George Morris's quotes are literally the most disgusting thing I've ever read. He just lost any and all respect I've had for him. You can't just go around calling girls fat, there is obese, overweight, and then there's healthy. What's he's advocating by telling girls that he'd place them lower is UNHEALTHY. He's not looking for girls with a stable BMI, muscles, and a good athletic build, he's looking for string bean skinny kids that are either genetically that way or disordered. If my swimmers shoulders mean I don't place in an eq class, then shame on him, not me. Some things show a persons true colors, foremost how they judge other people. There is major difference between being nit-picky and rough with critic, and I can understand George saying, "a good rider will be in shape and in condition like an ATHLETE", but not advocating a skinny rider. What should be promoted in today's society is a fit, and healthy look, with an ideal 12-20% body fat and a diet of 1300-2500 calories, depending on your height, weight, and physical activity. Starving yourself is ridiculous and I wouldn't wish what I've gone through on my worst enemy. I was extremely effected by remarks when I was 11 or 12 and I've been through 5 or 6 therapist, 2 outpatient programs, and 100+ gimmicky diets, including extremely damaging ones such as the "ABC" and "Russian Gymnast" which clock in at a max 600 calories and a low 0 or even negative calories in a day. You don't recover, you live with it. I've very lucky to have found ways to deal with my damaging thoughts and live a more normal and healthy lifestyle now, but there's alway the "I hate myself" mentality to cope with on a daily basis. It still hits me hard on Equitations days, when even at the food stands that are so packed with greasy and tempting foods, that almost the entire barn or even the entire junior show population, order fruit cups and salads for lunch, skip breakfast and barely eat dinner until the show is over. To say that it's not significant is a lie. I've passed remarks such as, "No, I can't eat that, I have the WIHS to finish," "Seriously, have nachos, maybe I'll beat you in the o/f then," "Will you tell my mother to bring my pills when she comes down here (referring to both adderall and diuretics)", and even when asking advice as to what to have for lunch, "Whatever, just purge it later". I've even heard trainers say, "Don't eat too much, you have eq tomorrow." It's out there, and people need to recognize it. It's been estimated that nearly 8 million Americans have eating disorders, and the government funding for treatment is next to nothing. Inpatient treatment can cost upwards nearly $30,000 a month and outpatient can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 a day, and those aren't even the glamourous celebrity type rehabs, where you're comfortable. I was lucky enough to do my stay in a nicer rehab for a week, but I did NOT enjoy it. There is no such thing as entirely happy in the depths of a disorder, and it's not something we can pick to fix, it's an actually mental illness. People will say, "Get over it," but it's not as simple as that.
I would love to see the Chronicle run an article on eating disorders in equestrian sports rather than the fluff that sometimes gets published. It would be both informative, eye opening, and maybe even prevent other young equestrians from falling down the disordered path. Ednos and Bulimia have greatly effected me and the world needs to stop ignoring them. I would offer any services I have towards writing an article like this and getting it published.
2500/day is too low for most athletes. Doing low-level adult skating I was LOSING on 2700/day. (I don't eat that much now as I don't skate that much now.)Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterrider23
Part of the problem is he is an old man who is in the spot light. In his era saying things like that and being blunt (especially to women) was the way things were. I can't exactly say he grew with the times. I'm not condoning how he says it either.
I think part of our problem as a nation as a whole is we went from a country who swept eating disorders under the rug to now not wanting to offend any one and make them feel over weight so they end up with an eating disorder. You know have a country filled with obesity.
I'm over weight right now and I know it. However it's sad because I am NORMAL even though health wise I am over weight. My BMI says I'm over weight and to the rest of the world I look NORMAL. We need to find that line to walk where we encourage people to be healthy. Not skinny, not fat but simply healthy.
I have to say that maybe part of my indifference to his comments is I have never felt the need to conform. I've never felt the need to fit in. I do fit in, have friends, was popular in school blah blah blah. but I never felt the need to be better than I was. I think it was how I was raised.
Where in this does he say he wants super thin riders? While I think his first comment (re:dinner table) is off colour, the rest is speaking about overweight riders and how their size affects their riding. He doesn't say "there are 130lb riders and they should be losing 40lbs".Quote:
George Morris is a world-class coach who has trained several Olympic equestrians. He's won numberous equitation championships, and he's pretty much thought of as the shit in the show-jumping world. And he's also known for being shockingly open with riders about how he feels about weight. One of his mottoes is, "The best exercise a rider can get is to push away from the dinner table."
He's only too happy to elaborate. "You see these overfe, over-self-indulged girls and ladies," he says, enunciating each word. "Their riding coats are tight and bulging a little through the seams. They are galloping around on top of the saddle. It makes them top-heavy, like a cork on top of a wave. They hate me, they don't want to hear the truth."
