As I was enjoying some downtime last night I decided to watch some reality TV. I'm not ashamed to admit that I watch some reality shows from time to time. I'm not currently watching any of them consistently. I am anticipating the premier of Giuliana and Bill.... That one will be watched consistently, as usual. Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures.
Anyway... I was catching up on Jerseylicious and when The last episode was over, Big Rich Texas came on. I've caught the show a couple times. I get the concept. Women plus money equals drama. It's a similar concept to other shows about housewives but focuses on mothers and daughters.
One of the mothers, Leslie, is a Godmother raising her Goddaughter. She happens to run a beauty pageant business. Kayln (the Goddaughter) is a pageant girl.
Yes I have a point that's related to health and wellness.
If you know anything about pageants you know that there's a lot of pressure on girls who decide to compete. They're based on things like beauty, grace, and poise. Let's be honest, you have to be pretty. As much as they are about anything else they are about beauty.
In the episode I saw, which was from last week, Leslie was putting immense pressure on Kayln... To compete and to lose some weight.
First about the weight... She tells Kalyn she needs to lose four pounds. Later when talking to the camera, she says that five to ten pounds would be good. I read a post on Leslie's blog in which she discussed last week's episode. One of the things she talked about is Kalyn's image. In the post she said she only wanted her to lose two pounds.
So... Two, four, five to ten! Quite the difference.
She even purchased Kayln some "natural" diet pills. Diet pills for two pounds? Please. One little dietary change could help with that. Two pounds doesn't generally make that big of a difference in appearance.
For her own marketing needs Leslie makes a cardboard cutout of Kalyn. Well, sort of. It was Kayln's head on a smaller, more fit body. She also put her picture on the cover of one of her brochures. That was a pageant picture and did look authentic.
So. We have a role model in a parenting role who has encouraged weight loss in a negative way. She almost picks on Kayln about her weight. The use of diet pills is encouraged.
I've left out the best part (sarcasm).
Leslie took Kayln to a consult with a surgeon. They put her in a bikini and took pictures. Her "love handles" is her "problem area."
The doctor's first recommendation was dietary changes and exercises with some vitamins thrown into the mix. Healthy options. Logical options. Smart options.
The other option was called lipodissolve. The doctor posted that he felt that liposuction, as Leslie wanted, was not a recommendation for Kayln. He also noted thatch had difficulty with the evaluation because of the unhealthy pressure Leslie was putting on Kayln. And because Kayln was upset (crying, angry, hurt).
This is such huge problem for me. Kayln is 18 years-old. She was not struggling with her self-image. She told Leslie that she's happy with herself. But Leslie kept pushing.
I noticed in this episode that another mother was being very pushy, in a negative and embarrassing way, with her daughter (she wasn't focused on appearance).
Mothers! Stop the negativity. I know this is reality TV and I hope that these parts were staged and that all parties were acting. It doesn't seem like it based on what I've read, but who knows. Acting or not it's a horrible message to send.
This kind of behavior is not acceptable. Parents (you too dads) should encourage their children no matter what. I understand that pageants are beauty based and that a body is on display but damaging a girl's self-esteem is never okay.
Encourage healthy habits. Don't push over-exercise. Don't give your children diet pills. Don't try to motivate them by showing them what you feel is a better version of them. Don't take them to see a cosmetic surgeon if they don't want to go.
Kayln was able to voice her concerns and feelings. She had a hard time with it. She was afraid that Leslie would see her back to California; home. Her mother sent her to live with Leslie based on her interest in pageants. Because of that fear she took a lot of badgering from Leslie before she reached her breaking point.
Kayln also made a comment about her own mother sending her away. Why would Leslie want her to stay if she wasn't going to do pageants? She is probably struggling with some feelings of being unwanted or like she's easily sent away.
So... Criticize her for her body and that it's not good enough.
I was enraged with Leslie's actions. I felt so angry watching her and watching the way it impacted Kayln. I felt so bad for her when she was being broken down.
I know this is a TV show (reality or not) but this type if thing really happens. Mothers make their their daughters feel as though they're not good enough. They pick at them about their weight or their appearance. They don't know the damage that they can cause.
That's the way to lose weight. That's the way to be healthy. Diet pills, even those that are called natural, are not healthy.
Eat healthy foods. Be accountable. Be responsible. Exercise. This will help you to lose weight as well as live a healthy life.