Dear expressively and ideologically challenged talk show hosts: Please take your comments elsewhere.
Rush Limbaugh made comments Feb. 21 on his radio show about the first lady’s food choice at a dinner in Colorado.
Admitting his comments were below the belt was just the first step in Limbaugh’s ultimate demise as credible, at least on this issue.
Limbaugh said he didn’t believe Michelle Obama was following the advice she’s been giving through her new healthy eating initiative. In an interview following the radio talk show, Limbaugh said, “Some people are suggesting that my comments were below the belt. Well, take a look at some pictures. Given where she wears her belts, I mean she wears them high up there around the bust line. Isn’t just about everything about her below the belt when you look at the fashion sense she has?”
First, examine what the first lady’s new program is really all about. As stated by the website, “Let’s Move!” is a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation so children will grow up healthier and be able to purse their dreams.
“Let’s Move!” lists five points to obtain this goal. They are, according to the website, “creating a healthy start for children, empowering parents and caregivers, providing healthy food in schools, improving access to healthy, affordable foods and increasing physical activity.”
All of these points deal with children and the atmosphere surrounding them to create an optimistically health-conscious environment. That being said, it does require adults to make fit choices so they can be positive role models for children.
Part of learning to live a better lifestyle is learning balance. Americans are encouraged to enjoy their food but eat less and make half their plate fruits and vegetables, according to a press release by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The USDA also encourages Americans to balance calories with physical activity. Obama’s plan runs parallel to all of the ideals. So far, even if her meal of ribs did contain the proposed 1,500 calories, she is following her own plan.
There are multiple factors to consider. She was on vacation, usually a time to enjoy oneself and remember that the moment doesn’t last forever, and skiing, a physical activity. Enjoying one extravagant meal while on vacation is hardly reason to judge, especially if one’s own waistline is obviously nowhere near healthy.
“I’m trying to say that our first lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you,” Limbaugh said.
While this statement is loaded for a number of reasons, at the root of this evil is the misconception of weight and worth. Genetically, not all women will measure up to those standards, nor should they.
This comment is a prime example of the ridiculous standard of beauty for women in our society. In 2003, 40 percent of newly diagnosed cases of anorexia came from girls aged 15 to 19, according to nationaleatingdisorders.org.
On college campuses, 91 percent of women said they were attempting to control their weight through dieting, and 22 percent of them said they dieted often or always.
These numbers are a grotesque example of how the ideas of healthy and beautiful are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Obama is attempting to align the next generation’s mind toward what is healthy, but that requires changes on this generation’s part.
Limbaugh’s comments were below the belt, but in the end, he is the only person who looks like a fool.
Bailey McGowan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Burkburnett.