July 3, 2007

"You're much too fat. Nobody will ever want to marry you."

What Jackie said to Caroline.

Did anyone ever say "Nobody will ever want to marry you" to you? What a frighteningly nasty way to try to control someone's behavior! At least Jackie meant well, and it actually is a good idea not to get fat. (If having someone say you're so fat no one will ever want to marry you actually resulted in weight loss, we'd probably be happy to pay someone to say it to us.) Now, when someone says "nobody will ever want to marry you" to warn you off doing something positive, it's another story.

ADDED: Could it be that the reason we've become so fat in this country is that we no longer accept mothers talking to their children like that?

23 comments:

Jennifer said...

Jackie O sounds a lot like my mom. Except my mom used to use the "guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" thing on me rather than warning me about my maritability. Of course, that sounded so hopelessly outdated that it was actually funny rather than hurtful.

But, my mom was constantly concerned about my weight and food intake, etc... Which - being a skinny person - was always a little bewildering for me. But, she did instill a lot of good eating habits in me.

George said...

She also, it is rumored, told her son to go to bed early. Once she actually made him put on a coat and tie! There are those who also suspect that she made him--and her daughter--stand up straight and comb their hair.

And, O, God. O, God, she made them get their hair cut. What a horrible woman.

TMink said...

I think one of the reasons for America's obesity can be tied to the sugar shacks in our neighborhoods. Go to your grocer, if it is a typical chain store, you will be amazed at the number of aisles that are given over to selling alternate means of sugar whoring.

At a new Publix in our nighborhood, 20% of the food aisles were reserved for sugar products.

Trey

Meade said...

"Could it be that the reason we've become so fat in this country is that we no longer accept mothers talking to their children like that?"

Or is it because daughters see the manipulation, hypocrisy and fraud in their mothers' marriages, figure, "what the hell, that's no way to live," order a second helping of cherry-flavored Jell-O with whipped cream on top, and pursue happiness by getting fat, staying single, and never talking to their own daughters in such nasty controlling ways.

Too many jims said...

Maybe if there was not so much animosity towards the unmarried (what is the word for that?) such guidance from Jackie would not have had the same weight.

bearing said...

Jell-O? in Paris?

MadisonMan said...

Jell-O? in Paris?

(laugh) That was exactly my reaction. What kind of restaurant were they patronizing that served jello as a dessert!?

Well, I guess it does make for strong nails.

Bissage said...

Nobody will ever want to marry you.

And that’s supposed to be scary?

Oh, please.

My German descended relatives knew how to set the kids on the straight and narrow.

You eat too much, the Tree People will get you!

What?

You think that wouldn’t work on a teenager?

* S H U D D E R *

Sloanasaurus said...

It is true though. A fat person has a much more limited pool of potential mates than a fit person. That is the way it is.

Most people are fat because they eat too much and don't exercise enough. Ridicule is a great way to combat this problem.

Sloanasaurus said...

order a second helping of cherry-flavored Jell-O with whipped cream on top

Make it sugar free jello with Ready-whip and you have a protein diet delicacy.

Meade said...

There's always room for a protein diet delicacy.

Jeff said...

Jackie foresaw her stepdaughter Christina Onassis' fat, miserable future and sought to spare her (real!) daughter the same fate.

Evil HR Lady said...

I think statements like that would lead you to become more overweight. I am fat, therefore I am undesireable. If I am undesireable I might as well find happiness in Rocky Road ice cream.

I think overweight kids today are a result of parental inability to say no. Not because they won't say, "you're fat."

Balfegor said...

Could it be that the reason we've become so fat in this country is that we no longer accept mothers talking to their children like that?

We . . . don't? What? Since when?

Pogo said...

Well, you might rmemeber this doctor being in trouble for saying something similar:

"According to the Patient A complaint, in June 2004, the petitioner spoke harshly to Patient A regarding her weight. According to the Notice of Hearing, the petitioner is alleged to have said 'You need to lose weight. Let's face it if your husband were to die tomorrow who would want you. Well, men might want you but not the types that you want to want you. Might even be a black guy."

Pogo said...

rmemeber??

Simon Kenton said...

I told my daughter, "Nobody wants an incompetent girlfriend," when I took her into Canyonlands to learn how to 4-wheel the backcountry.

But it was a kindler, gentler time, then.

Linc Steele said...

"Could it be that the reason we've become so fat in this country is that we no longer accept mothers talking to their children like that?"

No. It's because we eat too much.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Did Caroline ever go through a pudgy period? I have no recollection of her looking anything but normal to below-normal weight.

Of course, next to sylph-Jackie, normal might appear heavy. Maybe Jackie was anorexic by proxy.

Wade Garrett said...

I agree with Meade. Yes, its a stereotype, but men see a LOT of manipulative intent in things that women say to each other, particularly when it is a mother talking to a daughter. This and passive aggression are the two ways in which women are accustomed to getting what they want without having to actually come out and ask for it.

Rose said...

Pogo said...

Well, you might rmemeber this doctor being in trouble for saying something similar:

Ha! Clearly the inspiration for Gregory House.

re the post: Nah, it's not for lack of parental hectoring we're so damn fat. It's that we're just ordinary animals surrounded by mountains of cheap, yummy, sugary food. Ain't no insult in the world harsh enough to keep us from munching--especially as our ranks grow (sorry) and fat becomes the new normal.

Emy L. Nosti said...

Sort of. A Japanese businessman staying at our house when I was 13ish was (un)impressed that I had ~5 inches on him (I'm 5'8).

He said, "Ooh, you'veh tall, you not marry well."

Sure, he was friends with dad, but I hadn't seen him since I was 2. Wasn't exactly someone I expected to opine on such things given his usual modest reticence. Heh.

Emy L. Nosti said...

From HSS: What causes anorexia? There is no single known cause of anorexia. But some things may play a part:
-Parents who think looks are important, diet themselves, or criticize their children's bodies are more likely to have a child with anorexia.


I'm not sure there's a decline in parental vanity or belittlement, but I do know it's healthier to be a bit pudgy than anorexic...