Actually, two things.
1. “Is It OK To Be Fat?”, the debate between Marianne Kirby, Crystal Renn, MeMe Roth and Kim Benson last night on ABC’s Nightline. It took me until now to watch it, because I was a bit leery yesterday at the title alone, and I have so many feelings. For instance: MeMe Roth obviously lives in a different America than I do. She seriously thinks that Lady Gaga and Beyoncé represent a movement away from the “waif look”? That thin people are discriminated against and fat people are coddled? Are the ABC crew sure that Roth isn’t a spam cyborg for TrimSpa or something? Or maybe because she falls under most categories of privilege (white, educated, upper-middle-class, thin), that is why Roth believes that fat people are not discriminated against? Well. Ms. Roth, let me say something. Kevin Smith –– along with I-don’t-know-how-many noncelebrities –– was not kicked off a Southwest flight for being delicately thin. He was kicked off for being fat and possessing only one seat assignment. And can I say something more about the whole “you should buy two seats if you require them” philosophy that supports this treatment? Fat customers aren’t made to buy two seats because we want the extra space. It’s not like we’re stretching out across both seats in relaxed luxury, like the Fancy Feast cat resting on a silk pillow. There’s a fucking armrest in between our seats, just like those of smaller customers –– so like everyone else, we have to settle for fitting into one assigned seat. The other seat a fat customer is made to buy is strictly for the comfort of the person that would otherwise have sat next to him or her, so that person doesn’t have to (oh, the HORRORS!) deal with a portly neighbor’s blubber overreaching its assigned area. It is not for the fat customer’s comfort that a second seat is purchased. It is because fat people are often considered a spatial, visual, economic burden on society, one that oftentimes (as in these incidents with Southwest and United) is created and enforced by the institutions within that society.
There’s also the small matter in which Roth stated that overweight/obese people had brains “4% smaller” than “healthy weight” people. I understand the study’s from the University of Pittsburgh, as she noted, but I want to know what exactly the university said, since this sounds –– as the audience for the debate attested –– like total crap. Does the brain shrink as someone gains weight? What of the five percent of dieters who used to be obese and are now considered “normal” weight, such as Kim Benson? Do their brains enlarge as these people continue to keep the weight off? The only way this makes sense is if evolution slowly progressed over centuries to the point that genetically larger people had 4% smaller brains, but then that’s admitting that weight and size has very much to do with genetics and very little to do with willpower or one’s moral worth, which Roth won’t concede to. Except when it comes to fat women giving birth to kids with spina bifida, at which point Roth says, “You’re fighting against Darwin here!” Well, MeMe, you can’t have it both ways –– either weight is caused by genetics or it’s caused by one being a self-indulgent slob, and it looks like you’ve undermined your lazy-slob position right there. Check… and… mate.
2. I read on Jezebel this morning that Utah’s governor is considering the passage into law of a bill that would investigate (with, surprise, the possibility of punishing) women for having miscarriages. The fear underlying the law is that some women might induce a miscarriage to end their pregnancies; therefore, the law goes, all women who suffer miscarriages can be charged with homicide. To which I say: WHAT THE FUCK, UTAH.