Letters to the Editor 9/11

Many reasons people are thin, not just diets

While Ann Norsworthy did bring out the humor of today?s lucrative weight-loss market, some of her other comments about supermodels were disturbing and indicative of the negative attention showered on the thinner population these days. Few people would disagree that it is generally considered rude to comment on a person?s weight if they happen to be overweight.

However, when it comes to thin people, it is often open season. One of the thinner members of my family shared an upsetting experience she had when a co-worker insensitively remarked, ?Have you lost more weight? You look awful!? I?d like to bring up a few points in the hope that people will be more sensitive when discussing the issue of weight.

First, some people are just thin. Genetics, metabolism or a thyroid disorder may play a part, and comments made to thin people can be just as painful as those made to the overweight. Also, if someone is thin, it should not be assumed or implied that they are anorexic.

Some supermodels probably have eating disorders, but others (gasp!) simply take care of themselves. Norsworthy?s reference to the supermodel diet is insensitive and stereotypical.

And finally, many people are concerned about their weight, not because of ?society?s perception,? but because they are interested in maintaining a healthy body. While the media does throw a lot of waif-like models at us, that does not mean that anyone who is maintaining a healthy diet and exercising is buying into ?society?s perception.? These people may simply want a better quality of life, which good health undoubtedly contributes to. Having a positive self-image is a struggle for many, if not most. Norsworthy criticizes society for its obsession with weight, but in reality, the media and society are often obsessed with underweight people, as much as overweight.

All people deserve to be spared disparaging comments about their weight. Enough of the double standard.

Shannon Wiles is a USFstudent.

Eating disorders not comical, but serious

There is nothing funny or comical about women who are suffering from eating disorders. There are no jokes that are OK about this devastating disease. Ann Norsworthy?s Wednesday column, ?A Weighty Proposition,? does not bring attention to the fallacies of ?fad,? ?crash,? or ?pill? diets. Instead, the author makes light of the horrors of laxative abuse (some women lose all ability to control themselves and are forced to have a bag surgically implanted to remove waste from their bodies), diet pills (some women die as a result of their hearts failing) and of bulimia (some women die from chemical imbalances and vomiting causes; many commit suicide).

One of 10 women will suffer from an eating disorder. Forty percent of these poor souls will never recover the damage they cause their bodies; 15 percent of those women will die before they are 40 years old.

As a teacher who works with middle school students, I am around impressionable young girls and boys who are struggling to develop their own self images. We have passed the time of pointing out our differences and making fun of them. An article educating our student body about this prevalent disorder is called for.

There are more women suffering from eating disorders on college campuses than in any other organized place, other than in the dance world where one of four women are suffering from an eating disorder. We must stop making fun of these women and reach out to help them. Their lives depend on it.

Starloe Galletta is a junior double-majoring in history and anthropology.

Pro-life ?fetus? trucks exaggerate issue

You gotta love them right wingers. Huge signs displaying dead fetuses. Yeah, that?s the way to go to stop abortion. Instead of ?force feeding? these images into the minds of humans, maybe they should go the route of education, as Clarke said in the article. Does this ?abortmobile? educate people on how hard it may be for a woman to go through with an abortion?

These pro-life groups seem to make the public believe that women, generally on a cyclical basis, walk into these clinics to get an abortion. On top of that, they lead people to believe that these women do so without care and without any emotional repercussions. What they don?t speak about are the number of hours that some of these women may spend in agony thinking about this decision. They lead people to believe that the women who are getting these procedures done are cold hearted, uncaring individuals who are only looking out for themselves.

As usual with most right wing groups, they are forgetting the most important person in this equation. Not the fetus, but the woman who carries it. Why doesn?t the Reproductive Choice Campaign talk about the number of women who have abortions because their lives are in danger by simply being pregnant? No, instead they exaggerate and expand the image of something normally no bigger than a cherry. Why don?t we hear about how some women choose to abort because they are scared for the welfare of their unborn child? All of that aside, it?s the year 2001, and I think women are intelligent enough to know what to do with their own bodies and anything concerning them without riling the public putting more negative connotation on them for their decisions. We too often forget that the lives of these women are changed either way, abortion or not. Who is it for anyone else to say what decisions they should make?

Grieco of NOW has the right idea. If we don?t have pictures of dead women, why should the RCC have a picture of a fetus? The abortion issue, for pro-life especially where these trucks are concerned, needs to weigh in the women as a factor, not just the ball of blood in her uterus. It?s a sad, sad day when something the size of a dime takes away so many rights from an actual human being.

Christina Frasciello is a sophomore majoring in psychology.

Campaign trucks an effective tool

I am extremely happy that someone has finally stepped up to making people aware of what abortion is really about. There are many people who do not understand the abortion procedure and what it entails. By educating people about abortions, they can make thoughtful and knowledgeable decisions. I feel that this campaign is a great way for people to learn more about the issue.

Abortion is an issue that has been debated left and right. What is important is to analyze the facts, such as what exactly abortion is about, how it is done and its effects on women. In the article, someone made a comment about how the pictures of dead, unborn babies that will be displayed on the side of the truck are too harsh, therefore should not be shown to children. I agree with the fact that abortion is harsh as well as the pictures depicting it, but we must keep in mind that this ?harsh? act is perfectly legal in our country. Many things that are seen everyday by children of all ages are harsh. On the news everyday there is at least one story about someone being murder, raped, or molested. These type of stories are extremely harsh, but it is comforting to tell children that the law does everything in their power to make sure the people who commit these crimes are found and persecuted. In a sense, perhaps abortion is too harsh and should be concealed from children. After all, it is difficult to explain to a child how something so cruel and horrible could be legal.

Another person in the article made a comment about how the campaign is aiming for shock value and not education. How much more educational can you get? The pictures show exactly what happens when you have an abortion. As they say, ?A picture is worth a thousand words.?

Before anyone decides whether or not they think having an abortion is right or wrong, they need to look at the reality of the issue. They can not base their judgement strictly on what they have read, what their friends say, or what their families believe. It is impossible for anyone to have their own opinion if it is based on those things. People need to learn about the issue first hand. In this case, seeing the pictures of an actual abortion is one of the best ways to see what abortion is and its results. I think that the campaign is an excellent way to do this.

Lynette Hernandez is a freshman majoring in business.