“I Want To Stay Hopeful Even Though I Get Scared About Why We’re Alive At All” – Lana Del Ray

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And right now it’s probably the only thing that’s keeping me going. It’s been a rough couple of months, peppered with truly awesome sprinkles of pure joy, and release that have fueled me through the motions like some sort of beautiful fem-bot.

Before I venture of the topic of why this blog was created. I figured it’s worth mentioning that I hit my goal weight of 140 back on October 16th and this morning when I got on the scale I weighed 130.4. I don’t really want to lose any more weight considering I probably have like 10 to 15 pounds of loose skin that has to go. I’ve even had weeks where I ate like shit (as far as food choices) and got on the scale and still dropped two pounds expecting to have gained or maintained that week. If I get down to 125 I am going to call my doctor and see if they want to see me, because I am starting to feel like I am getting too thin.

Excuse my candidness if this post offends anyone but the only way I can get through the dark times is to try and make light of them. While the meds they put me on have helped me from wanting to slit my wrist on a moment to moment bases, I have certainly returned to the dark side in the last couple of weeks.

All I find myself wanting to do is lay in bed and listen to Lana Del Rey and pondering what the fuck it is I am doing with my life. While the medication has helped my mood it’s also made it really hard to create or do much because I have little to no energy. So then it makes me wondering if I am on the right path but when I try to think about what I would be if I wasn’t an artist my all my mind hears is crickets. So at the moment I am on auto pilot just trying to navigate this shit storm until I figure it out. Art is hard kids especially when you are in the middle of a creative block and your homework relies on your ability to create.

My saving grace this quarter has certainly been my creative concepts class. It’s taught by my favorite photography professor but we are allowed to use whatever medium we want. It’s been nice not to have to rely on photography for the whole class. The class works by all of us submitting 10 concepts at the beginning of the class and for each project everyone pulls one concept out of a bag. We then all vote until there’s only one concept left.  The way you determine if you passed the assignment or not is if 2/3rds of the class votes that your piece met the concept. There has been some really cool work presented in this class and I wish you could take it more than once.

For our concept “I can’t hear you” I decided to do a burlesque/pole routine. This truly is a non-scale victory for me in a couple of ways. I grew up my whole life hating watching videos of my performances because of my weight. For the first time in my life not only do I love watching this video I have watched it many times because I have a hard time believing it’s me lol.

I know this is probably another post that’s going to generate a lot of worry for some people who read it. It’s okay I weather the storm kids it’s just sometimes the water is fucking rough and I am prone to sea sickness so it hits me a little harder than others.

lanabelieve

 

Rewind The Future

Since much doesn’t change on the weight loss front from week to week I thought I would share some of the stuff I have been working on for school. I’ll share some art but I only had one art class this quarter. I thought I would start with a paper we had to write for my critical thinking class.

The assignment was to choose a commercial or print advertisement and analyze the effectiveness of it. This particular ad goes hand in hand with my nightmare of what my future might have looked like if I didn’t have gastric bypass. Below is the ad and my paper.

The advertisement I chose to analyze was Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Rewind the Future. The commercial was released on September 18th, 2013 as part of their Strong For Life campaign making it a little over a year old. The commercial is meant to create a shocking reaction that many viewers can identify with either personally, or through someone they know.Since this advertisement is being presented by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, they are using ethos as its primary persuasive tactic.

The advertisement opens with a point of view shot from a 32 year old man on an emergency room table in cardiac arrest. As the doctors go over his vitals one asks “how does this happen?” We then begin to rewind as we see his eating habits through his life all the way back to his infancy where his mother is appeasing him with french fries to keep him from crying. The screen cuts to black and in writing says your child’s future; we then cut to an aerial shot of the medical staff cutting the patient out of his clothing and the words printed over it “doesn’t have to look like this.’ The screen cuts to black again, and we see the message “There’s still time to reverse the unhealthy habits our kids take into adulthood. We can show you how” followed by information on how to access their services.

