Commercials, death by obesity, Diabetes, fat people, obesity, people of size, Smaktakula's hypocrisy can sometimes be astounding, Snooki, United States of America, Why am I so fat?
Anywhere you travel across this great land, you’re very nearly guaranteed to see obese people. Whether they’re wolfing down a score of Whoppers at Burger King or zipping through the mall on their scooters, with cell phones to their ears and an extra-large bucket of soda in the drink tray, their gelatinous buttocks spilling over the seat–blubbery humanoids are becoming an everyday facet of American life.
In our society, obesity is ubiquitous and inescapable: in the supermarket and at public events, at the mall or even the gym. However, there is one arena where America’s blubbery class is all but invisible: television. Corpulent faces are rare on television, and this is even truer in regard to commercials.
Some activists want to change this paradigm, and show America a swollen, spotty face like the one it sees in the mirror every morning. Monty Robinson of Let America Respect Diversity (LARD), an advocacy group for people of size, believes the best avenue for this accurate depiction is diabetes commercials.
Currently, most diabetes commercials look like this:
Does the man in this clip look like anyone you know who has diabetes? No, the man is an actor, who doesn’t have diabetes. His middle-age paunch is his only nod toward obesity; he is only pretending to have this largely-preventable, first-world malady.
Obesity activists point out that African-American characters are portrayed by African-American actors, and that Asian actors portray Asian characters. Why then aren’t diabetes sufferers portrayed by gelatinous fatsos? “It’s not fair,” says corpulent actor Randy Bumfield, “How is anyone supposed to believe that I just had my gangrenous leg amputated if I’m handsome, slim and trim?”
The reality is that the producers of these commercials will never see fit to accurately represent their target audience. Diabetes spots will continue to feature paunchy-but-healthy middle-aged actors, who think nothing of trampling underfoot the surprisingly-sensitive emotions of the doughy monstrosities they purport to represent. This doesn’t, however, mean that Americans of size need go entirely without recognition–not if the average citizen does his or her part.
So the next time you’re in McDonalds for a late-night McFlurry run, and you’re greeted by the barnyard sound of rank humanity inhaling its feed, don’t wrinkle your nose in disgust or take a photo to show your friends on Facebook. Instead, make a conscious choice for change, and approach one of these ‘people.’ Imagine how good he (or she) will feel when you tell him, ‘That should be you in the diabetes commercial!’
You’ve untypically failed to put your finger on the problem. You know very well that this “crisis” has been merely due to the limits of technology. With the advent of huge half-acre TV screens…..one is hanging on my wall now…..there is now enough space to put on the large individuals that you opine should be there.
An excellent observation, TS&G! Mea Culpa! Or rather, Mea Gulpa.
Here in Canada, I have never seen a single obese person!
Although, we do have hockey, so it’s a bit of a give and take.
Well, I think a big reason for that is that the First Nations folks harpoon them for their blubber.
Admittedly, fat people blubber is delicious.
It’s the same with McDonald’s commercials that show a bunch of thin people dining there. That’s not representative of the McDonald’s I’ve been to, on the occasions I’ve been forced to sup there for lack of any other eateries (for example, the New York Turnpike, which is just one long strip of ‘healthy’ eating).
I’ve had that same problem driving up and down Interstate 5 on the West Coast. Particularly in California’s Central Valley you’ll have these vast stretches of farmland with the Sierra Nevada in the hazy distance (on a good day) and then hit these oases of fast food restaurants. Now you can see communities in the distance, but when I was a kid and we used to stop and those places, I wondered where the hell everybody who worked these places actually lived.
But to return to the point (something not always so effortless for me), that’s about the only time I’ll eat McDonalds, Taco Bell and the like (I DON’T eat at KFC–ever!). I feel shitty after eating that food. Even in my normal life I’ll occasionally eat at Carl’s Junior or In-N-Out, though.
Did you see the show “United stats of America”? They were using stats and facts to explain why the citizens of the US have on mass become shorter and fatter. The UK was only a few places behind them on the obesity front.
Fatter I knew, but not shorter. Hmm…that would explain things. I distinctively distrust the short. They’re usually up to something.
Although I don’t consider myself a big tub of guts, I’m by no means a slender man (6’4/230–sorry, don’t know what that is in stone!). The last time I traveled in Europe (excepting the British Isles for a moment) I was by far the fattest creature under 50. Then, in Rome, I saw an obese woman, and (small-minded prick that I am), I was overjoyed to be more slender than a European. Then she said something like, “Jerry! Get a picture of that old stadium!”
I still found myself a little fatter than the average Britisher, but you’re right–it wasn’t as pronounced.
Although not pleased to be fatter than an entire continent, I did enjoy towering over those people. Then I made the mistake of going to Denmark. Everybody looked EXACTLY like me, except in seemingly perfect shape. I’m never going back there.
Two words: Newark, Ohio. This is the place I discovered size 20 women’s underwear- and the she-behemoths who wear them. I’m not a Calista Flockhart by any stretch of the imagination but by comparison to the local heifers grazing their way through WalMart, I was a freaking skeleton. I always loved shopping for clothes in Newark. “Small” sizes, like 38D bras and size 12 pants were always on the sale rack.
Not everyone who’s diabetic is horrendously obese. Genetics has a lot to do with it too, although there are a lot of people who are genetically predisposed whose glucose control would be much better if they stayed out of the fast food joints and knew when to toss off the feed bag. It’s not easy, but good management is possible. It does take some discipline and control.