible and humane thing to do, it’s now your legal obligation; and about time in my opinion.
And for those so called pet lovers who don’t chip their dogs, well, they’ll be facing fines ranging from €5,000, and/or imprisonment for up to six months and those convicted on indictment could actually end up paying a fine of up to €250,000 and/or five years in the slammer. You’ve been advised folks.
The Spy who came in from the Kitchen
As speculation mounts regarding who will be the odds-on favourite to be the next James Bond when Daniel Craig’s license to bore me is revoked – I have to say, in my opinion the only Bond who had a license to thrill was Irishman Pierce Brosnan – I would like to throw my hat into the ring as a possible female Bond.
Yep, I wanna be Jane O’Bond…license to shrill!
It’s about time we had a harpie super-spy and I think I’d be perfect for the role. You see I have all of the attributes; for a start I am free from prejudice – I will promise to hate the enemies of our state equally; I already dress to kill and, if required, I can cook in the same way. In addition, I’m fast, furious, intuitive and resourceful.
I could learn to shoot a Walther PPK, write off an Aston Martin and still get home in time to prepare dinner, do the hoovering, walk the dogs and help my Facebook friends sort their various (often insignificant and petty) little problems before flopping into bed to entertain the hubby.
Come to think of it, most Roscommon women are hard-working, multi-tasking Jane O’Bonds 24/7 but without the recognition, and, of course, the Walther PPK!