Slimming craze is sheer madness

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 August, 2011, 12:00am


You can see many advertisements for slimming treatments at MTR stations and in other public places. You will also find similar ads in magazines and newspapers. The internet, too, is full of such promotions, accompanied by slim, beautiful models wearing bikinis.

It's no wonder few of us are satisfied with our weight and physique. According to a recent poll, more than 40 per cent of secondary school students want to lose weight. Yet 80 per cent of them are the right weight for their size. Adults are similarly worried about their weight - often unreasonably. Many of us are trying to live up to impossible standards.

So long as we are happy with our looks, and healthy, we do not need to worry about other people's opinions. Popular notions of what we should look like are dictated by the slimming industry that wants to get rich with our help.

Mallory Ng, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Mallory. Have you ever noticed that many adverts are geared towards making us feel less than good enough? Your hair needs to be sleeker. You need to be thinner. You need to have bigger eyes, be more clever, have whiter teeth.

This relentless assault by advertising is harming people's self-esteem. Sadly we all have 'standards' of beauty that are far from realistic. We see Hollywood stars and fashion models and we think that we should all look like they do. And if we do not, then somehow we are not good enough. Young people take their cues from the older generation, and unfortunately, advertising companies can come across as authority figures.

We all know that it is what lies inside that counts. But while many people pay lip service to this idea, we have to act on it. We need to be friendly with people who are less than perfect and stop making nasty comments about them. Then we need to look into the mirror and tell ourselves that we are good enough just the way we are.

Susan, Editor