Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On Names and Diets

The Times has an article about very young children, boys as well as girls, obsessing unnecessarily about their weight. That is a disturbing fad indeed and goes with the whole sexualisation of childhood thing that was unheard of when I was small. I wish someone gave these kids back their childhood.

Maybe a good way to begin that process would be to start giving children serious first names, rather than burden them with fantasy labels that come dangerously close to sounding super-bling:
Teleisha Coulson, from Northampton, is a ten-year-old girl who is acutely conscious of her body and weight. “I don't like my stomach area because I think I'm fat. I worry about my stomach.” Teleisha monitors the fat and calorie content of what she eats; she swims three times a week, regularly works out on a cross trainer and runs and cycles constantly. “I think it's important to look good because it sets a good impression. I want to look good so that other people think nice things about me. If not, I think maybe people would talk behind my back and say things such as ‘Oh she's big'.”
Teleisha? Teleisha?? Might that name be the root of all evil?

I reckon it's about time for a major, EU-funded academic study investigating the first name/body sensitivity nexus.

1 comment:

Kris McCracken said...

[I forgot to include the comment, my apologies!]

I noted a birth notice in the local paper (Hobart, Tasmania) the other day of a boy named: Jaxxyn. I am assuming that it is pronounced 'Jackson', but I am not certain of anything that might be going through the mind of someone willing to subject a child to that monstrosity!