Creating complexes one piece at a time

If you go to Wal-Mart’s website and enter “Hannah Montana” in the search space, you’ll get more than 176 hits for merchandise with Miley Cyrus’s image on it, including toy guitars, bicycles, a rocking chair, a combination picture frame/clock, a camera, a “secret pillow diary” and a beach towel.  You can also get Hannah Montana candy.

There’s just something both amusing and disturbing about the fact that each candy in the package is individually wrapped, evidently to keep consumers from eating the entire bag in one sitting.  Really, who eats just one gummy candy? That’d be like eating a single M&M.  It’s also not really environmentally sound, especially from the company that released Wall-E, to package candy in a cellophane bag filled with a bunch of little cellophane bags.   Mostly it’s just disheartening to see the phrase “portion control” attached to a product marketed towards girls ages 8 to 14.

I’m aware that there is an alarming obesity epidemic in the United States, and it’s becoming particularly problematic in adolescents.  However, we’re also seeing girls becoming increasingly obsessed with their appearance, particularly their weight, at younger and younger ages.  Is it really constructive for a 12 year-old, already a seething cauldron of hormones and insecurity, to be counting calories in her head and agonizing over whether one piece of candy will turn her into a great big fat fatty that no one will love? If a parent is convinced after watching nonsense like Honey, We’re Killing the Kids that a bag of candy will doom their child to a flabby future of living in a trailer park and wearing his or her hair in a mullet, why not forego it altogether? Delving it out a single piece a day, along with the Ritalin and the allergy pills and all the rest of the stuff hysterical, overprotective parents have been convinced is “good” for their kids, is pointless and rather cruel.

Packaging a bag of candy in “portion control” sizes seems rather incongruous, as if that makes it somehow more healthy.  Candy will never be good for you, that’s why it’s a treat that should be enjoyed in moderation, as in, one bag every once in a while, not one piece every day, because in the end you’re still eating the same amount.  If Disney was truly sincere in its effort to promote nutritious eating habits to young people, why not put Miley Cyrus’s ubiquitous toothy grin on a bag of apples, or a bottle of water? Don’t play it both ways, cutting costs by manufacturing cheap candy and then trying to pass it off as healthy so long as you eat it one at a time.  That’s bullshitting kids and deluding their parents.

There’s also the issue with the gummies looking like little candy phalluses, but that’s another problem altogether.

Photo taken by areawoman at LiveJournal, and used with permission.  Crappy MS Paint detail added by me.

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