Check out the above video from Neil Cavuto's show. He had on some weird work-out dude named Michael Karolchyk who has a porn lite website called "Anti Gym" and is a regular FOX guest wearing a "No Chubbies" t-shirt. He wears it a lot, but for this segment it was embarrassing and Cavuto should have objected to it. She is the Surgeon General, after all. I guess I can wear just about anything on TV now. He compared her to a man living in a cardboard box running the Fed. It's disgusting.
As soon as Dr Regina Benjamin was named as our new Surgeon General the right wing haters crawled out from under their rocks. Every single move President Obama makes is immediately transformed into some socialistic/Nazi/Witch doctor conspiracy theory which is amping up the crazies and violence is sure to follow in even greater numbers now than it already has. C&L has vigorously objected to several of President Obama's moves on policy, but the freepers even attacked the jeans he wore when he threw out the first pitch at the All Star game.
The only problem seems to be that some people think the face is too fat.
From her photos, it appears that Dr. Benjamin will need a generous size 18 military uniform. The anti-fat brigade has been arguing in various online comments sections about her BMI and whether or not the term obese applies. These chattering masses wonder if a country plagued by obesity should have an above average-weight woman speaking to public health.
For me the answer is a resounding yes. This country is full of above-average weight women and children struggling for dignity as well as to lose weight. Achieving either of these is not easy. (Never mind that none of these criticisms have mentioned any actual health concerns Benjamin might or might not have, instead presuming "obesity" as a catch-all for bad health.) Having a confident, big-bodied and big-spirited woman as America's family doctor could do more to improve their health than skinny HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius. It's good to know that even doctors struggle with their weight -- and lead full and active lives in spite of adversity.
Amanda Marcotte has an excellent post about this story.
Yet, as Marcotte points out, there is an increasing tendency to see all of this as yet another opportunity to marginalize and shame certain segments of society based upon appearance:
By saying this, I’m not making any health claims about weight. That discussion, while interesting, is beside the point of this post. It’s enough to know that most people strongly associate health and weight. So when disingenuous sexists start to bellyache about the dangers of letting fat women out in public, they get traction, because it’s becoming increasingly acceptable to suggest that not being perfectly healthy is a moral failing that should be punished with social disapproval, shaming, ostracism, and lowered access to society. Of course, we double down on fat people, and triple down on fat women, because of plain old prejudice, but this isn’t happening in a vacuum. Smokers, people who don’t eat right, and other people with poor health habits are also considered morally inadequate, if harder to judge because they’re harder to spot. The fetish for health management is, I suspect, a large reason that the anti-vaccination movement has taken hold. People who want an edge in the moral olympics of prevention are inventing counterintuitive (and anti-intellectual) shit to do in order to win as the bestest, most deserving of good health.
Dear America. Please go worry about something important, rather than whether or not the new Surgeon General looks hawt in a bikini. Trust me, there’s lots of things going on in Washington right now which are worthy of a full blown panic.
I lost 30 lbs using the Weight Watchers system, but I was always a skinny kid. It's not an easy thing to deal with and when FOX attacks overweight people, they are attacking as many teabagger/republicans as they are Democrats. But who they really are attacking are Americans. When was it a moral sin to not look like Ally McBeal?