Monday, May 05, 2014
"Lookism", explained by Vox Media, and then some
Today, when I returned from a long day trip (more stuff tomorrow on it), I found a tweet from Ezra Klein of Vox Media in Washington DC, “When a trim, handsome guy repeatedly mocks a fat man for being fat on TV, it’s bullying plain and simple”, with a link to the story “Stop making fun of Christie for being fat”. A friend who sometimes works in the GOP establishment says to me about Christie “He’s too fat”, while lamenting the difficulty in the GOP of finding a candidate intellectually qualified and cognitively for the job of president, which he thinks Christie definitely is (although the friend wants Guiliai to run, and even campaign in drag if it helps). And, yes, Christie is likeable, sort of like the hero of the Sopranos (Galdofini), chuckle. And maybe he just did let the “Traffic Jam” scandal get away from him, accidentally. (Reid Ewing, who is quite super-trim in the “10 Rules” movie (Movies blog, April 24), had already made his own short film musical video “Traffic Jam” about three years before. Christie’s blunder should help his career. And, oh yes, some baseball players are quite trim, like the Nats’ Stephen Strasburg.)
Back in 1999, I upset a friend I had made in the fight against “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” by noticing his sudden paunch and commenting at a gay pride march. I remember an email from him about a month later decrying my own lookism, which haunts the gay community. "You should be more mature ... what a way to greet someone."
At the same time, the media his hyping the obesity problem, warning that one third of young people know will be medically obese in early adulthood.
In fact, it’s on disco floors where you don’t see this problem, because lookism matters very much “in the bars”. Slender and thin is in there. But “lookism” very much feeds the cultural wars, and in international circles these are getting very serious right now.