We were driving up the main road to campus to see our college girl when I saw a sign in front of a restaurant that had me doing a double take just to confirm that my eyes did not deceive me.
I was driving so I wasn’t able to take a picture. But trust me on this, you can’t make this stuff up. The sign said,
“Our Salads Will Make You Skinny”
Are you kidding me?
This makes me angry on so many levels.
First, is this what our society is coming to?
Never mind, don’t answer that. I know that it is. The skinnier the better, right? Frankly, that really ticks me off.
Second, what about “our salads will make you healthy”? Wouldn’t that be a better selling point? A better thing to focus on? Health?
Right, I know. Skinny is equated with healthy. But that’s not always the case.
Skinny does NOT equal healthy.
Third, this sign is less than a mile from the all women’s college campus where my daughter lives and is attending school.
Yeah, this restaurant knows exactly what it’s doing and who its market is.
Wrong. On. So. Many. Levels.
Maybe I’ve been watching too many law shows, but as my blood started boiling, I thought about what lawsuits I could throw at them and what I’d say to them in court. False advertising, emotional distress, child endangerment (some of those young women aren’t quite 18), and just plain out indecency.
Signs like this, businesses like this, and the people who run them and choose to advertise this way are playing on our insecurities. In that one moment that business owner is saying, “Hey, you, the one driving over there…..yeah, you. You are not perfect or beautiful or well-proportioned. Your body is not all that it can be. But hey, if you eat our salads, you will become skinny, and since this is something everyone wants to be, you should come here and eat our salads. And then the world will be yours.”
I’m calling them out on this. This is nothing but blowing hot air. No, it’s worse than that. It’s made up of the stuff I used to walk around and avoid stepping in when I was following my Daddy through the cow pasture.
And I say No More.
It is time that we all stand up and say that there is no perfect body shape or size and turn away from those who would have us believe otherwise. My friend Lisa who writes over at My So Called Glamorous Life asked a great question: “How many people make money off of our insecurities?”
So to my daughter and her friends: You are beautiful. You are young and you are learning, and there is so much to life that is hard. Don’t make looking in the mirror a part of the hard stuff. Love who is there. If you feel healthy, that is wonderful. Keep on keeping on. But if you don’t feel healthy, do something about that. Find a friend to join you and make wise choices–in all areas of your life, including eating and moving your body and keeping good company. If you feel like eating a salad, go for it. But please don’t do it because of a promise to “make you skinny.” Just. No. Salads can’t do that. At least not alone. And sometimes not at all. Look in your mirror. Smile. That woman in front of you is beautiful and deserves to be smiled at and loved. So love her, and go do you. As a friend once told me, ‘You are the best you there is.’ A salad’s not going to make you more awesome. Loving yourself and then those around you–now that can fine tune and amplify all that is wonderful about you.
Ain’t nobody got time for false advertising and empty promises. Or frowning in the mirror. Life’s too short for all of that.
Love to all.