Am I fat?
Girl 1: Oh my God, Sis, I feel so fat. I ate pa a mentos for lunch. Am I fat? I look fat right?
Girl 2: Okay lang yan, bawi ka nalang tomorrow. (Just make up for it tomorrow)
Girl 1: Hay, it’s so hard to diet….
Girl 2: I know right?
This was the conversation between two girls who were about 5’4 or so and looked as if they weighed about 100-110 pounds. No joke, no exaggeration. I was flabbergasted at her comment of feeling fat and feeling guilty about having had a mentos for lunch. ONE MENTOS! Can you believe it??
The conversation progressed to various diet pills and strategies for losing weight. It took every ounce of restraint for me not to react to, what seemed to be, a ludicrous conversation.
It’s sad that this is a common conversation that goes on with teens. They are so preoccupied with weight and being a certain size, that at times, it can be worrisome. While I did not interrupt these two girls (especially since it would have been odd for me to do so!) it got me to thinking of my class project this term for PERSEF class. Every term I give my students an advocacy project to work on and hopefully doing something positive about teenagers and body image. While I know problems like anorexia and other eating disorders will always be part of adolescent growth and development, I hope this project can help make conversations like the one I overheard from happening again.