Monday, 18 May 2020

Young Kids Food-Shame Their Dad In Front of 3 Million Subscribers

We need to teach our kids not to shame, stigmatize, stereotype or bully people, not teach them how to do it.Reader Iris let me know about this little piece of total crap on the internet. Max and Katy are two young kids with 3.82 million followers. They (and/or their parents?) decided to use this platfrom to fat-shame and food-shame their father. I’m not linking to the video but here’s the plot:

Dad is eating chocolate. Kids walk in and are absolutely stricken. They yell at their dad and take his chocolate away. He gets more chocolate that he has hidden away. They show up stricken again and yell that they are telling him one more time “not to eat sweets, eat something healthy.” They forcibly take his chocolate as he struggles to keep it. They go outside, throw the chocolate directly into the garbage bin and yell “it’s unhealthy.” The dad gets some candy that he had hidden. Kids show up, you gueesed it, stricken.

The child’s eye go wide with horror and he says “oh my god” then they pan to the dad who has stuffed his clothes and put on a mask to look fat. Max “Look how fat you got!” Katy “What should we do?” Max “Eat healthy because of this weight!” Kathy (holds a mirror to his face” “Look, do you even recognize yourself?” Dad: Looks horried, then fake cries. Close up shot of dad’s fake fat belly. They decide that “sport will help you” and push the clothing-stuffed fake fat dad to a big trampoline. He gets stuck trying to get in through the protective netting. He gets tired right away so the kids push him to an elliptical machine then a treadmill (another close up shot of his fake fat stomach) He does one more exercise and now he is magically thin.

He looks overjoyed and exclaims “Oh I lost weight!” and both kids cheer. The kids put him to bed and then check the house for his sweets. They find them hidden everywhere (including popcorn,) act disgusted everytime,  and throw them out yelling “liquidate!” They throw it all in the trash and exclaim “Done! From now only healthy food!”
The video has over 76,000 views.

So. Many. Problems.

First of all, this video should be called “Max and Katy learn fatphobia and develop disordered eating.” We know that this kind of moralistic thinking about food sets kids up for all kinds of issues. Modeling moralizing food (and hiding “bad” food) is just asking for food issues.

Their other videos seem to be more innocuous (if completely unnecessarily gendered) which makes this more upsetting – kids playing with toys, kids learning to wash their hands, kids food policing adults and and engaging in weight stigma.

There is a crap ton of food in this video, and all of it appears to have been thrown in the garbage by the children. Why are we teaching kids to waste food?

Also, what will kids with fat parents take from this – they it’s their job to police their parent’s food? That their parents eat too many sweets (a complete stereotype – everyone knows thing people who eat a ton of sweets and don’t get fat, there are also fat people who don’t eat sweets. More importantly – nobody’s food is anybody else’s business unless we ask them to make it our business.) That having a fat parent is bad and something to be ashamed of? Fuck that.

We need to teach our kids not to shame, stigmatize, stereotype or bully people, not teach them how to do it.

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