Friday, December 4, 2009

Once, during a college class discussion, I was asked to choose from four handicaps: blindness, deafness, being confined to a wheelchair or obesity. I was asked to tell which I would rather live with and why, which would I never want to live with and why.

Without hesitation, I chose being confined to a wheelchair over not seeing or hearing. Communication is vital to me and I'd rather see in order to read and hear in order to speak than be able to get around. And, I said that obesity would be the worst handicap of all, one I would never want to live with.

I remember someone getting defensive about this answer and asking me, "Why?!" I explained that people perceive the three other handicaps differently than obesity, especially in our culture. People have something that resembles grace for you if you are blind or deaf or in a wheel chair, but if you are fat, people automatically assume that it's your fault, that you are lazy or a glutton and they usually detest you for it.

This video is proof of what I said so long ago. A "fitness professional," buff and bronzed, speaking in the spirit of an evil Hans or Franz, expresses criticism of Obama's choice for surgeon general. His objections about her aren't academic, he just thinks she shouldn't have gotten the job because she is overweight. This man's boldness on national TV is evidence to me that as a culture, we generally don't respect fat people. Otherwise, this man wouldn't have the nerve to speak with so much arrogance in such a public forum about a woman's weight.

I imagine Obama's choice for surgeon general was just too busy getting her medical degree to worry about counting calories. She wouldn't be the first. Maybe this guy would have more respect for her if she had tighter abs and more of those fitness certifications or body building awards he has. (I'm am only assuming he isn't educated based on superficial evidence like his artificial looking tan and how much he points at the camera. I admit that I could be very wrong about this point. It seems like there are highly educated yet ignorant people nearly everywhere these days, especially on television.)

1 comment:

La Reina said...

people like that annoy the snot out of me...I get that she is not the perfect example of skinniness, but, really, who says skinny is beautiful? or even healthy? I love Neil and he hit it right on the head; There are people that are a little overweight and are perfectly healthy and others who are skinny minnies and keel over from a heart attack. What about being healthy? Shouldn't that be the goal?