Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1191

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1194

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): No such file or directory in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/scouser/echoesandmirrors.com/wp-content/plugins/statpress/statpress.php on line 1197
Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » It’s time to get stupid

It’s time to get stupid

America’s War on the Overweight

Practically the minute President Obama announced Regina M. Benjamin, a zaftig doctor who also has an M.B.A. and is the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant,” as a nominee for the post of Surgeon General, the criticism started.

The attacks were vicious—Michael Karolchyk, owner of a Denver “anti-gym,” told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, “Obesity is the No. 1 issue facing our country in terms of the health and wellness, and she has shown not that she was born this way, not that she woke up one day and was obese. She has shown through being lazy, and making poor food choices, that she’s obese.”

“This is totally disgusting to have some one so big to be advocating health,” wrote one YouTube commenter.

Too amusing.

Fat bias is nothing new. “Public outrage at other people’s obesity has a lot to do with America from the turn of the 20th century to about World War I,” says Deborah Levine, assistant professor of health policy and management at Providence College. The rise of fat hatred is often seen as connected to the changing American workplace; in the early 20th century, companies began to offer snacks to employees, white-collar jobs became more prominent, and fewer people exercised. As thinness became rarer, says Peter N. Stearns, author of Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West and professor of history at George Mason University, it was more prized, and conversely, fatness was more maligned.

Too true.

But why do the rest of us care so much? What is it about fat people that makes us so mad? As it turns out, we kind of like it. “People actually enjoy feeling angry,” says Ryan Martin, associate professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, who cites studies done on people’s emotions. “It makes them feel powerful, it makes them feel greater control, and they appreciate it for that reason.” And with fat people designated as acceptable targets of rage—and with the prevalence of fat people in our lives, both in the malls and on the news—it’s easy to find a target for some soul-clearing, ego-boosting ranting.

You’re dumb.

I want the time it took me to read this vapid Newsweek filler material back.

Share
0 comments