Lizzie McGuire was this cute little show on Disney in the early 2000’s about three best friends in middle school. Having been a part of a girl-boy-girl best friend group in middle school, I can assure you it’s pretty much the best. I threw Hilary Duff a lot of shade around 2004 and I’d like to personally apologize to her via the internet for that. Not that she ever saw me throwing shade or will ever read this post. I was just jealous of her success and the fact that she seemed like a nice person probably made me hate her even more. But now that I’m looking back on this show, it’s really very sweet and adorable and that makes me feel like I was being a jerk a decade ago. So for that, Hilary, I’m sorry.
In the life of a middle schooler, there are many very special moments. But things got really serious on one dark day when Lizzie and her bffs made a music video. Aspiring director, Gordo, took photos of Lizzie and Miranda as they practiced their choreography to Play’s “Us Against the World.” I vaguely remembered that song, but I don’t think it was a hit. It is very catchy though. I still have it stuck in my head and I did play it on youtube a couple of times…kinda want to play it again right now. It’s just so catchy!
Anyway, Gordo brings the pictures to school the next day and Miranda (who has just ranted about how she is a total failure because she got a B on a test) freaks out because she believes she looks fat in the picture. Gordo and Lizzie are all like what are you talking about? We, as the audience, also get to view the photo and I can tell you it’s super cute. Miranda is definitely not fat, but props to this episode for getting the whole body dysmorphic aspect down pat. Here’s where things get a little weird. Instead of starting off with a strict diet–but a diet nonetheless–like most people who end up with eating disorders, Miranda skips right to the never eating again ever phase. I understand that we’re on an accelerated schedule with the whole 30-minute time limit thing, but maybe we could have had a time jump and a reference to her erratic eating? Or something a tad more progressive? But no, we get an extreme jump to lunch where Miranda fakes a paper cut in order to get out of consuming some pasta. Well, I think it was pasta. The lunchroom food did look pretty weird. (Also, they live in an environment where they can always eat outside. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these people eating in an actual lunchroom unless the lunch room is an outside courtyard thing.)
Things escalate when Miranda faints at Lizzie’s house while practicing the dance and we learn that she hasn’t eaten anything all day. Lizzie’s mom thinks Miranda is probably dehydrated from all of the dancing, but Lizzie breaks down later and tells her everything. Her advice is to try talking to Miranda and then in a few days if things haven’t improved, she can talk to Miranda and Miranda’s mom. Isn’t this some sort of violation of the mom code? If you know that someone’s kid is starving herself, aren’t you supposed to send out the mom bat signal, pick up the red phone, sound the alarm that this kid needs some help? I’m all of letting kids work things out on their own and I know that eating disorders are delicate situations, but it still seems strange to me that Lizzie’s mom has no moral obligation to at least let Miranda’s mom know the situation.
But it’s a Disney show, so of course the “frienervention” works, and Miranda (realistically) explains that eating was something she could control in her life. She’s been under a lot more pressure than anyone knew–mostly due to the fact that her parents for some reason demanded that their thirteen year old determine her life goals. Miranda feels so much better that she’s able to complete all of her music video choreography even though she hasn’t eaten in the past couple of days. The music video is a more innocent rip off of Britney’s …Baby, One More Time. Though it does feature Miranda and Lizzie in detention dancing on top of a very uncomfortable teacher’s desk. The teacher also dances with them and they hip bump him and it’s kind of strange. Other than that it’s pretty cute and the song is soooo catchy. Here’s a gif: Very Special Lesson: Don’t worry if you’re friend abruptly stops eating, you can always talk it out. Or dance it out.