Parents Outraged Over Rhyming ‘Diet’ Book For Teenagers
Messages of good health and positive self-esteem for girls are common themes in books for kids. So why are so many people upset over a rhyming picture book about an obese, unhappy 14-year-old named Maggie?
Well, for starters, they don't like the title: "Maggie Goes on a Diet."
The book with hand-drawn pictures hasn't even been published yet, but a blurb from the publisher describes Maggie as a bullied overweight adolescent girl who is transformed through exercise and hard work into a popular, confident and average size soccer star.
Cover art shows Maggie holding a Cinderella dress as she stares wistfully at her imagined, much slimmer self in a full-length mirror. An inside page shows her hunched over the fridge during a two-fisted eating binge.
The harshest complaint comes from the director of the Eating Disorder Program at a children's hospital in New Jersey. Leslie Sanders says this book promotes the pernicious notion that being thin is the key to success, beauty and popularity.
Others say, among other things, that real teenagers have outgrown rhyming picture books that are clearly aimed at kids ages 4 to 8.
"Maggie Goes on a Diet" was written and self published by a writer in Hawaii. It's available for pre-publication orders on Amazon, but because of the negative reviews and bad press it's getting, Amazon isn't getting very many orders.
Some people are demanding that Amazon and Barnes and Noble not even sell the book.
Hey people. It's just a book. If it offends you, don't buy it.