A weighty proposition

It?s time for me to begin a weight-loss program.

I could follow my doctor?s advice and eat a well-balanced diet while cutting down on the extra calories and working out at the gym.

Phooey. What do doctors know?

I have decided to listen to Christine G., who lost 12 pounds in two days using the Ultra Super X-Out Diet system. Christine looks and feels great after consuming a powerful laxative concoction during a leisurely weekend. She got her exercise by running to the potty every five minutes. No fuss, no kidney functions. What an effortless way to lose weight.

I could also listen to Bob L., who lost 30 pounds in five days using the Ultimate Slimming Method. Just pop a few pills a day and within weeks shed those pounds while overloading on Chinese herbs labeled as ?natural.? No need to exercise ? the Ultimate Slimming Method will keep you awake for three weeks ? keeping your metabolism up and helping you lose those pesky vital tissues that just keep you from reaching your weight-loss goal. This program will also keep you lean and mean. Really mean. Those steroids will throw you into a terrible rage so you can burn calories while beating the neighbor?s dog.

Super-fast weight-loss programs must be healthy ? they sell them on T.V. And television provides us with the most positive and realistic body images. Don?t listen when doctors say approximately seven million women have an eating disorder.

In fact, I might even turn to Darlene?s Supermodel diet. Darlene knows how hard it is to diet when you live an active life and have no time to count calories. On her program, you simply regurgitate anything you put in your body. For three low payments of $29.95, you will receive the entire Darlene Diet Package. Your kit will include a rubber finger to stick down your throat, a convenient portable vomitorium ? so you can purge when you are on the go. Also included is a year?s supply of mouthwash. But wait ? if you call within the next 20 minutes, you will get a gift certificate to replace your esophagus ? free!

Wow, I thought losing weight was going to be hard.

And I must lose weight. How else will I fit into society?s perception of what a woman should look like? And yes, I have heard the tales of how Barbie is so out of proportion that if she were life-size she would not be able to stand. Or that only a tiny fraction of women in the world are supermodels, and yet we are all supposed to live up to the unreasonable target of a negative two dress size. I have even heard about how the ultimate sex goddess, Marilyn Monroe, was a size 16.

But let?s have a reality check. First, don?t ever make fun of Barbie, she is a national icon. She has a dream house and a convertible. Plus, supermodels are super smart and dress really cool. Finally, Marilyn did the same thing as Monica, who, by the way, the press brutally ridiculed because of her weight.

God bless America. A proud nation that has the most abundant food supply and the most lucrative weight-loss industry in the world. Who has time to worry about a positive self-image?

Ann Norsworthy is a senior majoring in mass communications and is The Oracle senior staff writer.