Archive | May, 2012

Fat Actress: Bollywood Edition

17 May

Well, folks, looks like we have shared out fear and distaste of fat people to the rest of the world.  Bollywood Queen Aishwarya Rai is currently being slammed by fans for her failure to return to her pre pregnancy body.  Message boards and blogs in the actress’s native India have been inundated with disgruntled fans who say that the star has a “duty” to her fans to keep up her image.  Several sites have actually posted video of the actress and overlaying sound clips of an elephant trumping drawing in thousands of views.  Some are even suggesting that she needs to learn from the likes of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham who, just weeks after the birth of her daughter, was back to her size zero self.

Professor of Indian Culture and Cinema at the University of London, Rachel Dwyer, points the finger of blame to us,

“I think this baby weight thing is a western obsession with pulling stars down,” she wrote in an email exchange on the topic. “Women who lose weight are congratulated and those who don’t are seen as letting themselves go. I’ve not heard of it in India before.”

This obsession that we have with weight and what our perception of beauty is has been so a skewed over the past 30 years or so.  Women now are trying harder than ever to maintain their looks well into their 40’s and 50’s and 60’s.  Have you ever just taken a moment to consider that it’s just not healthy to force yourself back to the way your body was before you had a child?

Take Victoria Beckham for example.  Yahoo search “Victoria Beckham looses weight” and you find article after article for the “5 hands diet”.  The diet consists of having just five handfuls of food a day and it was reported that Beckham was snacking on tiny portions of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.  All of that so she could be in shape in time for New York Fashion Week which was just about a month away.  Instead of embracing her curves she locked herself away from the world until she was “presentable.”  Really! I hope she wasn’t breastfeeding subsisting off of just 5 handfuls of food a day.  There is a reason your body responds the way it does to certain situations.  The irony of this, I find, is that during a Yahoo search (can you tell I am not yet a Google convert yet?) of “Victoria Beckham” the top story was an article on the business wire that Beckham had banned size 0 models from the catwalk at her show.

I, for one, happen to think the former Miss World is still beautiful, only infinitely more so since now she has the glow of a mother.   We should be ashamed of ourselves for spreading this horrible message of self loathing and body hate to any other country in the world.  Its bad enough that we have to deal with it but now we have introduced an entirely new group of impressionable girls to wonderful world of fat shaming.  I liked the way that ABC news reported the story,

“Pictures show a woman who has clearly gained weight, but does not appear unhealthy or abnormal for a new mother.”

I applaud ABC news for an unbiased observation, now if only the rest of the world could follow suite.

Advertisements

The Rise of the New Regime

15 May

Adolph Hitler was once quoted as saying, “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”  I spent many years studying the history of World War 2 and Hitler’s rise to power; how he was seemingly able to brainwash an entire country and convince them that all of their woes lay at the doorstep of the Jews and the Gypsies, anyone who didn’t fit his “ideal”.  The scary part is that the country bought it.  In times of trials, people are susceptible to almost all kinds of propaganda and thought control.  I imagine that had Hitler’s rise to power occurred some eighty years later that it would have started out a little like this.

Did you know that we are in the midst of a catastrophe?  I know I was as shocked as you.  You are probably asking yourself what more of catastrophe we could possibly be in, after all we, as a nation, are in debt up to our eyeballs, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed, healthcare is in a shambles and no one seems to be able to point us in the right direction.  Never fear though!  We have a scapegoat….OBESITY!!  If history repeats itself then surely this must be how the holocaust began.

It always seems that when a country is at its lowest point is when someone swoops in and saves the day, pointing out what we were all oblivious to without their wisdom and if the Jews were to blame for the financial failings of 1930’s and 40’s Germany simply because they looked differently than the fat people of America are to blame for the mess America is in today.

Follow my logic here.

I don’t watch a lot of television, preferring to be outside fishing or reading than indoors but I did catch a glimpse of a commercial for HBO’s new documentary, “The Weight of a Nation”.  Not since the sad sack stories of “The Biggest Loser” have I seen such blatant disregard for logic and common sense.  Go to the website and you are fed a stream of “facts” about obesity and its drain on society;

“One in four adults gets no leisure-time moderate or vigorous physical activity at all.”

“The obese workforce costs American business an estimated $73.1 billion per year.”

“Currently in the United States, 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily physical education or its equivalent.”

