Let me be clear - I am not speaking of people who are 10% or 20% over their "ideal" weight (hell I could lose another 20lbs). I'm speaking strictly about people who are mildly to morbidly obese - 40% to 100% over ideal weight.
I've stated before that I am not a fan of embracing one's obesity. A "funny" video of an obese woman sitting in a hanging porch swing and it breaking and her and everyone just fall about laughing I find sad, not funny. Or Gov. Chris Christie telling Letterman that he's the "healthiest fat guy you'll every meet". He said this while eating a doughnut. What a wonderful role model!
Self-deprecation is one thing - its healthy not to take your more moderate shortcomings too seriously. But when it comes to your health I think it's downright asinine And I'm not talking about someone who bravely and with dignified humor confronts cancer or some other often terminal disease. Obesity is completely manageable. Even if there is a remote possibility that being obese endangers your health why wouldn't you do something about it? It's a risk factor you CAN control unlike family history and genetic predisposition. So why embrace it?
In our society the jolly fat man is a source of entertainment. John Belushi, Chris Farley, John Candy, Lou Costello, Jackie Gleason - they're all members of this club.
And, if TV is any indication of reality, obesity is also a sign of virility best exampled by the bizarre (and thankfully almost defunct) trend of TV fat guys with hot wives. "According to Jim"; "The King of Queens" (side note: Kevin James character's last name is "Heffernan". Heffer. Very clever.); "Still Standing"; "Grounded for Life"; "The Simpsons"; "The Flintstones"; "The Honeymooners"; "Family Guy"; "Just The Ten Of Us"; "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"; "All In The Family"; "The Sopranos"; "Seinfeld"; "Family Matters"; "The Drew Carey Show"; "The Amazing World of Gumball" (you have to have kids). Apparently successful obesity = funny and self-deprecating = sex with hot woman. (Oh, and often these fat men were football players a hundred years ago so that means they are athletic and therefore healthy.)
However, these lovable schlubs are also very often brash, immature, slovenly or abusive and in many cases all four. What a great way to make a positive statement about obesity and the character traits that accompany it! Your own show is making fun of you! Hell, even "The Biggest Loser" and its duplicitous title speaks volumes about how the creators feel about their contestants.
But what about obese women? What place is there for fat women in tv or movies other than weight loss shows or Jerry Springer? Um..."Mike and Molly"? But is Molly's Mike hot and fit? No. Why? Because fat men are funny, flawed and lovable and fat women are emotional, asexual and ugly. That's the message we're given. Would people have thought this Super Bowl commercial was so entertaining if it was a hot guy making out with a girl of equal girth as him?
We all have to make choices. Allowing the government to make these choices for us isn't the answer. New York's anti-soda law is just flat out ridiculous If you ban soda, then why not ban fruit drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup? Why not ban cereal that is loaded with sugar? Why not ban a taco bell grande that has enough sodium to drop a moose. If you want a Super Size Big Gulp, that is YOUR CHOICE and no one should be able to take that away. However, all the garbage that is marketed to us and our kids uner the guise of being healthy is downright criminal! So why is this issue limited to soda? (And, yes, I know the law is aimed at portion size, but my point remains valid).
|If this doesn't make you rethink your position on obesity and corporate greed then nothing will.|
But here in America, we don't have to worry ourselves with pesky irritants like foraging for food and escaping wild animals or warlords.
Dominos is but a mouse click away.