While the intended audience is for parents with young children, or young adults, I believe it makes anyone who has been brought up with a similar lifestyle to think about the choices they make.  Even though I am not the intended audience for this particular clip because I do not have children, I personally identified with its message. I was brought up in a household where we weren’t told no to whatever we wanted to eat, and were raised on fatty, starchy Mexican food. At the time that I first saw this commercial, I had just begun the long process of getting approved to have Gastric Bypass. Upon viewing this it reaffirmed the reason I was going under the knife to

insure that I wouldn’t end up on an ER table at 32 under cardiac arrest. I think it’s a very powerful message for parents to see because part of the problem with my weight is I didn’t learn how to eat properly until I was 17, and the problem was out of control.

The advertisement has come under a lot of flack for being anti obese people, as seen in an article from the August issue of Good Housekeeping by April Rueb. I don’t necessarily agree with that viewpoint; I think it’s more anti a health issue, not anti a group of people. I would, however say that it does portray a couple of negative stereotypes. It makes it seem like every single heavy person is a walking heart attack, which is not true. All of my blood work prior to surgery showed that I was actually very healthy despite my weight with no comorbidities. I decided to go under the knife to make sure that I didn’t occur any comorbidities in the future. It also made it seem like every heavy person is lazy. I know many big people (myself included) who play sports, work out, and are active but have other conditions that make it hard for them to lose weight.

I thought the scare tactic was effective for this particular message. I feel like most of the time when advertisements come on about health or fitness that people tend to zone them out since we are constantly bombarded with them. Since the advertisement holds no punches as far as shock factor goes, it makes it successful in not only capturing the audience’s attention, but also making them remember the message. The use of the point of view camera angle was effective in making you experience what the patient is experiencing both on the operating table, and during the flashback sequence. The flashback sequence was effective in highlighting habits that parents don’t see as hurtful but really make an impact on the choices their child will make about food in the future.

The language used is a bit accusatory making it sound like unless you follow their tips that this will for certain be your child’s future. My one concern I would have as a parent would be the unnecessary stress this ad might have on my child. If my child was overweight it might cause them to be unnecessarily stressed out about keeling over at the age of 12 since children can’t always fully comprehend. Adversely it might cause a child who doesn’t have any weight issues to become unnecessarily obsessive about what they are eating.

Overall despite the few flaws I found with this particular campaign I thought  it was effective. They knew by being shocking this video would go viral causing lots of people to see it. In a day and age when according to the American Heart Association one in three teens is overweight or obese, which is triple the rate from 1963, perhaps Americans can use fright as motivation. I think this advertisement was so poorly received by some because we have become a society where everyone is a winner, so no one feels bad. We have also gotten to a state where we want to put our heads in the sand when it comes to anything that is unpleasant, making childhood obesity a big elephant in the room because parents would rather ignore the problem than hurt their child’s feelings.

The ad is certainly food for thought for anyone. The fact of the matter is for a lot of children raised on fast and processed food this will be their future. If it’s not a heart attack, it might be joint issues or diabetes. I think the ad has an important message that the best start that you can give to your children’s health is to teach them healthy habits as a child. Like the saying goes, you can’t teach a old dog new tricks. By the time a person is 18 and able to make their own decisions about food they might be so set in unhealthy ways that irreversible damage has been done. While scare tactics don’t always work, because it’s such a dramatic difference from the smiling faces we normally see on health ads, it makes a lasting impact with the viewer.

Sources

  1. Rewind The Future [Motion picture]. (2013). USA: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. YouTube
  2. Rueb, A. (2014, August 14). This Anti-Obesity PSA Sends a Powerful Message But does it go too far? Good House Keeping.

    http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/womens-health/powerful-anti-obesity-psa

  3. What is childhood obesity? (2014, August 1). Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/HealthierKids/ChildhoodObesity/What-is-childhood-obesity_UCM_304347_Article.jsp