Fat is Contagious!

Here is a most excellent read about the last accepted prejudice in society. An excerpt:

 The way people act, you’d think fat was contagious.

Over time, I couldn’t help wondering what other riders were thinking when they chose not to sit next to me on the bus. At that moment of decision — to sit or not to sit next to the fat girl — are their thoughts crystal clear, like typewriting across their brains? You don’t want to sit next to that fat woman, because a) she might smell like bratwurst, b) her excess sweat will rub off on you and stain your good blouse, or c) it’ll be a lot less comfortable than standing. Or are their thoughts more like a swirling purple vapor of vague collected precepts? Fat…bad…icky…undesirable…avoid…stand.

One afternoon I was inspired to launch an experiment; to engage in an act of performance art, of sorts. I created a fake book cover with my home computer. Some rectangles of color here, a change in font there, a borrowed bar code, some clip art of a cartoon fat woman on a shuddering scale, and voila! I’d churned out a highly convincing non-fiction book jacket. I wrapped it around a newly purchased biography, and after a little tugging and folding and fun with Scotch tape, I held the book out before me. My heart swelled at the sight of it, my cheeks grew warm. My God. It looked so real.

And my God, what a great essay!


8 thoughts on “Fat is Contagious!

  1. Ow. My sides hurt!
    SO damn true.
    I’ve often wanted a workout t-shirt to wear at the gym that says, “Hey, at least I’m trying.”

  2. Mystery,

    Good link! That was worth reading. When I get re-employed, one of the purchases I’m planning on making is Fat, by Rob Grant (of Red Dwarf, if you’re familiar with that).

    It’s unclear precisely when it became illegal to be fat.

    Of course, technically it’s not, even in this day and age. Even with the blatant persecution of all tubbies, there’s no official legislation on any statue book that comes right out and says fatness is against the law.

    But it is. (p.5)

    I’m not sure how good it will be (his novels are kind of hit and miss), but sometimes it’s worth supporting anything that pokes at ‘what everyone knows’ that isn’t always so.

  3. Quester,

    Good to see you over here! I used to watch Red Dwarf when we could get it on our channel lineup, but haven’t seen it for a long time. I loved it. You know, Dr. Who for the dorky set. 🙂 I had not heard of “Fat” though. Is it a book or a movie?

  4. It’s a book by one of the writers/creators of Red Dwarf, but does not fit into the Red Dwarf cosmos. I don’t always recommend his books (I have to be in the right mood to enjoy them), but his premises intrigue me. His other book (outside of Red Dwarf) that I own is _Incompetence_. It’s set in a world where no one can be refused employment based on race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or competence.

    _Fat_ is set in a world where charging overweight people more for riding in airplanes is quickly followed by charging more for all forms of transportation, then health care, etc. etc. This becomes justification for other prejudices, official and unofficial.

    In other words, both books are set in a world as ours might be come very soon.

  5. Anazeteo,

    Good Goddess that IS RICH! I had to laugh out loud at this woman’s retort. Why can’t I think that fast. And yes, I’ve been on the receiving end of “skinny evangelists” who after enumerating your particular “sins” LOVE to say, “…but you have such a pretty face!” Thanks for giving me the link!!!

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