More of America to Love

I read an article today in Newsweek about how fat may be the new normal. The article evoked a couple different responses from me. One was, isn’t the majority of a population always considered normal? If the majority of the American population is overweight/obese, then is being the proper weight or underweight abnormal? I’d really like to go revisit some of the terrible bullies from my past (who, incidentally, were fat now I come to think of it. Is there no better definition of hypocrisy? I wish I had my acid wit back then, or maybe Wes’, because I can think of some really choice things to say to fat kids who taunt other fat kids) and say to them, “Now who’s a weirdo, sucka!”. Ahem, as I was saying, what an interesting paradigm shift.

The article goes on to explicate that studies have shown a correlation between people’s weights and the weights of the people they hang out with. People who associate with heavy people tend to be heavier and have less of a problem with it. As more of America gains weight, is it possible that the idea of being overweight is going to change as well? Will the notion of being fat become relative to the “normal” population? I think that’s fascinating.

I’ve read about the fluctuations in aesthetic standards of beauty throughout the years but perhaps it’s possible that we are witnessing the start of our very own American shift. Perhaps what is now considered overweight will never be commonly accepted as beautiful but I am interested in how that will affect our cultural view of weight. It’s possible that this is our cure for living too long.

If people are more accepting of being overweight than they were 10 years ago, I am intensely interested to know what comes next. Maybe schools will become less hellish for kids who carry a little more weight than their counterparts. I severely doubt it (owing to my own brush with school-kid-tainting Hell. My saving grace was my height. I was pudgy but I was tall and the sheer intimidation factor was usually enough to keep would-be antagonizers at bay. Except for the aforementioned hypocrites. They lived next door).

I am not sure what I think about this, to be sure. The rambling nature of this post probably made that clear to you awhile ago. I guess the idea of a paradigm shift, particularly in the collective attitudes of people who are considered by society to have culturally undesirable (even abhorrent) qualities, appeals to me. Perhaps being overweight doesn’t have to exclude you from feeling satisfied with your life.

Maybe now all the social deviants can get on with their bad selves (meaning, you know, the people who still think that 80’s hair bands totally rock and the people who actually enjoyed the movie “Alexander”). Now, if we could only get the furries and plushies to come out of hiding we’d really be in business…

One thought on “More of America to Love

  1. I think it’s very interesting to think about the new standard of “normal”. Clearly, our standards of weight and beauty have shifted. Look at the change from a Marilyn Monroe to a Twiggy as “the” standard of beauty. Hopefully, our new approach to weight will still allow us to address the issue of health problems with obesity AND allow people to carry various amounts of weight.

    Just my 2 cents. Thanks for posting :)

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