George, a former judge, says he would "absolutely" take points from the heavier rider if two people were equally skilled in a competition. But he doesn't think this leads to many eating disorders. "That's called going to extremes," he says. "But I don't know that I've had any anorexics over the 30 or 40 years that I've had a barn. People say, 'Oh, this one was anorexic and that one was.' I didn't see it. I didn't know it. I don't think I created it."
As for the judging comment, how would you expect him to decide? He said if he had two EQUALLY SKILLED riders and one was over weight and one was more fit, he would give it to the more fit rider. He needs to find SOMETHING to choose; riding is a sport, and he's opting to choose the rider who has a more athletic appearance.
Even George Morris says that underweight riders can be injured, or killed, by a horse.
Disclaimer: All of this coming from an overweight person!
Not "one was overweight and one was more fit." He would take points away from the "heaviER" one. Not heavY, heaviER. And I think you're missing the point if you equate "skinnier" with appearing "more athletic." Show coats that "bulge A LITTLE" in the seams are evidence of being "overfed and overindulged"? Please.
I respect what GM has to say about riding, but his misogynistic body snarking has got to go.
99% of the discussion focuses on the messages that other people send out (ie, "we need to encourage people to be healthy") but very little of the discussion focuses on character, internal fortitude, and raising kids who can weather the storm. It is as if just because GM says some stupid quote that automatically people will hear it and go on a diet. But this is not a given.
I mean, how is it that Brianne Goutal riding at the top levels and absolutely IMMERSED in the culture carried on regardless, and other people get sucked in to years and years of endless problems?
My mother worked at Vogue with the "Conde Nasties" for 17 years and never exhibited a single moment of disliking herself, and thus I was raised, like nlk, to like myself and my body just fine. If my dressage trainer tells me to ride with more lightness, it would not even occur to me that that was a weight comment. I don't even look at other people and notice their weight -I never thought Brianne Goutal looked "heavy for an EQ rider," although it is clear that she is not anorexic nor do I even notice the relative breech sizes of the other boarders at the barn. There is no ranking list on my head categorizing the people in the barn according to their weight relative to me or to each other.
A lot of the self-esteem conversation focuses on liking yourself. Always yourself, yourself, yourself. But I can't imagine that if you spend time looking at other people, assessing their weight, assessing their skill, ranking, comparing, etc etc etc, finding things to nit pick at, etc etc etc, that you will like yourself. How much of the conversation extends to viewing OTHER people with kindness too -even just in your own head? Suddenly you can go to the barn and be thinking to yourself, "Hey, Judy's doing great with her horse!" instead of, "Let me see if I can see how Judy's hips are looking under that coat."
People will talk about the "messages that GM says" allllll day long and not address for a second their inner hyper critical dialog. Hey, GM is just one quote in a magazine you never have to read again. Inside your head is a feedback loop you're stuck with. But how much of the conversation even TOUCHES on this? Raise kids with a depth of character to avoid cutting others down, even in their own heads, and suddenly you will have kids who don't have that inner feedback loop. "Criticism" and "comparison" will not be a constant presence in their feed back loop. Perhaps it will be replaced by "acceptance" and "kindness."
The word nlk used, "indifference," is spot on, but only 1% of the conversation surrounding the problem touches that side of the story. However, if you've got "indifference" down, who cares what messages are out there? People can say whatever they want and "indifference" means you'll be teflon. Wouldn't it better to focus at least a LITTLE more of the conversation on how to make people be teflon, instead of treating everyone like an automatic victim of any quote GM says?
If I rode with him tomorrow would I be offended if he told me to loose 10-20 pounds? No because I do, I am ok with that (I want to loose it to be health but don't mind people telling me I need to loose it either! However they always tell me I look good because being 10-20 pounds over weight is NORMAL!)
Would I be a better ride if I lost the weight? You bet.
But again I don't get easily offended and I don't care how others view me.
a judge can tell the difference between a fit healthy woman with football shoulders and one who does over indulge. I've been blessed with short legs, wide shoulders, and small frame and BIG boobs. I have never felt I was discriminated for my appearance. In fact when I was younger my 5'2 size 5 ( small but not super skinny!) self with broad shoulders routinely won my Eqs. Did my jacket fit perfect? no but the judge could tell stature over weight.
And good look getting a man that old to change his miogynistic body snarking....
So he doesn't mince his words. They are what you read. I read heavier and healthier. Not Skinny.
What I read from his quote is that, all things being equal, he would give the win to the thinner rider. What sort of message is that when the field is composed of very competitive teenagers (mostly female) and everyone is looking for an edge?
So what would he do if he had 2 riders, both equally skilled, both with the same BMI. Give it to the one with the prettier horse? That is equally ridiculous. Ask them to strip down so he can see which one is carrying a few more pounds?
Why not just give the win to whoever had a better ride that day? Is it even possible that 2 rides would show an absolutely identical skill level?
