I know that N will encounter erroneous information, bad attitudes, and generally things that make him want to diet his whole life. I think he is still developing the skills, though, to process and discard those societal influences that push him towards anorexia. We've seen two movies this month that have challenged those abilities. After each movie, we had a conversation to discuss the feelings & thoughts encountered in the movies.
Kung Fu Panda
At first I was worried about this film. We hadn't read a synopsis (our bad) and found ourselves glancing worriedly at each other as the film began. Jack Black is a panda with a self-esteem issues because of weight. There are several cracks directed his way throughout the movie about his weight. But in the end, it is because of his weight and who he is that the panda succeeds. I thought the overall message was a good one. N said it didn't give him any problems.
Again, I didn't read a synopsis of this movie. But then again, how could a movie about a little robot have anything to do with weight? Actually, one of the main themes in the movie was all about weight. When Wall-E finally encounters the humans on the main ship they are all very obese. The movie illustrates through a series of captain's pictures that the humans have become increasingly obese over the years. The movie tries to make a strong point that if we do nothing // are lazy // are stupid // that we will all become obese. Unfortunately, it didn't make clear that the opposite is not true (that someone who is obese isn't necessarily lazy or stupid). I'm afraid is just perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes. These themes did give N issues. He kept talking about all those "lazy slobs just laying around." We've had to have two or three conversations about what is "normal" eating. We've also talked a lot about choosing to be active, eat well, and be okay with the right shape for your body.
I'm not sure the conversation is over. I've also seen an upswing in anorexic behaviours in the past day. Lesson - don't ever assume a movie can't possibly address weight. And to those of you thinking of taking your kids with anorexia to see WALL-E, you probably want to preview it first. This is probably a movie to avoid.