Motivation comes from the oddest places. I've been feeling the Start Snitching itch more and more lately and then I see the above photo and so many things I've been reading just all came together and yet, I'm still not entirely sure what to make of this picture.
This was published in the September issue of Glamour, hit Gawker and then the rest of the internet went wild with it.
Caveat #1: This picture is oddly angled and only a skeleton wouldn't show any kind of gut in that position.
Caveat #2: I think it's a refreshing to have these images out there, competing for mindshare, even if it wasn't a cover shot.
With that said,
It seems like the whole argument of personal health, has been reduced to this false dichotomy, much like the health care "debate" in this country. It's an Us Vs Them battle where being unhealthy is an act of defiance to the health nuts and hippie vegans who want to steal your cheesecake (PETA again misses the fucking point.)
Partly because of people with their approach, there is literally a Fat Acceptance Movement.
There are seemingly only two sides to this coin, you can airbrush the reality out of every woman in media and deify images of hungry chicks with body dysmorphic disorder or you can start the creep, where the meanings of overweight and obesity get redefined and expanded to accommodate the increasing average and reflect "reality."
I feel a little dirty linking to Maxim, but this 7 Stages of Fat sort of captures the "Wall-E" style progression we're on.
America is somewhere on Stage 5: Sporty Fat.
There has to be some sort of 3rd option that doesn't involve me counting Angelina Jolie's ribs or pretending that Mo'Nique is sexy because she's confident and happy while wearing a shirt that says "Fat Gurl." (Celebrating Ebonics and Obesity in two words, quite an achievement...)
Seriously though, this attitude is part of the problem. Too many dudes use the term "thick" (Pause no Uncle Ruckus/Clarence Thomas) as a compliment that has gone beyond definition and too many chicks take this overused term as a sign of achievement (ahem, black community, cough cough.)
Let's delve further, in July 2009 a report came out stating that blacks have the highest obesity rate in the country for three reasons, one, acceptance of obesity, two, less physical activity and three, a 25790:1 McDonald's:Trader Joes ratio in the hood.
There is not a damn thing wrong with trying to be thick like Beyonce. In fact I encourage it, but look very carefully at the type of thick Beyonce is. She can probably do more situps than me when I was playing 3 sports and still maintains her curves.
This is larger than the black community though, this attitude ties directly into this seemingly unique American attitude of having no remorse for ones actions or the ability to assess those actions honestly and make changes.
It's ok to say, maybe I should get a few runs in a week and cut out some fat out the diet.
In this health care debacle plaguing the country, what would happen if Obama said a big way to rein in costs would be healthier eating and exercise?
There'd be town halls with people crying ZOMG Eugenics, socialized arugula! Keep your Muslin, yes MusliN hands off my Apple pie!
Chris Matthews would have a five night special on if Obama really understands middle America or is just a coastal elite and Glenn Beck would eat the entire contents of the "This Is Why You're Fat" blog to show Obama this is still our country!
Fuck your treadmill and your granola bar! America Fuck Yeah!
My trademarked Start Snitching hyperbole is not even that far-fetched anymore...
When all forms of cancer, a largely uncontrollable corruption of your own body, is less of a strain on the health care system than obesity, a largely controllable corruption, things have gone seriously awry.