Is fat the new black? Is it hot? Is it sexy?
That’s one of the things we’ll be talking about this morning on the Big Show, the first day after a week’s vacation – when most of us on the crew probably picked up a few pounds. The fat question is up for discussion because, once again, mainstream America has caught on to something old and made it look new and fresh.
How many people do you know have lost and gained the same 20 pounds for the last 30 years? But when Kirstie Alley does it, it’s huge news that makes the cover of several magazines. Two new reality shows, “More to Love” and “Dance Your Ass Off,” seem to, if not celebrate full-figured women and men, at least acknowledge that they exist. And why shouldn’t they? Overweight is now the norm, certainly for people who spend a lot of time sitting around watching reality shows. So, some producer in Hollywood figured out that huge chunk (pardon the pun) of the viewing audience would be entertained by and be able to sympathize and empathize with people who look more like they do. Duh!
Black people have been doing this for years – loving, supporting and rooting for people who don’t fit the traditional mode. I don’t think it’s necessarily that we relate to people who are overweight, but I do think we are much less likely to dislike people because of it. We’re able to see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and we’ve always been that way. Trust me, the expression “more to love” has been around a long time, and the first person to say it was probably a sister with her hand on her hip responding to a negative comment about her size.
So, back to the question: Is it hip to be fat now that so many mainstream Americans – that means white people – are overweight? Have they found a way to make themselves feel a little better now that their average weight has increased so much over the years? Maybe so. But that doesn’t mean we have to fall for it. Go ahead and watch the reality shows. But don’t believe the hype.
If we’ve learned anything about assimilation, it is that it has its downfalls. Everything isn’t for everybody. If you’re on program/diet/lifestyle change that includes decreasing calories and exercising more, keep doing what you’re doing. Heart disease, hypertension, diabetes – almost every ailment that plagues our race disproportionately – is partly related to our excess weight. We need to get a handle on obesity.
I’m not saying you can’t be sexy and thick. But it’s hard to be sexy if you’re sick.