Monday, 27 July 2009


Thinking about the appointment of Dr. Regina Benjamin, through a thread started by Jeff Fecke. By the way what an amazing achievement, it's funny after Barack Obama, then Sonia Sotomayor, it's becoming almost commonplace to see POC scaling the heights of American society!

Anyway, she has been criticised for being pleasingly plump, possibly even flat out fat. This predictable line has been used to disqualify her ascendancy to the office of Surgeon General, no less. Apparently it sets a bad example or something. It can be hard to keep up with what they are saying at times because it is just so banal and tends to bleed into one sentiment-stop the fatty.

What the thread highlighted again was two things, the desire of people who believe in the obesity crisis rhetoric to make fat acceptance it's polar opposite. I know, how insulting as if we could get away with something so stupid or would trouble ourselves with something so fatuous.

Also, the effects of this belief on people's capacity to reason or even grasp what you are saying. You don't have to touch FA with a ten foot barge pole to get what we are saying and even to agree with it. All you have to do, is accept reality is real, not a delusion that one can superimpose on willy nilly.

I know that a lot of people are very fond of describing FA as 'radical' meaning extreme. I blame it on radical chic from way back when the term became glamorous. I think of radical as a position, neither good nor bad that describes a point of view that comes from the deepest possible view.

Extremism more readily describes weight loss dieting and calorie manipulation in general, it's just about as far as you can go with using your conscious mind to control your food intake and eating, it's effects on the body would suggest this too.

Dr. Benjamin's appointment shows how easy it is to switch attack from more crude points such as race, to weight which is a godsend to those wishing to attack "undesirables". It's an example of finding ways to block people who aspire to greater than their assigned role in life, without upsetting ideas about meritocracy.

Which incidentally, is often the complaint about any suggestion of affirmative action. Favouring slimness in this sense would be worse than that and yet it's okay to propose it.

The snobbery around food often signals the idea that you are not like us who have class the value and achievements of the person being less important than 'associations'.

Incdientally, a better role model than Dr. B, if you want that sort of thing would be hard to find. Good luck to her. 

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