How to Lose 282 Pounds, and (Maybe) Your Soul

I didn’t want to post on this. Truly.  This has nothing to do with the blogular subjects I have officially committed myself to:  art, traveling, writing and hypervelocity stars.

But it’s all over the news, making me sick. I can’t click on Yahoo without seeing it.
“After years of being bullied, ignored, and mooed at, Natalie Strawn decided to change her life,”  the Yahoo story triumphantly announces.  Click here if you haven’t already seen the video.  I’m not going to embed it here.

In it, a repentant Strawn explains how she lost 282 pounds in three years and what she has to do to keep it off,  to the interviewer’s effervescent praise.

” What’s wrong with that?”, you might ask.  “Why does watching this make you sick?  Don’t you want all the fatties to get healthy and stop being picked on?”

Here’s why.

The abuse dished out at fat people is dwelled upon by the mainstream media in  loving and painful detail, while somehow nobody ever seems to notice that the media itself rejoices in abusing fat people.  We’re saturated with news stories about how obese Americans supposedly are, how fat is going to kill us all, how fat is bad for the children, how fat will bring about the end of the world.

These stories never take a critical look at a society that brutalizes people for being unacceptable looking.  That’s always the fault of the individual for not measuring up.

Look at what we can do to you if you don’t comply, the  media tells us.  We’ll make your life a living hell.

Especially if you’re a woman, because a woman are expected to be sufficiently “attractive”  or they are worthless, and attractive means thin – at least in Western culture.  Exceed the tiny range of acceptable limits for a female body and you are a walking target for every hater on the planet.

Journalists don’t call the fat-haters out on their cruel behavior because they’re too busy aiming their own kicks at the obesity scapegoat.  The stories they tell encourage us to strive and strive to be perfect, and hate ourselves for being merely human.

Haunted by the fear of ostracism and ridicule, we  spend our money on diet books, memberships in weight-loss programs,  tasteless “fat free” frankenfood.  When most of us gain the weight back after five years, we hate ourselves for being such stupid lazy fat pigs, the way we’ve been trained to – instead of directing our anger at an industry that deliberately induces our anxiety and  makes billion-dollar profits off of it.

And that’s how a fucked-up status quo keeps itself going.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s