You might not care about obesity (and honestly neither do I) but it’s a very simple issue that everyone understands already, so it’s a good litmus test of somebody’s intellectual honesty. I find Todd’s arguments about obesity (if you can call them arguments) to be a perfect example of how Cultural Marxism tries to leverage our decency against us.
Todd does the proper academic thing by introducing both sides of the argument first. To make sure he was fair and open-minded about the topic, he researched by Googling “why is it okay to make fun of fat people”. That is likely to give you different results than, say, “is obesity a problem” or “health effects of being overweight”, or better yet, “obesity statistics”. No, advocates of Cultural Marxism want to avoid objective facts and stick to the framework of culture and feelings — in other words, qualitative study, where nothing needs to be proven to be accepted. Citing his limited time he can’t get into why these articles are wrong in any factual or even logical way, but then proceeds to devote a few minutes to doing a standup routine about them anyway. He gives a sarcastic “Thanks, bro” in response to Matt Walsh’s blog post titled “No, you shouldn’t be proud of your obesity”. In that article, which has been shared over 10,000 times by readers since it was published in 2013, Matt Walsh explains that obesity is not an identity and that we have some control over our own weight. If it’s a choice, then it’s not oppressive to treat obese people differently than somebody who does what it takes to be healthy and fit. What Todd doesn’t acknowledge is that the main aim of the article is debunking the rationale for “obesity pride” not in order to create shame and self-loathing, but to help those suffering from obesity to believe in their own power to become healthier.
Nobody is lifting my imperfections up on a pedestal and telling me to be proud of them. My iniquities are not advocated nor are they championed by mainstream society.
Should smokers be proud of their yellow teeth and unhealthy lungs? Should alcoholics should be proud of their failing organs? It’s a valid argument based on logic and science, and ultimately encourages obese people to escape the trap of letting their health status become part of their identity. Just to be thorough, I bothered to look up another Matt Walsh article on obesity. I found one that argues a similar point from a different angle: that calling obesity a disease stops fat people from feeling like they can overcome their weight problem, and instead must rely on drug companies and experts to “manage their condition” with pills and expensive treatments. There are lobbying groups who profit off of obesity being labeled as a disease. He encourages overweight people to stop thinking of themselves as victims and finally get out of their rut so that they are empowered to control their own health. Positive thinking.
THANKS, BRO. Todd mischaracterizes each of the examples he cherry-picked off Google and manages to draw laughs from the crowd when he blatantly dismisses anything they contain. Because the headlines are politically incorrect we’re supposed to trust him that the authors are bad people whose arguments don’t matter. He says the authors can “go fuck themselves” and that they’re “stupid”.
The other side of the argument is presented as unquestionable truth. It states that obesity is merely a “body type” that’s equal to any other, and that it’s only thanks to a deranged set of “pervasive myths” that we are prevented from respecting that. Myths which hold forth that obesity is “always ugly”, or that obese people “deserve anything they get”. These are said to be pervasive and universal opinions baked into society; however, there are no statistics to back this claim up either. We all remember that “chubby chasers” have been a thing for many decades — to the point where it became part of the lexicon — and we know that obese women thrive in the porn industry under various categories. If you’re familiar with the darker corners of this fetish, you may even know that “gaining” is an activity women get paid for these days, in which they can make a living gorging themselves on camera. These women often have their favorite free food delivered to their houses by strangers over the internet so that men can watch them become more fat on webcam shows. In one famous example documented by Vice, the woman decided to stop the unhealthy lifestyle and lose weight. Can you guess what happened? She instantly lost all of her donations! The men weren’t interested in seeing her become thinner. Fetishizing is not something fat people are likely to celebrate, but it at least negates Todd’s claim about fatness being pervasively considered ugly. There’s a measurable market demand.
Better yet, we can use logic by asking the simple question: if obese people are universally rejected by society as ugly, why are there so many obese people in relationships? We can go a step further: if it’s true that obesity is simply a body type we inherit genetically and thus it gets passed down through reproduction, shouldn’t obese people be eliminating themselves from the gene pool and shrinking as a demographic? How is it that obese people can be multiplying faster than thin people if everyone thinks they’re ugly? Obese people must be accepted as attractive enough, right?
