Direct cut-and-paste from our conversation yesterday:
anna: btw, you’re going to be mad
anna: canadian supreme court ruled
obese people get two airline seats for the price of one
Here is the Reuters link. (It’s a short article.) Now, it’s not that I hate fat people, or I think corporations have souls and don’t deserve to get f’ed over once in a while, but come on. This is absurd. I get the whole “One person, one fare” idea, and sure, someone in a wheelchair pays one fair but takes up the space of two seats…but still…the biggest problem I have with it is that it sends all the wrong messages.
We in America have terribly warped ideals (it’s cool to be fat?) and we have become a society of coddlers. It’s ok to be short, it’s ok to have glasses, it’s ok to be fat…When a model dies from anorexia, the world is in an uproar. When millions die from obesity-related health complications, we still say “Oh, it’s ok, big is beautiful.” On a more personal level, it’s ok for my overweight friend to say “Hey, Jenna, you’re getting too thin, you need to eat a cheeseburger or two, I’m worried about your health.” But I can’t tell her “Hey, dollface, you’re getting a little hefty around the midsection…you should diet and lose weight because I’m worried about your health.” This whole ruling is telling obese society that it’s ok to be fat. And really, no, it’s not.
Obesity is an epidemic, that is spreading with the worldwide enfranchisement of fast food, tightening economic conditions, and greater socioeconomic gaps. Healthy food is more expensive, gym memberships and proper equipment (be it a Cross Trainer, or cross trainers) cost money. Lower income classes just can’t afford it, and fast food is really, really cheap. There are studies that say if you are thin, and have an obese friend, you have a 20% more likely chance of becoming obese too. In short, there are lots of things that contribute to this, but there are also so many things that we have to combat it.
In 2007, there were no states with less than 15% of the adult population
as considered obese.
I don’t think encouraging that epidemic and telling people it’s ok is going to make it any better. It brings higher health care premiums, higher transportation costs, lost productivity, and now, lost revenue. But the biggest problem is that we don’t address it in schools….we hear all about the
perils of anorexia and bulimia every year in health class…and then we watch after-school specials about the fat girl that becomes prom queen.
This whole thing is far greater than a civil liberties issue. Yes, I’m 100% a proponent of personal responsibility, and yes I do think that people need to accept the consequences of their actions, be it murder or eating KFC every night for a year straight. And I’m far from perfect…at the moment I carry more pounds than I should, I don’t go to the gym, and I have a soft spot for pasta, ice cream, and Cape Cod potato chips. But I also know it’s my responsibility to take care of my body and to educate myself, be it through TV, magazines, the internet, or whatever, on healthy and productive living. If I want to live long and feel attractive for most of my life, it’s my personal duty to do everything I can to achieve that. But I do realize that there are lots of other things that need to be changed. It needs to be addressed as an eating disorder in school, healthy food needs to be more affordable, and exercise needs to be far more encouraged. And above all, we need to stop telling people that this is ok. Because it really isn’t.