Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Random Collection III

03/02/06: Hospital notes
There is no privacy in a hospital, but I guess that's obvious to everyone. I can hear exactly what is going on with the lady in the next cubicle, and I feel embarrassed for unintentionally eavesdropping. When they draw the curtain back and hurry out and fetch something, I look in a different direction so that I'm invading her privacy as little as possible.

07/02/06
A Weight Watchers advert on Yahoo! depicts a box of heart shaped chocolates with the heading 'A box of chocolates is sweet. Losing weight is sweeter'. The ad is pink, and filled with obvious associations with Valentine's Day and thus, with sex and love. Why would a Weight Watchers' ad have a picture of 'bad' food on it? Why would it wish to torment those who feel the need to diet? Because that's how they make their money. The diet industry keeps its customers by playing on their bodily insecurities, by making them feel the need to punish themselves should they enjoy so much as a heart-shaped chocolate.

'Losing weight is sweeter'. For everyone? For every woman? Is there a point when losing weight becomes sour? Is it really 'sweeter' than enjoying one's food? What does it mean to put a picture of a sweet treat in order to inspire first temptation, then guilt? What intense emotions that picture must inspire for Weight Watchers to use it! 'Eating something nice is sweet. Depriving yourself is sweeter'. This is not an advert aimed at warning people of the health dangers of obesity. Rather, it is aimed at every woman who might like heart shaped chocolates for Valentine's Day, at every woman who will then feel guilty at wanting/ eating such a gift, to tell her that she would find it 'sweeter' to deprive herself.

It reminds of me of that TV show, You Are What You Eat. Dr Gillian would make a huge display of all the food that a family had eaten in a week as a sight to horrify and disgust. Food as a fetish, as a spectacle to put people off eating, to dismay them into self-punishment, as the scarily thin and pale mistress looks on.

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