Friday, September 20, 2013

Obese of My Mind

I’m going to put this out there right now. I’m overweight. Depending on which (or witch) doctor I visit I'm obese, and some say morbidly obese. I’m working on it. 

Don’t get me wrong, you won’t see me headless on the evening news when they show footage of fat people walking around doing the things ‘Normal’s’ do. I tend to hide like a ninja. 

I believe the media does the headless fat person thing so the Normal’s can actually ‘see’ the portly person rutting in their natural habitat. Now, with obesity being such an ‘epidemic’, the Normal should be accustomed to seeing the chunky socializing near them. Perhaps Normal’s have become ‘fat blind’, not even seeing us as we bleed into the background; to be ignored with other eye offending images such as dog shit and the homeless. So the media kindly reminds the Normal that we are still in existence, even (gasp) right next to them. 

I think another reason the media shows these clips, is to actually shame the people in them. They are visually verbally neutering the obese by flashing their headless image. The obese have no say in anything because they are fat and weak. 

You don’t have to look too far outside the news to find examples of the use of the corpulent as ‘Fattertainment’ for the Normal. Television shows such as ‘The Biggest Loser’, ‘Dance Your Ass Off’, ‘Ruby’, ‘More To Love’, ‘Mike & Molly’, ‘Escape from Obesity’, ‘Heavy’, ‘I Used To Be fat’, ‘Drop Dead Diva’ et al, give the Normal an opportunity to gloat in their svelte superiority. The Normal gets a kick out of watching Jillian Michaels scream at a fat person who just could not run that last mile. Big laughs are aplenty as Swoozie Kurtz (she’s lucky she’s old, cuz using a tampon would add ten pounds to her) and Louis Mustillo sling their sarcastic (but ‘shaming’) comments at Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell. Remember the anorexic who wrote the blog about watching ‘Mike & Molly’ (fat people) kiss grossing her out? That was a sparkling gem of bulimic vomit. Don’t even get me started on late night TV hosts and their ‘fat’ jokes. 

I think the problem is that people still see obesity as a weakness and the fault of the obese person. The idea being that obesity is due to the person being weak, lazy and gluttonous. Because it’s the obese person’s fault they are fat, they deserve humiliation. This is SO wrong on many levels. There are many reasons one becomes obese (socioeconomic issues, side effects of medication, medical issues, the oft used but true hormonal issues, etc.). No one wakes up one morning and says, ‘Ya know, my stomach is just a little too tight, I think I could use a roll to hold up my pants.’ Or ‘Wow, look how small my thighs are, I wish I could get me some of those cottage cheese thighs!' Or ‘You think Beyonce has bootie, I’m gunna make mine look like JLo and Beyonce combined!’

By now you’re saying, ‘Okay! Enough bloviating, what’s your point?’

I think my point is, if obesity is actually an ‘epidemic’ and now considered a ‘disease’, shouldn’t there be more compassion for the obese? It’s one of the only diseases that can’t be hidden from the public. Shouldn’t there be less revulsion, repulsion and condemnation? Shouldn’t the medical/science community be looking for ‘why’ and ‘how to fix’ (like they do with other diseases), instead of blaming us for causing all of the world’s problems (global warming, high price of medicine, breathing the air of the Normal)?

Just sayin...

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A writer exercising the writing muscle.