Buying Your Child Smaller Clothes Is No Way To Encourage Weight Loss
Lessons on relating to others abound in the movie Spanglish
Have you had a chance to see the 2004 Adam Sandler movie called Spanglish? I know, I'm probably waaaaaay behind the times on this movie while everyone else has probably already seen it. But Christine and I watched it for the first time on Saturday and I have to tell you I absolutely LOVED it!
There were a lot of important lessons to be learned about relationships and the impact of how you interact with others. I kept wondering to myself what happened to the adorable Téa Leoni in this movie as she became the mother from Hell in her role as Debra Klasky. And that's what I want to talk about from the movie because it hits on a topic I previously blogged about regarding a study showing a mean, maniacal mother can cause their children to become obese.
Young actress Sarah Steele portrayed the daughter Bernice
For people who are overweight or obese, there is one scene in this movie that will grip you, tear you up on the inside, and make you scream out loud. If you've seen the movie, then you know which one I'm referring to.
The rich and extravagant-spending mother Debra, who has been extremely critical of her bright and beautiful daughter Bernice throughout the entire movie, decides to surprise her daughter by showering her with a whole new wardrobe. The look on Bernice's face is one of overwhelming elation as she feels her "distant" mother is finally showing her the affection she so desperately craves as well as the sheer thrill of owning a new set of clothes.
But imagine the shock and horror that Bernice experiences when she discovers her mother's generosity with the "gift" she was given was actually a not-so-subtle hint that she needed to lose weight. You see, Debra had bought her daughter a closet full of size 8 clothes, but she was actually a size 10. The look of devastation and shock that came over Bernice is something that I'm sure anyone who has ever been a fat kid can certainly relate to.
I couldn't help but wonder: Did you mom or dad ever do that to you when you were a child? Or, and I'm going to step on some toes here I'm sure, have YOU as a parent ever bought your kid clothes that were too small for them as a way to spur them to lose weight? Come on, be honest!
Let me tell you, I believe there is NOTHING more insulting to an overweight child than to tell them either directly or indirectly that they are fat. The self-image problems that overweight kids must endure from their peers is horrifying enough without that message being hammered to them at home as well (it's enough to cause a migraine headache!).
Thankfully, my mother never bought me clothes that were too small for me when I was growing up. I suppose this is more of something a mother would do to her daughter than to her son, though. Have any of you ever had this happen to you? I'd be interesting in having you share your story with me and my readers. Click on the comment link below.
It all worked out in the movie as the Latina housekeeper Flor Moreno, portrayed by Paz Vega, secretly takes all of those size 8 clothes and lets them out so they will fit Bernice. The rollercoaster ride of emotions this movie takes you through is well worth seeing the movie on so many levels. I highly recommend you either rent or buy it for yourself.
While I am sure the producers of Spanglish were simply trying to make the Téa Leoni character fit the extreme role they had for her with the antics she displayed towards her daughter Bernice, but it really makes me wonder how many real life people have had parents buy them smaller clothes as well as how many parents would be willing to admit they themselves have done this to their children.
I guess it goes without saying in my not-so-humble opinion that buying your child smaller clothes is no way to encourage weight loss. There are better ways to do that in a loving way without destroying the very fiber of their being with hateful and I dare say emotional abuse that will leave years of scars that may never fully heal. Don't give me the lame excuse that the reason you do it is because you only care about their health! That one doesn't pass the muster with me.
Instead of making fun of your child or scorning him or her about their weight, how about showing them how they can eat healthier and make exercise activities fun with the entire family? You see, THAT is how you can encourage them to lose weight without destroying that precious soul God has given you dominion over. It's all about loving them, respecting them, and being the example for them to follow. Let's not make this harder than it needs to be.
One final thought: I wonder how the actress Sarah Steele feels about playing the "pudgy" daughter in this movie. Is she okay with that label that has been so easily slapped beside her name because of this movie? While I think she is very talented and she even reminds me of my sister Beverly, I can't help but wonder if she cares about losing weight or not. Was this just a role for her and she's now thin again or does she earnestly need to take off the pounds? For her sake, I hope she is able to overcome being overweight which will lead to even more movie roles in what I see as a bright future.