DEAR ABBY: I am 11 years old. My family keeps telling me I am gaunt and too thin. I think I am fat -– way fat. From my point of view, I have an enormous stomach, big legs, and I weigh and eat too much. My parents' view is, "Where'd she go?"
Doctors tell me to eat more, but I won't eat junk food, and even "normal food" to me is fattening. People tell me I am underweight, but I know I'm gaining. I want to look like all my thin friends. People say I'm even thinner, but to me I am bulging out. I'm afraid boys won't like me. My father said I should tell you that I'm 4 feet 11 inches tall and I weigh 80 pounds. What's the truth? -– ROXIE IN BILOXI
DEAR ROXIE: At 4 feet 11 inches and 80 pounds you are NOT overweight. You have become so preoccupied with being thin that you no longer have a realistic view of yourself.
You say you want to be thin like your friends and are afraid boys won't like you if you're not. Well, I have news for you –- every man I have ever talked to about "beauty" has told me he doesn't like girls who are too thin. Quote: "I like a little 'meat' distributed over those bones." Get the message?
There is a difference between being fat and being fit. Fitness is healthy, glowing and attractive. Thinness is not fitness, nor is it necessarily healthy or attractive. If you diet to the point of being skinny, you can make yourself sick. There is a name for it: anorexia.
Your parents are looking out for your best interests, and so are your doctors. Please listen to them. If you don't, the results could be life-threatening. A person does not have to be "the thinnest" in order to be accepted or considered attractive. And THAT'S the truth.