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Why is it still OK to publicly ridicule the obese?

Thursday, February 07, 2013

I very, very seldom allow what's going on in the political world, or in the glamorous Hollywood world to find its way into my blogs. However, this is one occasion when I am just so rankled that I have to make my own statement.

First off, we have all the commotion about Chris Christie's weight. Is he obese? Why yes he is! Wow, I'm absolutely positive he KNOWS this.

Yet, we have a doctor making a blanket observation without benefit of examining him: "Mariano said in a CNN interview that she’s a Republican and therefore really likes Chris Christie, but she wants him to lose weight. She went as far as to say that she worries about Christie dying in office." (
the-doctor-s-weight-comments) Which not only scared his children, but also made them think he was soon going to die. Reportedly, Christie was infuriated by this statement.

Secondly, some people feel it is their personal right to critique Melissa McCarthy. Today, Rex Reed, in the New York Observer (
cant-lift-this-flick-out-of-the-red/) made several absolutely horrible and offensive remarks regarding her: "(cacophonous, tractor-sized Melissa McCarthy)" and "plunge Mr. Bateman and his female hippo into a motel with only a double bed, a grotesque sex scene..." and finally, "Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids) is a gimmick comedian who has devoted her short career to being obese and obnoxious with equal success."

I'm all for freedom of speech. It's part of what makes the United States a wonderful place to live. However, I'm sick of fat as the last "okay to make fun of and ridicule" discrimination. I can't make statements about race, about ethnicity, about sexual identity, without there being repercussions against what I've said. But, anyone, anywhere can make fun of me, of Chris Christie (just watch any of the late shows), of Melissa McCarthy, or any individual who doesn't look like a stick standing in mud.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm on Spark to become healthy and lose weight. I want to do this. What I don't want is to constantly be bombarded by ridicule and jokes and I'm tired of hearing of public figures being criticized, ridiculed, and made fun of as well.

There now, I've ranted and rage...I'll step off my soap box.

So for something lighter and hopefully will leave you smiling....

These next two pictures are of (1) my redneck yarn holder, since I'm using 4 different colors, blue, black, purple, green - a box with 4 small holes punched through so my yarn is contained and doesn't get all tangled. And, (2), the afghan I'm working on. I know there's only 4 rows completed but it's also just a little over 8' long.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ASHESS85
    You raise a great point. Making fun of overweight people is just so common and socially accepted but really it is far from acceptable. I think our society has many more positive changes to make.
    2205 days ago
    Its not okay now, its not okay ever. Yes, the obesity issue in the country should be addressed, but not in that way!
    2205 days ago
  • JMC155
    It is never okay to ridicule people. However it seems people lack the ability to understand that simple fact. Love your yarn holder and the afghan will be beautiful.
    2205 days ago
  • MARIANNE9855
    I share your outrage - Anybody who thinks that it is an easy matter of controlling what you eat and exercise is sadly mistaken- the one thing I have observed from being on sparkpeople is that everyone is trying their very best- no one is actively trying to have a weight problem. They are also some of the kindest most generous group of people that I know.
    Its a shame that society thinks they have license to attack fat people whenever they want- we have become the last acceptable prejudice that few people want to defend.
    I personally have been very impressed by the actions of Gov Christie. His size to me is irrelevant to the care and concern he is bringing to his role as governor and I love Melissa McCarthy and have loved her since she was on Gilmore Girls. emoticon
    2205 days ago
  • BEEJAY49
    I think maybe we should find a way to try and stop that bullying of us! Like you said, we can't make statements about others without getting the whip and why should they be able to do this?

    I love the yarn holder and your choice of colors are very nice! :) HUGS!
    2205 days ago
  • DLG0505
    I read Rex Reed's comments today and it made my blood boil. I'm not sure when it ever became ok to make comments about another's appearance, especially when people need to take a good look in the mirror. Bullying, and to me this constitutes bullying, is being done by so many whether it's kids, teens or adults. I had to quit reading the comments on the article because of the name calling. It's amazing how bold people get when they aren't looking another person in the eye.

    Also I need to make a comment on Reyning's post. I've been with my employer gosh 23 years now. I've called in sick maybe 7 or 8 times total and only once in the last 7 years because of food poisoning. They are making a killing off my insurance premiums. My blood pressure at last check was 118/78. I walk about 12,000 steps average a day and exercise for about an hour. And yes I need to stop eating so much. And that's why I'm on SparkPeople to fix that issue.

    But I know a lot of thinner people who go to the doctor's for various ailments, who call in sick to work A LOT and don't workout as much as I do. One of my employees is laying in a hospital bed with a heart attack - and he runs 5 to 10 miles a day, and is as thin as a stick. He's costing the health care industry a lot more money than I have and he's 10 years younger than I am. I have found that it's about 50/50 - a lot of thin people go to the doctors for various reasons. It's not just obese people that cost employers and the insurance industry money. They are just the ones that get focused on because of society's opinion.

