Wii Fit is Mean

December 29, 2010

What’s that saying?

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I think if computers are going to act more and more like humans, they should be required to follow the basic rules of courtesy that we learn as small children.

And that goes for gaming consoles– specifically, Wii Fit.

I knew Wii Fit is designed to make your onscreen avatar look, more or less, like the real you.

I did not, however, know it had to right to tell you that 1.) you’re “obese” and 2.) exactly how much weight you are required to lose to bring you down to a weight that the Wii deems “appropriate”.

But, apparently, that’s what it does. It happened to one of my cousins.

If the Wii thinks you are an unacceptable weight, it will make your poor little avatar balloon up on screen, sometimes to a point where your arms stick out and you waddle like a penguin.

The screen will flash red, and the words “OBESE!” will scroll across the screen.

Then, it will tell you exactly how much poundage you need to drop.

Well, thankyouverymuch WII, but I don’t need a gaming console telling me how much weight I need to lose.

Chances are, if I’m overweight, I know it. I don’t need a reminder, especially from a system that isn’t even human.

You don’t even know what chocolate tastes like!

And, last I checked, making fun of a person’s weight isn’t the way to get a person to exercise.

It’s just plain mean.

It’s the equivalent to walking into a gym and having a personal trainer say to you “Holy crap! Thank God your here ’cause my-oh-my You. Are. HUGE. Get your ass on a treadmill stat.”

A good trainer…hell, probably even a bad trainer….would never say that to a client.

Luckily, the cousin who was relaying this story is confident, self-assured, and not willing to let a computer hurt her feelings.

But what if a teenager, who’s self-confidence is probably struggling at best, had the Wii tell her she needs to lose weight? As if peer pressure isn’t bad enough.

Hel-lo plummeting self-esteem and eating disorder!

So, we came up with a solution. We’re going to invent a gaming system that uses compliments and encouragement, not insults and degrading remarks.

For example:
Instead of saying “Hey fatso, you need to lose 67 pounds to be a functioning member of society”

Ours will say:
“Day-um girl, you looking FIONE today! Try substituting an apple instead of chips for lunch and you’ll look even better, if that’s possible!”

See the difference? It makes me want to eat an apple!

Teen Cutting is an Issue

February 2, 2010

I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who can honestly say I love my job.

And I’m not just saying that to score brownie points with any of my co-workers who happen to stumble upon this humble little blog. I really, truly, enjoy what I do.

Now, for those of you who aren’t quite sure what exactly it is that I do (and I suspect that’s almost everyone), let me enlighten you.

I’m an assistant editor for a parenting website.

In other words, I give my expert (?!) parenting (??!!) advice to all our readers who look to us for entertainment ideas, current events, tough topics, and any other roadblocks parents might run into during the (hopefully only) 18 years they spend raising their child.

And although some of you like to think I spend my days doing arts and crafts, researching and reading children’s books, and basically screwing around (I won’t name names), there are some parts of my job that cover serious topics.

So, I’m required to stay up-to-date on current issues and trends.

In other words, I read the news.

…what? You mean to tell me you don’t all spend the first 2 hours at work reading the news? Like I believe that.

Anyway, I came across an article today that brings light to an often overlooked teenage issue —cutting and self-injury.

Did you know an individual who cuts or self-injures themselves is 75 times more likely to commit suicide?

Couple that with typical teenage angst and internal torture, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

And, although experts have seen a rise in cutting and self-injury in recent years, funding for this mental health condition often falls by the wayside to make room for more trendy issues like autism.

Yeah, I said it. Trendy.

Now before anyone starts sending me hate mail, let me point out that I’ve written many articles on the importance of autism research and potential causes and treatments.

I just think that it’s been so overexposed in the media, other important issues are overshadowed.

So, throw me a bone and read the article.

It’s a light read. Really.

But, just remember, teens are weird creatures.

So don’t start suspecting every teen you see wearing long sleeves in the summer is a cutter. They just might be trying to “express themselves.”

On a side note, this week is going by really slow. Maybe it’s because I’m going to Jamaica on Sunday.

Hey, everyone needs a mental health day. Or week.

๐Ÿ™‚

Great news for all us women out there!

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego are claiming they have defined “ideal” beauty.

Oh thank God!

You know, because I really need a bunch of ass-hat researchers deciding whether or not the distance between my eyes makes me pretty.

Do these people really have nothing better to do?

But, there is good news!

If you’re facial features don’t add up, the researchers reassure all us non-pretty girls that a strategic haircut and makeup can help keep our fugliness at bay.

And don’t worry boys, they haven’t forgotten you!

So you don’t feel left out in this truly ground-breaking revelation, further research is being conducted to determine what makes you good-looking, too.

Yay!

Why someone would even fund a study like this is beyond me.

If these people have so much money to throw around on crap like this, maybe their next study should be on the plummeting body image of teenage girls around the country.

And then they can give themselves a hearty pat on the back for being responsible for it.

How many of you watched the Miss America pageant growing up?

Anyone?

No? Really?

Well, I did. In fact, I went to it several years in a row in Atlantic City with my childhood best friend, as a birthday gift to her from her parents. They always let her bring a friend, and guess who she always picked?

You guessed it. Me. ๐Ÿ™‚

God, I loved those trips. 13-years-old, parent-free, roaming up and down the boardwalk at 3 AM, the wind in my hair, the sand under my feet, a beer in my hand….

I mean…just kidding Mom and Dad!

Although I will admit, Atlantic City was the first place I ever saw a drug dealer.

And a hooker.

And a drug dealer with a hooker.

OK then….onto my point….

The Miss California pageant is doing away with the swimsuit “uniform” in the competition.

California, of all places. The one state with more bronzed, blond beach bums than all the other states in the country combined has suddenly gone all conservative.

And I’m glad.

But first let me snicker at the phrase “swimsuit uniform”. Seriously people? It’s called a bikini.

But don’t get confused. They’re not doing away with the swimsuit competition completely, just the identical suits…meaning contestants are allowed to wear whatever style they’d like, presumably one that will flatter their body type.

I don’t think I need to tell you why I think this is a good idea. California is finally realizing that beauty (not to sound corny) comes in all shapes and sizes. And considering a large part of the pageant’s fan base is young teens, it’s important to convey that message.

So, kudos to CA.

Who knows, maybe you’ll see me prancing across the stage in next year’s pageant.

As long as burkas are considered acceptable swim wear.