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Monday, April 04, 2011

Girl Scouts Under Fire For Thin Mints

Image is everything in our society, especially for women.  And nothing speaks more to one's image than weight.  As a response to this, thousands of miracle diets, pills, and work out regimens are out there to help.  The problem is that most of them are quick fixes designed to help women (generally speaking) improve their image and in turn their self confidence.  At the same time, our society is also trying to break down these antiquated social constructs of yesteryear in an attempt to put an end to this madness, but many wonder if the problem can even be solved, given how ingrained the notion of weight and "being skinny" are to women today, even from a very young age.  No, we're not talking about Toddlers and Tiaras.  Today, the focus is on the Girl Scouts of America and their manipulative nomenclature when it comes to their one and only product line: drugs cookies.
First and foremost, the notion of kids selling anything is particularly odd.  We can't legally hire them to work until they are 15 & 1/2 (dag nab it!), but they can peddle cookies and magazine subscriptions to us from birth.  And if we ignore them, like we do with so many panhandlers and Mormons, we're viewed as the 'bad guys' who don't give a kid a chance to sell his or her wares.  Fortunately, the world of print is dying, so unless kids start selling digital subscriptions for ipad, that era has all but ended.  But the Girl Scouts of America and their cookies seem to only be gaining steam, covering more corners than Marlow Stanfield*.

If you're able to get past the salesmanship, as it seems everyone has^, a new issue becomes immediately apparent.  Should little girls be selling products that emphasize thinness?  Isn't this just creating a complex in their little minds that will stay with them for the rest of their lives?  Many people, like Duke University's Cary Clarke, think so.

"The Thin Mint is the number one selling cookie for the Girl Scouts, so the word 'thin' is the word they see most in their young lives.  And because so many people approach them to buy the 'thin' cookies, the girls begin to make a connection: 'people want thin, so I have to be thin.'  Over time this goes from being a subconscious desire to being very forward in the mind.  Generally speaking, men want skinnier women.  Smoking-hot lesbians do too.  So the notion gets further reinforced when a girl, who by anyone else's standards looks perfectly healthy, can't get a date, but sees her skinnier (and presumably more obnoxious) friend succeed with no problem.  And it only grows exponentially from there."

Indeed it does.  Weight, or weight loss, rather, has reached levels of dementia in this country. Beyond the bevvy of eating disorders and out there, there's also the world of modeling, which, until very recently, was composed of women who looked like they just escaped from a "Kiss the Girls" style dungeon.  Luckily the 'visible sternum' model seems to be a thing of the past, but it doesn't end there.  The term 'plus size model' often elicits the image of a girl who looks over weight to the naked eye when really the majority of them are of average weight and height, if not healthier than.  So how can we expect to curb this problem when we're so set in our ways? 

"Quite frankly, we can't," Clarke added.  "But we're in luck.  As it happens, the United States is more over-weight than it's ever been, so it's helping our cause immensely.  And while this isn't the long-term answer, it should help tip the scales and eventually balance things back out.  Although I guess the problem with that idea is that it will take 100 skinny people on one side of the scale to equal one Mississippi resident.  We'll have to fudge the numbers a bit, but I assure you things are changing for the better."

Maybe.  Until then, we here at Great Scott! would like to offer a name change for the iconic cookie in the hopes it will initiate the change we're all seeking in the world.  Here's a few options:

-Regular Sized Mints
-Big Fat Mints
-Mint Roundies
-Think Mints (promotes the mind!)
-Then Mints...not for now, for then.
-Image Isn't Everything Mints
-Fat Lady Mints
-U.S. Mints
-Tough Cookies
-Black Girl on a Zip Line Cookies

*And those moms are better muscle than Chris and Snoop ever were.
^or maybe we're just complacent, like we are with so much else in the world.

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