    People choose to do the things they do - an alcoholic chooses to pickup a drink, a meth user decides to light it up. My niece, who at one point was becoming anorexic, chose not to eat and it could have killed her. I know people in excellent physical shape that have asthma, allergies, cancer. Yet they don't have the same stigma attached that an overweight person has of being lazy with no self-control.

    Everyone has a unique story as to why they are where they are. And who are we to judge anyone without knowing and understanding?
    2205 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/8/2013 3:30:10 AM
    Wrong to make fun of fat people. I don't appreciate blonde jokes. No one would ever AMG a blonde joke but substitute a black person for the blonde. Im a blonde and come from a family oblondes. My daughter is also blonde. Hillary C is blonde too. I. Think that commentator was wrong to call out christy. He knows better than any that he's obese. If people think he's too fat to be president, he won't be elected. I think most Americans are fat and won't hold it against him.
    2206 days ago
    I thought about removing The Very Long Response emoticon but decided against it. It is, after all an opinion. So, I decided to post my own rebuttal here. Although, it may yet be deleted.

    I agree that obesity may lead to certain health conditions becoming worse. Yet, there are just as many healthy, thin people who keel over from a heart attack or other health issues as a fat person. Skinny politicians may die in office while their fat counterpart lives until 100.

    I disagree on more than one of the written opinion's.

    This statement: but it is an epidemic in the way that it DOES decrease productivity- you get more sick, can't do as much work because the stamina isn't built up or you just can't fit into buildings...
    I'm sorry, where are these immensely tiny buildings? I was hardly ever sick in school, had 6 years perfect attendance. And I worked from the time I left college until I absolutely could not work anymore and that was after surviving brain surgery (how does my weight play into that, pray tell?) and a broken back.
    I didn't choose to be fat. I grew up being fat. I don't blame my parents. That's all I knew. By the time I understood that I 'SHOULDN'T' be fat, it didn't matter that
    I have health conditions that have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with weight.
    Yes, that opinion from a teen Spark did upset me almost as much as the two statements I wrote about in the blog.
    2206 days ago
    You may not like what I have to say, but...

    As a preface- I don't think ridicule and the intent to harm is EVER okay, no matter what. It just isn't. You don't go around telling people, "Oh, that car you drive? That's an awful color. Hideous. You should be ashamed." Even if you don't like the car color, it's not that big of a deal.

    That said, there is a MAJOR difference between being obese and being of any certain ethnicity. You CHOOSE to be fat. Seriously. There is NO getting over this fact. Nearly anybody who is obese has made life choices to get them there. It doesn't mean they woke up thinking, "Hm, I'd like to be fat today, let's make that happen." But you cannot argue that nearly anybody can make choices to get to a healthy weight and body composition, at least in developed countries. You can always limit how much you eat and you can always increase how much you exercise. The exceptions to this... those people with major disabilities. It isn't like a religion where, albeit it is a choice, it is often not felt as a choice (it is more of a 'this is my philosophical view point'- and nobody KNOWS what is right/wrong in that context). Your weight is more an empirical "duh" thing. Being 300+ lbs and obviously with a high body fat % is NOT healthy and we know this, and because stopping from eating too much and doing body weight exercises require NO money, equipment access, etc- it really should NOT be considered something on par as, say, a disability or an ethnic group.

    Now that doesn't make ridicule like, "OMG s/he is SO FAT and should go starve himself/herself because being fat is SO GROSS and s/he is SUCH A BAD HUMAN" right. No, that is ALWAYS wrong and NEVER acceptable. But the subject of obesity NEEDS to be breached, and it can't just be like, "Oh, this is just his lifestyle choice, it doesn't matter at all!" No, it does. It matters to not just you but to everybody around you, and it matters to this country. It isn't an epidemic in the way that it's not something that the CDC can semi-control with vaccinations, but it is an epidemic in the way that it DOES decrease productivity- you get more sick, can't do as much work because the stamina isn't built up or you just can't fit into buildings... I can go on, but you are probably agitated reading this to begin with.

    So, the second statement is just despicable because you should never intentionally harm anybody, but the first one? I didn't read the link, but there was nothing wrong with the quotes. She has a legitimate reason to worry about him dying in office. That is a rightful concern that NEEDS to be talked about. Being obese isn't healthy and it is doing a disservice to everybody to neglect talking about that.
    2206 days ago
  • MAGA99
    well said n I like the yarn holder
    2206 days ago
    Society has done a real number on self identification and is more than happy to tell you who and what you are, forget about asking you that! It takes more than courage to live your life as a large person, you have to be the one to declare again and again and again that you are a person that's worth knowing and if they're only willing to listen or pay attention to you if you are a single digit size you are the one that has to say "your problem, not mine!" because it isn't. This whole subject has ticked me off as you can see. I just know that if someone or some people are beating me down I don't have to be the one leading the charge against me.
    2206 days ago
    that afghan is going to be beautiful!

    2206 days ago
  • JO88BAKO
    It is never ok.
    2206 days ago
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