Morning Glories

Afraid of “Glorifying Obesity?”

In a rather confusing commentary, an associate editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jennifer Graham, expresses her conviction that “it is possible to accept and encourage women without glorifying obesity.” She is obviously right but completely misguided in her apparent concern that “glorifying obesity” is a problem.

Ask anyone who is living with obesity if they feel that their condition is glorious or if they feel glorified by the people they encounter. Real life experiences are quite the opposite.

Folks who study obesity have documented a bleak picture for people living with obesity. Children with obesity are routinely bullied by their peers and demeaned from a very early age by parents and teachers. As they progress through their education, they face barriers to opportunities because teachers and professors make false assumptions about their potential. Employers prefer thinner job candidates, regardless of qualifications. Healthcare professionals, more often than not, regard people with obesity as being unintelligent, dishonest, and a waste of their time — regardless of what the truth might be.

We’re unaware of any health condition, including obesity, that has ever been glorified. Graham points to marketing campaigns for plus-size clothing. But Lane Bryant is selling clothes, not obesity. Fashionable eyeglasses do not glorify astigmatism.

So we ask Ms. Graham to rest assured. She can treat people with respect, regardless of their health or physical size, without any risk that she will be “glorifying obesity.”

Click here to read Graham’s commentary in the Post-Gazette.

Morning Glories, Painting by Shibata Zeshin / WikiArt

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October 8, 2015

2 Responses to “Afraid of “Glorifying Obesity?””

  1. October 08, 2015 at 4:10 pm, Kate said:

    Talk about obesity is so well-accepted in the workplace that I personally feel people use weight as the last excuse needed to terminate an employee. Are they too skinny? Do I like them?

    What a shame that it can be so important whether the boss, often with obesity, views our weight as acceptable or not.

    Thank you for the link. I believe the step-wise changes are more important than how you weight today.

    • October 08, 2015 at 4:17 pm, Ted said:

      Thank you, Kate.