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16 April 2006

Midriff Madness

Save the children from dangerous belly-buttons!
Today it's been all over the news - Australian cheerleaders have until the end of the year to cover up their bare bellies because of "fears" they may lead to teenage viewers developing eating disorders. Wha?

So let's just get this straight - looking at the bare midsection of a healthy woman who exercises regularly, has a steady job and more than likely eats her veggies is a bad influence? Since when? Any kid with half a brain who compares the cheerleader's body to their own should start thinking, "maybe I should ditch this meat pie, get off my arse and go for a walk". Those other kids who look at a few ribs and an umbilicus and are inspired to starve or spew their way to thinness already have a bigger problem than popping a cardie on a professional dancer will fix.

I'd really like to know where the "fears" of anorexia come from in this case. Have there been studies of anorexia nervosa patients who cited ill-clad cheerleaders as the reason their body image is so skewed? Or interviews with teenagers at footy games who state that watching the girls jump around before the game made them despair at their own body image? Or is it just speculation on the part of some idiots who think it's all right for a 12-year-old to be morbidly obese, as long as we don't hurt their feelings?