Letters to the editor

BY THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Published February 14, 2002

"I like myself" mentality leads overweight people to "Loser Denial Syndrome"

To the Daily:

I would like to comment on Aubrey Henretty"s column, Food for Thought (2/12/02).

Making fun of someone because they are fat is more (I strongly stress the "more" part) justifiable than making fun of someone because they are, say, ugly or short. The reason is because people have much less control over being ugly or short than their control over their obesity (read: Fitness level). It is a shame that Henretty had to be a victim of that type of ridicule during her childhood. Kids who make fun of others in that manner likely did not have proper home training from their parents.

I know of three major types of eating disorders: Anorexia, bulimia and overeating. For the case of overeating, I feel this disorder can be remedied alone, without professional assistance. It is similar to not needing to join a gym if you want to get in shape. It can be done without spending money in that fashion. I am sure Bally"s Fitness is glad not everyone thinks like me, otherwise they would be out of business.

For bulimia and anorexia, these disorders probably require professional help. The "Hollywood ideal" is not entirely to be blamed for their existence. For one, the term is ill-defined and secondly, if a woman was to think obtaining a body like Jennifer Aniston"s would be virtually impossible, they would be mistaken. Would the annual cases of anorexia or bulimia decrease if Hollywood actresses did not look the way they do? Probably, but the argument is as strong as saying, "Guns should be banned because the death rate from firearms would go down."

Please do not misconstrue me. I am all for people having high self-esteems, insofar as their liking themselves is justified. But to not take care of yourself resulting in being 50(+) pounds overweight is simply having, what I have dubbed, LDS (Loser Denial Syndrome). That is when people cross over from the "I like myself" mentality into complacency. Complacency is a disease. Avoid it at all costs!

Mike Hu

LSA senior

American culture can transcend nationality Olympics always political

To the Daily:

Amer Zahr"s column, My National Anthem or Yours?, (2/11/02) says that "It was a wonder to me as to how this event, which had nothing to do with American culture and almost everything to do with invoking Indian culture, could carry such a political message." What he does not understand is that here in America, there are hundreds of cultures mixed into one "American" culture, including Indian culture. In America, Indian culture, as well as Persian Culture, Australian culture, East Asian culture and any other culture one can think of are included in "American" culture. So, even if this was not a honky-tonk square dance, it was still a part of "American" culture and thus was worthy of a National Anthem rendition as well as a moment of silence.

Second, I believe that Zahr is way off the mark when he states that "It (what it means to be an American) should mean not lobbying to turn the Olympics into a forum to send a political message by walking our tattered World Trade Center flag into the Olympic stadium during opening ceremonies " When so many nations come together at the Olympics, many of them with opposing interests, it is unavoidable to not have political messages sent.

Historically, the Olympics have been a peaceful forum in which politics play a major role. The U.S. boycotting the Moscow Olympics, the USSR boycotting the L.A. Olympics, the 1980 victory of the U.S. hockey team over the USSR and Jesse Owens" remarkable performance in Nazi Germany are a few "political messages" which have been sent over the years, all of which are less dramatic than the US carrying a symbol of its national sadness and determination into the Olympic stadium.

Kyle Meteyer

LSA sophomore