Dear Mr. Dad: A few months ago, you wrote a column about how boys can have eating disorders, including anorexia. Since anorexia is usually about body image, I started wondering whether boys’ body image issues could be making them obsessed with building muscle. Is that possible?
A: It’s not only possible, it’s a real condition. What you’re describing is technically called “muscle dysmorphia,” but because that’s such a mouthful, a lot of people call it “bigorexia” instead. A strange word, but one that really gets the point across. Anorexics look in the mirror and, no matter how skinny they are, they see a fat person. Bigorexics look in the mirror and, no matter how buff they are, they see a 98-pound weakling. The condition affects mainly men, but some women can suffer from it as well.
[amazon asin=0738215082&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Deborah Roffman, author of Talk to Me First.
Topic: Everything you need to know to become your kids’ “go-to” person about sex.
Issues: Teach kids to view sexually-saturated media critically; how to become an approachable, askable resource for your children; how to foster ongoing conversations about difficult topics; put meaningful context around the topic of sexuality in a world where most messages are misguided and uninformed.
[amazon asin=161168224X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Rosemarie Scolaro Moser, author of Ahead of the Game.
Topic: Understanding youth sports concussions.
Issues: What exactly is a concussion? When can a child who’s had a concussion get back on the field? How concussions negatively affect children’s GPA, school performance, and emotional behavior; helmets and mouthguards—even when properly fitted—can’t prevent concussion; why girls are more vulnerable to concussion that boys; why state concussion laws may not be enough to keep kids safe.
I’ve been watching the media and its portrayals of dads for two decades. And for most of that time, the media has joyfully portrayed fathers as incompetent buffoons, unable to care for their children or handle even the most basic household tasks. As a guy who’s been a stay-at-home dad and who is actively involved in my kids’ lives, I’ve always found these portrayals offensive.
So now, a good 12 years into the 21st century, Huggies–a company that really should know better–has jumped into the fray with yet another annoying campaign, this one called “The Dad Test.” In one ad, the voiceover says, “To prove Huggies diapers can handle anything, we put them to the ultimate test: dads… alone with their babies….” Really? The implication here seems to be that dads are more likely to leave their babies to stew in their own juices than moms. Otherwise, why would “dads… alone with their babies…” be such a scary prospect?
If you’re interested in getting Huggies to cut the crap (okay, bad pun), sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/petitions/we-re-dads-huggies-not-dummies