What would you do to lose weight?
I'm not too sure what to make of this survey of 1,000 women conducted for Fitness Magazine but it was at least pretty amusing.
- Eighty-five percent of the women said they'd be willing to have an extra toe to keep pounds off;
- Twenty three percent would shave their heads;
- Almost half would rather lose 20 pounds than live to be a hundred; and
- Nearly a quarter would go to jail for a week to reach their ideal weight.
The results were almost as weird two years ago:
Since the article mentioned above was a bit skimpy, I went to the magazine's website to try to track down some details. Alas, the current survey wasn't there when I checked (they might actually want me to buy the magazine to find out more). But there was a similar survey from two years ago (men too, this time) with some additional data:
- Over half of those surveyed would rather lose their jobs than gain seventy five pounds;
- Seventeen percent of men and eleven percent of women would give up 20 IQ points to achieve a perfect body.
- More than a quarter of women said that they would rather get their wisdom teeth pulled than go swimsuit shopping.
- Sixty-three percent of women would rather be poor and have no weight to lose than be rich but significantly overweight.
What's with you people?
I think we're supposed to be appalled and depressed by what this says about body image, but I wasn't. It's not all that shocking that lots of people would do some really weird-ass stuff to never have to worry about being overweight again. (And while I don't have a bunch of weight to lose, all I had to do to relate, as a middle-aged woman, was substitute "looking way younger" for "losing lots of weight.")
It's funny, because even some of us who frequently rail against oppressive cultural norms are still affected by them. Hell, I hate that women are stigmatized for getting older--yet I'd happily go to jail for a week if it would magically make me look thirty again.
So it wasn't the superficiality that made the survey results seem odd. Here's what was scary: who are these people who would rather lose 20 IQ points, or give up any chance to live a long life in order to lose weight, but who wouldn't be willing to go to jail for a week or shave their heads? C'mon--hair grows back! And even totally messed-up malfunctioning celebrities can handle a week in jail. But you would be willing to give up 20 IQ points? How many could you be starting off with?
Now the extra toe thing...
That's a tough one.
It's distracting, isn't it? So many questions: could you have it amputated or would that be cheating and make the pounds reappear? Would you be able to fit into normal shoes or would you have to buy a bunch of specially-made orthopedic ones to fit all those digits? One extra toe on each foot or just on one?
So how about you?
Are there any bizarre things you might do to magically be given a "perfect" body (or face) for the rest of your life? (Note: it will stay perfect looking too, no matter how much you eat or how badly you behave). Would you do any of these?
- Drink a full glass of Pepto Bismol every morning forever;
- Refrain from ever getting on the internet again;
- Run naked through your local grocery store (just once but you have to pass through every aisle);
- Go to jail for 3 months (one week seems too easy);
- Never watch TV again (no cheating and watching on the internet);
- Give up your favorite beverage;
- Take in your least favorite relative or neighbor and let them live with you for a year;
- Let your spouse sleep with the celebrity of his/her choice (because as long as we're dealing with magical solutions, we're stipulating that the celebrity is totally up for it).
- Eat a dead rat (just one, guaranteed disease-free rat, not one every day. And you can cook it).
Deal or No Deal?
Or here's a different, happier way to look at it.
Which would you rather have magically given to you: A perfect face and body, or ten million (U.S) dollars?
But Maybe You Guys Are Too Evolved
For those of you who too emotionally mature and satisfied with who you are to strike any sort of deal, perhaps you have some thoughts about how messed up this all is.
(Some of the rest of us might be wondering how bad rat meat actually tastes).