In 1954, Life magazine published an article entitled "The Plague of Overweight" with a series of photos of a woman named Dorothy Bradley
. The story features some now-familiar tropes about fat people ("197-pound Dorothy ... covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious"; "Dorothy envies slim girl's milkshake"). It is also notable as an early appearance of the concept of an obesity "epidemic".
Nichelle Gainer (whose Vintage Black Glamour
blog was seen previously on MeFi
) responds insightfully
to a NY Times editorial by author Alice Randall called "Why Black Women Are Fat
The Fat Trap (NYT pop review):
Overweight individuals in Western nations (and, increasingly, beyond
) face interpersonal and institutional stigma for their bodies*
. Oftentimes, these stigmas are predicated on the belief that being overweight is a moral failure
, that being overweight is usually a result of laziness, decadence, and/or characterlogical poor impulse control. However, an emerging consensus among obesity researchers points toward strong, common physiological and individual genetic factors
as causative for heightened BMIs in the modern world and the general failure of dieting to produce BMI outcomes. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine (paywalled)
adds to this body of evidence, suggesting that chemical messengers held to contribute to altered "efficient" metabolism and increased hunger in the wake of low-calorie dieting are (on average) significantly elevated up to a full year (if not longer) following a substantial drop in weight from dieting.> [more inside]
Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit
"My goal is to inspire people to get fit, teach them how to do it and give them hope that it IS possible to get fit and stay fit. " [more inside]
Why You Got Fat
An insightful 3 minute look into how fat is stored and utilized by your body. [more inside]
can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
A graphic yet poignantly written first-person account of what it is like to weigh 530 pounds.
The author of this account is unflinchingly brutal in her candor, which, although it makes some graphic moments in her narrative difficult to read, also brings you deeply into her world and her perspective. (A July 2008
MyGastricBypass.com "This doctor feels that I have 25 to 30 lbs of excess flesh to come off. All the dieting the world won't remove that, so now I have some major decisions to make....Never did I think that this would be happening to me....Granted, it's better than weighing 500 lbs, but it's pretty nasty looking....The frightening thing is what happens to this skin when I get in the pool. OMG! It floats!!"
- A long and actually heroic saga of self-disclosure, somehow Zen too, of one woman's successful attempt to remake her body and so her life - this rises at times to sublime heights : "I believe in a force called the Cosmic Shoe....Moorings are loosened and our boat feels adrift. When that doesn't get us moving, the Cosmic Shoe finally KICKS our ass into the direction he was trying to nudge us in the first place."
It's not your imagination, Americans (and those of us who live in similar cultures) really are getting fatter. The latest Journal of the AMA has the reports
Michael Kelly to America: We are some kind of fat.
Never mind what we consider to be beautiful
; the sad fact is that many, many Americans are slobs who cover their guts with spandex pants and think they look good. If only they knew. Amen to this op-ed, and down with dress-down, too, while we're at it.
A model commits suicide the other night
but what's really tragic about this is this is
what is considered
"plus sized" these days. Aren't the days of 80lb, heroin-chic