Dear Morpeth Slimming World Consultant,
I am writing to thank you for the leaflet you kindly posted through my door this morning along with all the takeaway spam and Lidl adverts. It reminded me of a key quality that all mothers should strive to possess if they truly want the best for their children: the desire to be thinner.
Occasionally I think about having children in the future, if I am able to. I wonder if I would make a good mother. Will I be patient, selfless, caring enough? Can I be strict, or will I spoil my offspring horribly? Will I suffer from post-natal depression? What if something happens to my children due to my own lack of shrewdness? Will they be born healthy? What if looking after my baby doesn’t come naturally to me? As you will have noted, “will I be slim enough?” had, up until now, yet to feature in my list of future motherhood anxieties. Should I have children in the future, I will add “need to lose weight” to the catalogue of guilt that will no doubt be plaguing me.
Of course, it would be wrong of me to fail to acknowledge that your leaflet is not the sole mother-shaming instrument out there. Women’s magazines and several newspapers are full of weight-loss and fitness tips from celebrity mothers who have succeeded in their “quests” to lose baby bumps, which implies that all new mothers should be striving for this goal. But the honesty of your leaflet made it stand out from the crowd: slimming is simply a must-have quality for any woman who wants to be an amazing mum. The message is clear.
Forgive me, however, for there is something which I do not understand. What is it, exactly, that makes slimming mums better than ones that aren’t on a diet or weight-loss exercise regime? Can they play better? Do they care and love more? Are they better at discipline? Are they better equipped to pass body-guilt on to their own children, thereby reproducing a market necessary for the survival of the capitalist weight-loss industry? Do share.