As I was getting ready this morning, I had the TV tuned to Good Morning America in my bedroom. Mostly, I wanted to know how long it would take for the local weather to warm up to 70 degrees today. In the space of 30 minutes, I heard two stories, which when taken together, made my head hurt.
The first was about a new, revolutionary exercise that helped Kelly Osborne drop five pounds and whittle two inches off her waist in a week. The name Hoopnotica and the description of the round hoops made me peer around the doorway to see. Yep, hula hoops are now a “revolution.” The head revolutionary runs an exercise studio, in Malibu, natch. I was unsuccessful in my google search for a cost on this activity. My best guess, based on other exercise classes, is $10-20 per class.
A few minutes later, the story was about Ben Affleck, reportedly worth upwards of $65 million, and his weeklong commitment to living on $1.50 worth of food per day. This is to bring attention to Hugh Jackman’s charity, Live Below The Line, referring to the global extreme poverty line. The challenge is meant to draw attention to the 1.4 billion people who live on less than $1.50 of food daily.* It was interesting that the “rules” of this challenge state you can drink unlimited tap water, since 780 million people have limited or no access to clean drinking water. (source)
What struck me as completely ridiculous was the promotion of an exercise method which should be cheap and easy but in fact costs at least one week’s worth of food per the global poverty numbers. It was cynical of GMA to not only run these stories on the same day, but so close together. In one breath, GMA promotes excessive material consumption, in the next, they’re spreading guilt thicker than peanut butter, which a billion people can’t afford.
Is it any wonder we’re confused, scattered, and frustrated?
*I think this is an admirable cause and have participated in Food Stamp Challenges, but never one that has such a small dollar allotment. Even just the mental exercise, what exactly could you buy with $1.50 to feed yourself for an entire day, is humbling. For a thought provoking visual of what people eat around the world, check out this Time magazine photo essay.