Coffee Talk, March 23, 1999

It’s time once again for more unpleasant
encounters with the Easter Bunny

    It would seem some holiday “mascots” were doomed from the start. Take the Easter Bunny, for example.
    Unlike Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny often fails to rank highly in the all-important Child Believability-O-Meter.
Why, you may ask. Well, let’s face it. A six-foot bunny with bugged-out eyes and buck teeth the size of shovels doesn’t exactly rate highly with small children.
    When the Easter Bunny greets children at the mall, you can be assured of at least three responses from your child: ahh, help or mommy!
    A man or woman clad in a pink jumpsuit with size 18 feet is not festive, it’s downright scary. And I’ll bet a handful of Jelly Bellies that kids just don’t buy into it. And what should you tell your children? How do you explain the Easter Bunny?
    There’s just so much mystery about the Easter Bunny. Such as, is it politically correct to assume it’s a he? What’s up with the egg fetish? Why do I insist on capitalizing his name?
    And, perhaps worst of all, the Easter Bunny always makes sure to leave behind plenty of insightful and simply idiotic Easter Bunny jokes.
    How does the Easter Bunny stay healthy? Eggsercise, particularly hareobics! Knock, knock! Who’s there? Boo. Boo who? Don’t cry, the Easter Bunny will be back next year! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ... Are we supposed to laugh here or break down and cry?
    Not that I’m bitter, or anything. For too many of us, it’s just the Easter Bunny just has too much fame for being such a symbol of, well, seemingly nothing.
    Unfortunately for the bunny, it could all be one big misunderstanding. Perhaps people just don’t realize the Easter Bunny’s historical significance.
    According to time-tested information gathering skills, a.k.a. 20 minutes on the Internet, the Easter Bunny actually has some history.
    While I would like to pretend this wasn’t true, the Easter Bunny could have originated from the ancient Egyptians.
In ancient hieroglyphics — defined here as squiggly lines that scientists claim have a meaning — the hare is a common symbol that relates to a concept of existence and being. The symbol could be related to Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. Osiris was known as the “springer,” referring to his ability to spring from death into the rebirth of the afterlife.
    The hare’s ability to leap and the relationship of rebirth in the spring could symbolize the resurrection of God.
Seem far-fetched?  Undoubtedly. But considering the alleged feats of Santa Claus, it’s not that far of a stretch.
    Besides, maybe the Easter Bunny simply serves as a role model for young children — kind of like Tele-Tubbies that dole out chocolate eggs in March.
    Either way, at least I know how I’ll handle the buck-tooth varmint this year. Ahh, help and mommy!



Exponent Editorial
School system needs to continue to work
with students on eating disorders

     On the front page of the Sunday Exponent and Telegram, a story discussed the fact that more and more middle school students in Harrison County have eating disorders. Local school counselors are blaming the national obsession with thinness.
 It was ironic that on the same day, the newspaper featured a story on the Barbie doll turning 40. Barbie has been at the heart of the debate over what parents teach their children about body image.
     Some say Barbie makes girls believe that they have to be thin to be loved. Others, however, say that’s all a bunch of gobbledygook.
     We can’t pretend to know all the answers to why teens are so obsessed with thinness that they will stop eating or eat and then throw up to keep from gaining weight. We know, however, that it’s a combination of factors, from media influences to low self-esteem.
     And Wendy Imperial, a counselor at Bridgeport Middle School, said the number of eating disorders has been increasing throughout the Harrison County school system in the last few years.
     School nurses went to Bridgeport Middle School in February to discuss eating disorders with students because of teachers’ concerns that more students at that school are exhibiting eating- related problems. The nurses went to Washington Irving Middle School last year, following the request of Barbara Iaquinta, a social studies teacher at WI.
     “I’ve had a number of students who came to me worried about a friend. It’s a courageous thing to do, to bring it out in the open so the student can get some help,” Imperial said.
     We encourage the school system to continue to work with students to teach them that being thin is not the most important aspect of life. It’s up to parents and teachers to reinforce this every chance they get.
     Barbie may be perfect and petite, but it’s easy to be that way when all your parts are made of plastic. We’re flesh and bone, some with more flesh than others. And that’s OK.

Today’s editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.



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Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999