Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Looking for a new way to screw up your kids?

This is disturbing on so many levels.

Let’s face it, we have all wondered from time to time what it would be like to be a little taller. We have wondered aloud or to ourselves if there was some magic potion or pill that could help us reach our loftiest potential. Perhaps, you do not want to be embarrassed by the fact your girlfriend is taller than you are when she wears heels. Perhaps, you girls wanted to be able to look your boyfriend in the eye when he kissed you. Perhaps, you just wanted to see over the steering wheel when you began to drive. Or perhaps you are a parent of an adolescent or young adult who is concerned about their height.

This company came to my attention when I heard an ad on the radio I could not believe. It was directed to parents, asking them whether they wanted their kids to be a little taller. Now, having seen the website, I can't decide which is worse:

That this company is marketing itself to impressionable kids as young as 12? (Actually, even younger if you take a look at the FAQ.) Or that it apparently sees a market in parents who think their kids' lives would be so much better if they could take a pill and magically grow taller?

I am not a tall person. I'm not even of average height. But if my son takes after me rather than my husband in the height department, you can bet your ass I'm not going to be putting ingredients in his body that it doesn't need, all the while conveying to him that it's only what's on the outside that's important.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

The NYTimes Magazine had a long story on this a couple of weeks ago. It was worth reading. (And yes, I'm horrified too.)

7:42 AM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger LawMom said...

Yes, this is horrifying. Did you read the testimonials page? The letter from the "doctor" who "invented" it is terrible, but the testimonials are dismaying. They are supposedly from a bunch of teenagers and parents who write in to say, "I can't believe it! I started taking this and I grew several inches!" What?! They're teenagers. That's what teenagers are supposed to do. I hope these letters are fake and that there are not a bunch of people out there who are falling for this.

7:51 AM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger kenju said...

Good for you for putting this out there. I also heard the radio commercials and wondered how anyone can think this might be okay to do. I suppose the same people who think it is okay to take steroids to bulk up their muscles.

10:15 AM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

That is awful! I haven't seen that before. I am SHOCKED by what people will put into their bodies. One of my friends ordered some bovine hormone pills to make her boobs grow. Ridiculous.

10:52 AM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger Elizabeth said...


12:45 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger allison said...

There is no end to the amount of junk that will be marketed, targeting our culture's weaknesses for trying to obtain an aesthetic ideal. Too sad.

1:24 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger Chatty Cricket said...

I had a roommate in college who had both of her legs surgically broken (not at the same time, she had one done and then the other 6 months later), and then reset because she was convinced that she was bow legged.

She was not.

I think everyone has insecurities, and I think it's so sad when people/companies play to those insecurities. I can't imagine feeling okay about this if my ADULT child wanted to take it, let alone allowing my teenager to mess around with it. Isn't there some way to shut this kind of stuff down?

1:59 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger jo(e) said...

It's just an extension of our culture's obsession with body image. It is sadly not surprising at all.

3:18 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

How is this even legal?

4:03 PM, October 26, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sheds new light on the Ziggy cartoon Elaine plagiarized on Seinfeld.

Now the complaint department CAN address the "I wish I was taller" request.


6:14 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Right now I'm spluttering about this too much for coherent thought. But Mr. Blue says the advertisement is legal because supplements are not regulated as medications are.

You can only hope that there's nothing harmful in the supplement, and the people -- children -- who buy it are only wasting their money.

8:43 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger ccw said...

It is very scary to think that parents do this sort of stuff to their children.

I recently found out that my cousin has been giving his son HGH treatments for several years b/c they are concerned about his height. No, the kid does not have any medical reason to be taking the hormones. I was horrified that they would put their son's health behind gaining an inch or two of growth. It is disgusting.

9:12 AM, October 27, 2005  
Blogger Yankee T said...

This kind of thing makes me nuts. Children are constantly being sent horrible messages about their bodies. Pathetic.

2:01 PM, October 27, 2005  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Children are being bombarded with negative ideas about their bodies. I've seen five-year olds obsessing about their weight. It's insane.

6:47 PM, October 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

APL is working hard tonight, so I'm going to share a quick note about AB's reading habits ...

The other day in the basement, he looked over at our shelves. He saw a book of interest, so he grabbed it and brought it to APL, saying "Read dis! Read dis!"

He had grabbed Introduction to Psychology, one of my college textbooks.

We decided to hold off on that one for a few years.


11:38 PM, October 27, 2005  
Blogger RussianViolets said...

Oh good god!!! I cannot believe that someone would do this to their child. I just cannot believe it. Of course, people are stupid. Still, RV is shaking head.

9:23 AM, October 28, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...


10:35 PM, October 28, 2005  
Blogger KLee said...

Sadly, Im not all that surprised. It's dismaying what people will do to their own kids, and all in the name of "improving them." Riiiight.

As far as the conflicting messages that kids get, there was a child in my duaghter's class a year ago who was trying to teach all the other girls how to throw up after eating. She told them that they were all too fat, and this method of throwing up what you eat helped her stay thin. They were all in third grade. Needless to say, my daughter does NOT hang out with this girl.

10:38 PM, October 29, 2005  
Anonymous Lisa V said...

Scruffy's birthfather is only 5'4". His projected height is between 5'4" and 5'6". When discussing this one day with another mom at the playground, she suggested growth hormone shots. I couldn't believe it. Now we not only have to be all thin, we all have to be tall too. It's nuts.

11:01 PM, October 30, 2005  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Oh god. That's awful.

That's ... I can't even compose a rational thought. Just... WOW.



Still no coherent thoughts. But thanks for posting this.

2:47 PM, October 31, 2005  
Blogger SuzanH said...

That is so completely disgusting.

I'm not tall, either, and neither is my husband, but frankly, that hasn't hampered either one of us, and I can't imagine burdening G with that kind of horrific talk.

The lazy gene? That one we'll work on. She gets it from both ends. Poor kid.

12:08 AM, November 06, 2005  

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