Thread: Oh, The Irony!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
kazbates
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Oh, The Irony!!

This is something I've thought about posting for awhile now. It's very personal for me and something I've struggled with since I was very young.

Why is it socially acceptable to ridicule or poke fun at Overweight people?

In the current trend for Political Correctness, this is one area where it seems that it is okay to NOT be PC. Using an overweight person as the bumbling sidekick in movies and television shows is very common, as is making a fat person the brunt of a joke. Even PETA has gotten in the act with it's newest ad campaign (this is an actual billboard sign in Jacksonville, FL):



A quote from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman:
"Trying to hide your thunder thighs and balloon belly is no day at the beach."

Many of the comments on the PETA website have been contemptuous of the campaign, pointing to the inappropriateness of fighting against cruelty towards animals while being cruel to humans. However, there are also some who applaud the campaign, one person even commenting about how they are glad that PETA is addressing obesity because they are tired of paying higher insurance premiums thanks to all the fat people. In his defense, medical conditions directly related to obesity is one of the main factors the medical community attributes as to the high cost of health care. What amazes me is the complete lack of compassion by the posters who agreed with the campaign. Some of the comments were so derogatory that I could only think that it was thanks to the anonymity of the Internet that allowed the person to feel comfortable in making them. Unfortunately, I've heard far too many comments in real life that tell me that that's just not the case. Indeed, the negative comments I've heard and seen are frighteningly reminiscent of ethnic, racial, and lifestyle comments made (and now thankfully rejected) in our not so distant past.

Don't get me wrong, I think we should all be more healthy. I would love to be thinner, just so that I live a healthier life as I grow older. However, I think people should be allowed to live whatever lifestyle they choose without being ridiculed for it and that includes those who are weight challenged, particularly when obesity is rarely a choice.
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