Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Obese People"

In one of my classes we were talking about Supersize Me. I had to reply to a classmate's post. This is what she had to say:

"One of the most memorable scenes for me was when Morgan was talking about the obesity problem in Texas and the camera panned behind the counter in a Houston McDonald’s to show two obese employees.

I admit, I had a strange fascination with the clips of fat people. Even though obesity is common, it still strikes me as abnormal. Do these people know what they look like? As a formerly large person myself, I know now that I did not have a true image of my appearance. Looking back, I am embarrassed about what I wore. And I get embarrassed for these people. Do they know that stretch pants show every dimple of cellulite?

Now, as a normal-weight person, I am determined to avoid becoming fat again. The obese people look so uncomfortable! The older I get, the more challenging it is. But I can buy clothes in a regular store, swim with my kids, and fit in the bleacher seats at a Packer game. I value these simple pleasures, and have compassion for those who are missing out.

I also found the artwork disturbing, yet fascinating."

Here is my reply:

I’m sorry but I find this post to be offending. What you said about “obese people” may be true but not everyone can help their obesity. Everyone is different. And you’re right, not everyone knows they look the way they look because it’s about what is on the inside. They feel good therefore, to themselves they look good. Just because someone is large in figure doesn’t mean they aren’t happy with themselves. I hope you don’t take this as an attack but I just don’t want anyone to be offended. And who’s to say that obese people aren’t healthy. I know several people who exercise and eat healthy and they are to the Doctors, obese. Your experience may be different from others. It seems like now that you are “normal-weight” you are looking down on these “obese people” and I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate it.

Who is being wrong here? Seriously? How can you say that? We don't want you're sympathy. I'm so disgusted with this woman.

Later on when my professor read this, she wrote:

"I agree with Jenny that the word choice of "abnormal" and "embarrassed" is offensive. We never know what has led people to their current situation. Also, like Jenny, this isn't an attack to say don't share your opinions, but reconsider your word choice and how you frame your points.

For instance, as someone from New Orleans who lost my childhood home to Hurricane Katrina, I know I'm very sensitive to people saying people shouldn't rebuild the city or were stupid not to evacuate when the truth is that lots of people did evacuate and still suffered tons of damage not from the storm itself but from the failed levees.

I hope that makes sense--the goal here is for empathy and understanding rather than sympathy or pity for those different from us."

I'm so glad that she agrees with me!!!

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