It is one thing to be unafraid of saying "controversial things" it is another entirely to take some enjoyment from riling up the masses and I think there is a lot of the latter going on :no:
I think it's interesting that you are so busy smoothing over GM's remarks. He never said a thing about athletic, or healthy, or fit, or "big shouldered," or properly tailored. He's made his notion of the "appropriate" rider build very clear. What's not very clear is what your perception of own weight has to do with it.
Hunters are subjective and basically about making a pretty picture over fences, right? Life sucks, but if the thinner rider makes a better picture than the heavier, all other things being equal, why wouldn't the thinner rider place higher? Especially if the larger one is squeezing in (or out of) attire?
We tiptoe around weight. It sucks when people tell you you're fat, but generally there's a reason. Yes, eating disorders are problem, but avoiding the "f" word isn't going to fix anything.
I still haven't figured how in this country we have an epidemic of fat kids and commericials about kids going hungry.
Of course self perception of weight (nlk's or anyone else's) has EVERYTHING to do with it. If you have a positive self perception, who cares whether George Morris has made HIS ideas very clear?
Why is 99% of the conversation about what everyone else says about weight, and so little of the dialog about people's internal critiques/positive assessments of both other people and themselves?
I think we would all be better off teaching our children to think for themselves, not worship movie stars, athletes, and singers then trying to teach an old man who grew up in a different era to sensor his thoughts.
This reminds me of a picture I saw on facebook today. There was a man riding a bike on frozen Lake Michigan. Along with the "that's dangerous" people who obviously didn't grow up in the north there was one mother who came on reprimanding the man for posting this picture because what if children saw it? Her claim was we tell our children to stay off the ice and by seeing a picture on facebook of a man riding a bike on ice it will encourage children to NOT listen to their parents and try it anyways. 1 if your children are that impressionable they probably shouldn't be on face book. 2 It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your child right and wrong, to follow YOUR rules, and above all else think for themselves and use common sense when you are not with them.
My point being it is your responsibilities as parents to teach your child that it doesn't matter what others say or think. If your riding instructor is telling you to ride lighter you should be thinking about your riding not how you LOOK riding. You should be working harder to control your body as opposed to taking the "easy road" and loosing weight because it is NOT the same and its not all about HOW you look but about how affective you are. There is a difference.
If your child can not handle the pressure of a high stress show life with out trying the"Eq diet" then they shouldn't be doing it period. If you're like the mother and father of the twitter anon who's parents don't even realize that she doesn't eat then you need to change your parenting. I know you can't eat with your kid ALL the time but you should eat with them enough to notice that they ARE eating.
Blaming the public figure for his opinion doesn't cut it. People need to parent better, period.
Also I am not saying that eating disorders aren't really or are the person with the disorders fault. OR invalidating their feelings. If you felt that someone might have been calling you fat or that you needed to be skinny to fit in that is horrible for anyone to feel that way. I do blame your parents for not being involved enough or brave enough to be a parent and get help sooner then years later. What I am saying is people need to take responsibility and do a better job with their own kids.
Both ladies are obviously fit. If they weren't they wouldn't be able to do what they do. That's my whole point. You don't have to be skinny to be fit and healthy.
I wasn't smoothing over his remarks I was addressing many other people remarks about big shoulders etc. Some people indicated that their natural body made it look like they were heavier/bigger etc. I simply stated you can tell a difference.
What my own perception about my own weight has to do with this is that I am a confident person and ok in my own skin. Therefore colorful remarks about needing to be a size 3 to be a pretty ride doesn't bother me. I don't believe it and there for I don't think it's that big of a deal. We need to work on people excepting themselves and then issues with anorexia become less of a problem. I don't read his remarks as everyone has to be a size 3, or super skinny, or anorexic because I don't think that way.
What I find ridiculous (and dangerous and irresponsible) is to say that "all things being equal, I will deduct points from the heavier rider". If they are TRULY equal....how can you possibly justify that if the goal is to judge the better rider? That makes no sense.
It is all well and good to say that parents have to teach positive self image (which I completely agree with and applaud as a very valid point) but when the man who has been practically canonized by his peers says things like that...well, good luck to them.
While I agree that he is an older man who grew up in a different time and it is extremely unlikely he is going to change his opinion or learn to self censor his misogynistic comments..and hence why are we wasting our time gnashing our teeth about it...he is still judging and is still highly influential.
No one is saying that overweight unfit riders should get "points" so that they are not offended. It just needs be made abundantly clear by judges that what matters is that riders just ride well and can do the job. Full stop.
- Nothing in GM's quotes say he is talking directly about equitation. He could be talking about hunters, for all we know.
- When the journalist says GM would take away points for a heavier rider, those are HER words. The only quote is "absolutely", so perhaps he said he would "absolutely take points away from the heavier rider who produced an equally as effective round but is perched atop her saddle, top heavy like a cork on a wave."
We're making a lot of assumptions here. I think those who are taking offense are choosing to take offense by assuming the worst. If you look at EXACTLY what he said and nothing else, there really isn't all that to criticize apart from him being blunt and outspoken.