There are some more problematic “pervasive myths” Todd cites, but what’s important is that they all come from a single source: a feminist named Melissa McEwan, who has a blog Todd likes. Melissa is a freelance feminist writer, not a scientist or an academic, which makes Todd’s usage of her as his only source of truth notable. It shows a rejection of hard data and a staunch alignment with a biased political leaning. Here’s what Melissa’s blog says about itself:
Melissa churns out dozens of posts all day long on her blog, sounding alarms nonstop about Trump, nationalism, populism, conservatism, Christianity, and all things non-progressive. Her apocalyptic tone is almost matched by her devotion to save humanity and #resist the newly elected government, but even she admits she is overwhelmed: “One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.” Blogging about how you lost the election is a full-time job for some people.
What the media does
With the evil and heroic sides of this issue so clearly defined, Todd proceeds to tell us that the aforementioned myths create popular associations, which lead to harmful media portrayals. Thus we have stereotypical fat characters in fiction that aren’t portrayed in a positive light. Without any data to back this up, we get more lazy assertions about how the world works. Once again, let’s indulge this false argument for the sake of showing how contrived the whole presentation really is.
Fat characters are shown to be either evil or comedic, he says, and fat people’s main goal is often to lose weight. To prove this he points to one example of a fat character in a video game (some Fire Emblem game) who was evil once, so… that proves that! The game itself does not associate the character’s obesity with evil, but we can trust Todd as a Media Studies expert that this is what the Japanese creators were thinking when they designed him. The stereotype that fat characters are always trying to get skinny is proven like this: “The Biggest Loser is a television show entirely based on that, right?” Oh… yeah, I guess it is. That is one TV show out of tens of thousands we could look at, and yes, it certainly is about overweight people voluntarily entering a contest to see who can lose the most weight for their own personal and financial reasons, so I guess it must be a prevalent theme across all media!
Supposedly the media reinforces these negative associations over and over again, and yet he only gives one example? If that’s all it takes, how about I point to the sitcom According to Jim, where the potbellied protagonist is coupled with a gorgeous wife, and he doesn’t constantly try to lose weight. Instead, Jim is portrayed as a funny, witty, charming guy with a heart of gold! There. You’ll have to do better than that, Todd. And need I mention the “gaining” phenomenon again? Todd may only care to notice fat people in the media when they suit his belief that they’re always the butt of a joke or a bad guy, but anyone can easily find examples of overweight individuals in the media who are never portrayed negatively or made fun of, whether it be news anchors, reporters, sports commentators, TV show hosts, coaches, politicians, or countless characters in fiction. There are hundreds of successful fat Twitch streamers and YouTube personalities who enjoy audiences without abuse. More people tolerate and fully accept fat people than otherwise, so again, it can’t be too pervasive. (Note: That’s why statistics are important. They measure how significant things actually are versus how we perceive them based on a few well-known anecdotes. That’s also why real academics use data to make their arguments about social issues, so they don’t look like lazy fools pushing an agenda.)
Now I don’t want to dismiss the idea of a monolithic conspiracy of ad agencies and social engineers working around the clock to shape the psyche of the American people, because we all know that billions of dollars and countless man-hours have been spent trying to control the subconscious of the masses. Go back and read Edward Bernay’s Propaganda and find out sophisticated the social engineering was in the early 1900’s already; how clever psychologists like himself (the nephew of Sigmund Freud) managed to turn cigarettes into a symbol of rebellion, or how breakfast cereal companies found that they needed to add extra unnecessary steps to their pancake mix instructions so that housewives wouldn’t feel insecure and useless in the face of such convenience. Idealizing certain “unattainable” appearances in order to pressure women into subscribing to beauty magazines, buying endless products, or going on certain diets invented by food companies is completely normal in our cynical capitalist society. Generations of ignorant people have been indoctrinated into believing certain “truths” planted by the experts behind the scenes of the media landscape. We should question those myths, certainly. We should be aware of the conditioning which creates so much unhealthy neurotic stress and pressure in our lives. But there are three points that need to be made: (1) that society has become self-aware of the marketing forces trying to control them, especially with the introduction of Generation X, and this has undermined the effectiveness of the media to shape our views; (2) that the rise of the Internet and social media has created a new paradigm even more powerful than TV and movies, and therefore it’s not good enough to point to a TV show (or any media product) and claim that it represents the views of the masses; and (3) that the extreme alternative being proposed by folks like Todd (who may be ignorant and actually have good intentions) is equally cynical when we look at the unseen forces pushing the new Social Justice Warrior’s “culturally oppressed vs. culturally privileged” narrative.
To really understand what’s driving the corruption of liberal institutions by this new breed of politically correct Stasi trying to seize culture from the “privileged” we need to educate ourselves about Cultural Marxism, Critical Theory, and Hegelian Dialectics.