Today in Fat-Hatin'

Take a look at the cover of the new issue of Details magazine and see if you can guess what teaser caught my eye.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

If you guessed this one, give yourself 1,000 points.

[For those who can't view the images, the teaser is: "Why It's Okay to Stare at Fat People."]

The answer, if you're curious (I know you are!), is: Because they're on the teevee! Actual article headline: "The Obsession with TV Fatties." Actual article subhead: "What's so funny about overweight people getting hit in the groin with footballs? Everything." Actual article opening salvo:
In the United States of America, home of the best-fed people on earth, it's finally come to this: We have developed an insatiable appetite not only for mammoth cupcakes but for fatness itself. Turn on the TV and it's everywhere. On NBC's pioneering The Biggest Loser, where the morbidly obese try to sweat their way into smaller jeans. On VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, with its flotilla of jump-roping chubsters. On Oxygen's Dance Your Ass Off, in which the shaking of Brobdingnagian booties rivals the cataclysmic movement of tectonic plates. And, most recently and tantalizingly, on Fox's More to Love, in which a bevy of lard-assed ladies compete for the meaty paw of a sweet, man-boobed, 300-pound-plus subcontractor from California.

The author, Simon Dumenco, goes on to a brisk, surface-level exploration of how the shows are degrading to their participants and designed to allow the thin (or less-fat) viewer to feel better about hirself, before giving space to comedian Joe Piccirillo to contend, "No one wants to watch fat people fall in love. They want to watch fat people get hit in the groin with footballs. It's the way God wants it," and eventually wraps up with this verbal shrug:
The humiliated fatty—that used to be a niche, a specialty profession like contortionist or congressman. But with nearly 4 million Americans tipping the scales at 300 pounds or more, it's ballooned into a growth industry. ... Pass the remote—and that pint of Triple Caramel Chunk.
Perhaps the most appalling part of that droopy resignation is that it follows this, four paragraphs earlier: "Face it: These shows traffic in human suffering."

Dumenco flatly states he recognizes that Fatty TV is exploitative, literally profiting from turning human suffering into consumable entertainment, and then, overwhelmed by the tide of bigotry, simply throws up his hands helplessly.

Sure, they're horrible, soul-destroying vehicles of abject bigtory against fat people, but they're popular and shit, so I guess I'll just watch them. What else is a guy to do?

Dude, turn. off. the. television.

Have a conscience. Be a responsible consumer. Find another way to make yourself feel better than by comparing yourself to people whom you perceive to be worse off than you are. Grow up.

Take a long hard look in the mirror and try to answer why it is that you can identify something as trafficking in human suffering yet still find it entertaining.

I may be fat, but as least I'm not a fucking sociopath.


Note: I recognize not all people watch Fatty TV for the reasons Dumenco does, and there is a legitimate debate about whether they are objectively exploitative. I am merely responding to Dumenco's admonishment to "Face it: These shows traffic in human suffering," and his apparent habit of watching them nonetheless. I am not implying that anyone/everyone who watches the shows interprets them in the same way as he does, nor that anyone/everyone who watches them does so for fucked-up reasons.

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