It’s always weight isn’t it?  Fat people are an easy target, easy to spot and sure some of them have some serious health issues that should be addressed.  But it’s far easier to motivate a nation to wage a war on obesity when the target doesn’t look like you.  Truth be known, there are just as many unhealthy skinny people in this country as there are fat ones but the fat ones are easier to pick on.  As a nation we have taken on the anti-bullying cause lately but it seems slightly hypocritical to tell our kids that it’s not cool to bully someone who is different than you and then we are a nation turn right around and bully a large group of people just because they look different than us.

Hitler and the Nazi’s did the same thing.  Post World War 1 Germany was a nation in shambles, broke and demoralized they needed something, someone to blame their hardships on.  Its human nature to look for a culprit rather than to take responsibility for your own failures and Hitler provided an outlet for that frustration.  Fast forward eighty years and an ocean away and we are faced with similar turmoil here at home.  Rather than face the reality of the situation, the government would rather keep us engaged in an unofficial civil war, a battle between ourselves than to face the grim reality of the situation we are in right now.

I don’t know about you but, I for one am tired of always playing the scapegoat.  If a documentary named “The Weight of the Nation” had aired on television and was fair and balanced and showed all the sides of the problem then I would be content.  If we spent as much money researching the effects of bad eating habits on the human race in general rather than focusing on one segment of the population I would be ecstatic.  If we could stop judging a group on their outward appearance I would be trilled, in fact I would be overjoyed!

Fat people of the world unite!  We are NOT the problem!  We are not the cause of the healthcare crisis in America.  Greed is the problem!  Stand up and take a stand!  We are in a unique place in the world now.  They can’t throw us all in a fat camp and make us starve till we fit their standards.  This is how revolutions are started and baby, it’s time for a revolution!

The High Cost of Being Fat

1 May

Here they go again!  Another study, funded by who knows who, has found that the increasing waistline has affected the pocketbooks in more places than just health care.  In an article posted yesterday on Yahoo (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/americas-waistline-expands-costs-soar-100758490–sector.html), The Campaign to End Obesity, claims that not only does obesity make our healthcare cost soar but apparently we are now to blame for the high cost of gas, the low pay rates for workers and the exorbitant cost of a baseball ticket.

Yes folks, you may not have known it but being fat makes the cost of a Yankee’s ticket more.  But, how can that be, you ask!  Well, it seems that because the stadium installs seats that are 2 inches wider than the old seats us fat people can be blamed since not only are the new seats expensive to install but they can’t get as many into Yankee Stadium as before so they have to reap their losses from somewhere!

But wait! There’s more!  It seems that officials (who ever they are) had been hoping that because we are fat that we would die off earlier and not be such a drain on the system by collecting Medicare or that pesky Social Security.  Makes sense right!  I mean, if being obese basically predisposes you for Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease then we should be dropping like flies at an early age (and since the number of obese people in this country is ranging around 36% we should be dropping in masses too).  Problem is, according to health economists from Duke University, “… mortality isn’t that much higher among the obese.”

That’s right folks!  Us fatties out there just won’t die!

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that sort of blow holes in their theory that obesity equals a death sentence?  Let me blow some more holes in there while I am at it.

New Jersey Transit officials have ordered new train cars that have seats that are 2.2″ wider than existing train cars but while they were at it they went ahead and ordered double Decker train cars so they could cram a few more people into that morning commute.  More passengers on the train (no matter their weight) equals….you guessed it! more weight!  By their own logic, more weight means that more fuel is burned and therefore we will use more fuel than we have in years past.

Oh, by the way, since 1970, the US population has grown by about one million people.  Isn’t it possible that this plays a role in the that extra 938 million gallons of gas we are consuming?

Is there a line to be drawn?

Sure, not every obese person is healthy just like not every obese person is unhealthy.  Someone who weighs 700 pounds is surely going to have some health limitations.

Does anyone out there really want to be 700 pounds?  Probably not.

Are we a nation of lazy people ?  Of course!  There is no doubt about that in my mind.

But is it fair to vilify all fat people just because they are fat?  Absolutely not!

There has to be a scapegoat for every set of circumstances and it seems that fat is where its at.  For whatever reason we get to play the Wicked Witch of the West to the “normal” folks Dorothy.

Oh, just as a side note, the same study found that obese people, women in particular, were less likely to be hired or promoted in jobs than their skinny counterparts.

Newsflash!  If I was conducting a survey and I interviewed employers and they admitted to me that they had not hired people because of their weight I would be calling the EEOC because, last time I checked, that was illegal.

But, that’s just me 🙂