In response to my post below, a reader sent me an email exchange she had with Skechers, who not only has a "Shape Up" line of get-your-back-out-alignment-for-mythical-toning-benefits shoes, but also has a line for girls, so they can get an early start on fucking up their backs and knees in the name of achieving a literally impossible physical ideal. The reader specifically pointed out that there's no "Shape Ups" for boys, and this is the reply she got:
The whole message behind Shape-ups is to get people moving, exercising, and getting fit. Skechers' advertising for Shape-ups for Girls contains the same message as the First Lady's Let's Move initiative, which is aimed specifically at children. American children are more sedentary now than at any time in our history. Shape-ups are intended to get people moving and being fit. We think that is a good thing for adults and kids — and hope others understand the intent.
The reason we do not have a Shape-Ups line at this time for boys is simply a matter of how our company's research and development works for Shape-ups. The Shape-ups line was first created for women and, once it became clear they were popular and there was a demand, the line for men was developed and marketed. The same is true for the kids' lines. Shape-Ups for Girls were rolled out first. The success of this line and the need in the market will guide us in deciding if we will create a line for boys. Other lines may start with Men's.
Regardless of what you may think of Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, I think it's safe to say that the First Lady is not endorsing snake oil products that promise physical effects they can't deliver. On the contrary, a quick perusal of the website will show that it sticks to scientifically sound ideas about nutrition and exercise, with an emphasis on safety. In fact, the reason that children became the focus of the campaign is that there's overwhelming scientific evidence that people who are already-fat don't get thin, so the idea behind the campaign was to prevent the weight gain in the first place. Again, I'm not saying that you have to agree with that goal—though I do think it's going to be a side effect of improved nutrition and exercise in children—but it's just a fact that this is the goal. This has nothing to do with snake oil sneakers promising to give you a supermodel's butt just by running your errands.
It's worth noting that Obama has received a lot of attention—and a lot of it has been nasty as hell—for not fitting the fashion model version of beauty, but instead being a strong, fit woman who has visible muscles.
I will add that presenting little girls with unachievable ideals of beauty is contrary to real-world fitness goals. It encourages eating disorders in some, but also causes others to despair. A person who is in despair because they'll never be perfect isn't someone who is motivated to go to the gym to be well.
Trump uncorks bizarre rant on ‘clean coal’ in Oval Office: ‘When you talk minerals, it’s about digging’
President Donald Trump on Friday uncorked a strange and nonsensical rant about the virtues of so-called "clean coal" during an Oval Office conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
When asked about the importance of Australia's mineral industry, the president praised the country for doing so much to extract resources in what he described in an environmentally friendly way.
"Coal, as an example, you're the leader of safety in coal digging and we've actually studied it," the president said. "We're doing a lot of coal. You have very little -- you have almost no -- used to have a thing, black lung disease, and in Australia you almost don't have it anymore, you've got all of the dust down."
The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself
Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.
"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.
"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."
Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress
Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.
Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.
"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."