Monday, September 10, 2012

I Am Fat!

Caitlin Moran was overweight for all of her childhood, and only began to lose weight in her teen years. Her childhood nickname was "Fatso." As a result, Moran remains very conscious of the pressure that society puts upon women to remain thin. As Moran entertaining describes, celebrities such as David Bowie and Keith Richards can completely fry their brains using drugs, but are still idolized by media and society. Women  (especially celebrities) who are not model-thin are constantly vilified for their weight (p.110).

As Moran points out:

"Because people overeat for exactly the same reasons they drink, smoke, serially fuck around, or take drugs... In this trancelike state, you can find a welcome, temporary relief from thinking for 10, 20 minutes at a time, until finally a new set of sensations-physical discomfort and immense regret-make you stop, in the same way you finally pass out on whisky or dope. Overeating, or comfort eating, is the cheap, meek option for self-satisfaction, and self-obliteration. You get all the temporary release of drinking, fucking, or taking drugs, but without-and I think this is the important bit-ever being left in a state where you can't remain responsible and cogent....Overeating is the addiction of choice of carers, and that's why it's come to be regarded as the lowest-ranking of all the addictions...Fat people aren't indulging in the "luxury" of their addiction making them useless,chaotic, or a burden. Instead, they are slowly self-destructing in a way that doesn't inconvenience anyone. and that's why it's so often a woman's addiction of choice" (p. 111-113).

Since Moran, in addition to being an obese child, was also the caretaker of her numerous younger siblings, she has first-hand knowledge of the causes of obesity.

The U.S. in general, and NYC in particular, has become very aware of an obesity epidemic in the general population. More than a third of the adult population in the U.S. is obese, and over 17% of children are obese. NYC has mounted an agressive campaign to lower its obesity levels by increasing the amount of healthy food carts, improving schools lunches, and posting admonishing ads on subway trains. However, obesity rates remain high among New Yorkers of all ages. One reason may be that these NYC obesity reduction methods, while admirable, don't provide caretakers for the caretaker. There is no one there to help provide these women with the support that they need, which is a much more expensive proposition than posting some signs in a subway car.

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