Thursday, November 08, 1990

Fatty Fat Fat Fat!

It's been interesting to see the rise of the "I'm fat, and I'm proud" movement.
Yesterday morning, my girlfriend and I watched a very obese woman defend her obesity as something to be loved, cherished, and accepted. Today, there's an interesting article at Slate.com on the proliferation of people announcing "I'm fat! That's that! Deal with it!"

While I sympathize with anyone who's ever been made fun of because of their size, my sympathies in this arena run surprisingly shallow. They run even shallower when I watch a "fat activist" sincerely compare the plight of "her people" to that of African Americans and their struggle for societal equality an acceptance. In fact, I'm tempted to laugh in her face.

Does this make me bigoted? I'm not sure. What I do know is that, for a significant number of obese people in this country, fat is not "genetic" or unavoidable; fat is something you become by eating more crap food than at any other time in our history, and by exercising less than ever before. Unlike, say, being black (or gay, despite the protestations of the nutjobs), being fat is not a condition to which one is born. For the vast majority of overweight individuals, being fat is something you acquire.

Are certain people genetically predisposed to gaining more weight? Of course. Is this fact responsible for the head-spinningly intense increase in obesity here in America? Not bloody likely. Were I obese, I wouldn't want to be made fun of either. But obesity IS UNHEALTHY. If you choose, through your lifestyle, to embrace your inner fatness, there's nothing I can do to stop you. But it's not good for you. Being black won't cause cardiac arrest to the best of my knowledge.

Do I make fun of fat people? Not much, to my knowledge. I don't have any reason to do so, and I try to select less easily-savaged targets. But being obese is being unhealthy. It's eating too much, it's exercising not enough, and its bad for you. "Accepting it" is like all lazy people saying that some lazy people have medical/psychological reasons for their laziness, and that therefore, all lazy people should simply be accepted for living a different lifestyle. It's terrible logic.

If you're happy being overweight, then good for you. If there's truly nothing you can do about it, then I encourage you to embrace yourself as hard as possible and find someone to love you just as you are, not as Madison avenue encourages us to do. But most of you out there are capable of changing your physical condition to improve your health, if nothing else. Don't ask me to accept obesity as inevitable when it's just not so.

And do not "Raise your pudgy little fist and say 'I'm fat, and I'm proud'"** in direct comparison to the Black Power movement. That's absurd, and it makes you fair game for skeptics, satirists, and those who would make fun of you.

**actual quote from the interview

Wednesday, November 07, 1990

Vatican to Creationists: Even WE Aren't With You On This One

From News.com.au:
The Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.

Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly.
Color me pleasantly surprised.
It's a beautiful thing to see people of faith step up to defend established, accepted science. God and rational thought should not be mutually exclusive.