Lifestyle

Fat or Fluffy

Daddy Oh

Tony Robinson

Sunday, October 28, 2012    

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A surfeit of the sweetest things,

The deepest loathing

To the stomach brings.

— Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night's Dream 11, 2

Fat, fluffy, obese, overweight, rotund, plump, portly. All those words signify one thing: that the person is bigger than they should be. And no matter how they try to justify their size by using epithets that don't say fat, the fact is, they still are fat.

But it's no laughing matter, even though it's said that fat people are supposed to be jolly. The serious side of obesity is high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes and general poor health. Although that's a scientific fact, many fat...er...fluffy people will deny and say, "Oh, I'm happy the way I am, and skinny people can kiss my big fat aspiration."

Others may get depressed and go on various starvation or binge diets that don't really work, for when you starve yourself, the body has a protective mechanism of storing.... you guessed it, fat. What an irony. Some women may even glorify their size and term themselves fluffy, but the bottom line is, and it's a big bottom, too: they're just plain fat.

People can be cruel to obese people, and no other category of person is as vilified or ridiculed as a fat person. People will look, stare and snicker, and even in medieval jolly olde England, children were encouraged to stone fat people.

We'll see who's fat and who's fluffy right after these responses to 'Unwanted Men'.

Hi Teerob,

You asked what's wrong with the picture of the guy bringing his lady into the bridal shop wanting to see the catalogue and knowing the price of the gowns. You were correct when you said that it is usually the woman who makes a fuss about the gown, and they usually bring along their mother and/or girlfriends to share the joy of picking out the gown.

He could have been a great guy, or he could have been a misogynistic, narcissistic, control freak who likes to make all the decisions in a relationship, leaving no say to the woman in their life. Those men are dangerous and abusive and definitely on the unwanted list.

W Jamadar

Ontario, Canada

Hey Tony,

Been reading your articles since grade 8, and I'm now in my 20s. I placed myself in the boy-boy group, but maybe you should do an article on the 'unwanted woman'. Many of these women make young men like me have no choice but to 'hit n quit.'

Akeem

Tony,

I may be an unwanted man, for I cannot get a woman to stay with me for any length of time. Lord knows I have tried everything but they just will not stay, if you have any tips I will greatly appreciate it.

Unwanted Man

There was a big furore on US TV a few weeks ago when a news anchor flew into a tirade and actually cursed a viewer on live television, all because he e-mailed her about her being overweight. The guy who wrote to her was into fitness, and perhaps in his own way, thought that he was helping her.

Well, she was not amused, and certainly gave him a piece of her mind as she lashed out at him right there on national television. But would she have reacted that way if someone had commented on her hair, her nails, arms, or legs? Probably not, but it's considered rude to comment on any person who is overweight.

"Shh, don't say anything, she's sensitive about her weight."

Kids, known for their candour and frankness, do not adhere to such polite social graces, and have been known to blurt out, "Mommy, that man is big and fat, he is so fat."

"Hush child, hush your mouth, that's being rude."

Such is the fate of people who are portly, and it has been so from the dawn of time. Why?

It has been said that obese people are viewed differently because they are the architects of their own fate and ultimate demise. No one can control how tall they are, or how short, or the colour of their skin, but a fluffy person got that way because they ate more food than they should.

It was all their doing and they have no one else to blame. That is the common perception. When I watch those science documentaries and see those grossly overweight persons, I am saddened, even as I am fascinated. People of 500, 800 or even 1,000 pounds in weight are featured as they struggle with their excess poundage.

On this last programme that I saw, they had to remove an entire wall just to get a woman out of the house and transport her by truck to the hospital. Now, was she fat or fluffy? Some airlines even charge double for persons who are too big for one seat.

When I hear of people losing in excess of 400 pounds, I marvel, as that's twice my weight. Then I ask myself, "When did they get that way?" Surely it wasn't overnight. Then I ask again, "When they saw the first sign of weight-gain, couldn't they stop eating so much?" The scientists say that it's not so simple, and people who are overweight really have a difficult time dealing with their situation.

The TV show, The Biggest Loser, highlights this every week, and every pound lost is a triumph. And yet there are Jamaicans who glorify being fat... or fluffy. They wear the most revealing outfits to show off their belly flab, as if to say, "Say it loud, I'm fat and I'm proud." And the fact is, Jamaicans are getting fatter and fatter, joining the ranks of the obese in North America and Britain.

Back in the days of my youth, fat people were few and far between, and were given affectionate nicknames such as Fat Albert on the Bill Cosby Show, Blabba Pennicook, Fat Wille, Bigga Brown, and Big Rabbi. Now, obesity is more the rule than the exception, and sadly has afflicted our women more than our men. I wonder why?

When I watch the Junior Schools Challenge on TVJ, I hear the kids as they state their hobbies. Ninety per cent of them say, "Reading, watching TV and playing video games." Very rarely do I hear a child say, "Playing football, cricket, swimming or running up and down." And we wonder why they turn out obese...er...fat...fluffy.

Parents are responsible, and the same way that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, fat is not seen by a fat parent. I have lost count of the many times I've seen grossly overweight children waddling away and the mothers say, "Oh, she's not fat at all, she's big-boned and it runs in the family." Or, "He doesn't eat all that much, but he loves to drink Milo."

No mention is made of the numerous gallons of the beverages that he drinks every day. No fat parent sees their child as being fat, and you dare not tell them either or you may get a fat fist in your face.

There is so much resistance, and even US First Lady Michelle Obama has been trying to get Americans to eat properly, with very little success. Even New York's mayor advocated the banning of the sales of those supersized soft drinks. Those campaigns were met with howls of anger and resistance, with people saying that their human rights were being trampled on. "How dare they tell us how or what we should eat and drink."

The irony is, they will spend billions of dollars going to the gyms or buying expensive equipment that they never use after the first few days. The TV commercials all promise immediate results as the flab will just melt away if you use their products. The doctors are making a killing, even as the fat persons are killing themselves with too much food.

When a woman asks the question, "Do I look fat in this dress?" or, "Honey, have I gained weight?" It's a brave or foolish man who answers in the affirmative. So because of this, many women have resigned themselves to the fate of the fat and deem themselves fluffy.

Pretty soon, the word fat will be banned from the language, and go the way of the words, negro, darkie, mulatto, cripple, and black. It just won't be politically correct to say so, but it doesn't matter what you call it, fat or fluffy...it's still fat.

Being fluffy should not be ridiculed, but neither should it be glorified. I was happy to see an article written a few weeks ago that addressed the dangers of being too fluffy. It mentioned a few of the medical maladies that may occur. And even if the fluffy people cite examples of fluffy people who seem to be okay, the scientific fact is, more obese people suffer from chronic illnesses than people who are not.

So it's little consolation to say, "My mother was always fat and she live 'til dem sun har." Or, "Skinny people get heart attack too." Being fat or fluffy is not healthy.

So you haven't got to go on a binge diet, join Jenny Craig, or starve yourself, but instead, try to eat healthy and get up off your butt and exercise. Ease up on the fast food, avoid too much starch and gravy and drink more water. You'll be surprised at how your life will change. So fat or fluffy, it's your choice. More time.

seido1@hotmail.com

Footnote: I hear plenty talk about tourism and, indeed, I am a defender of the industry. So you can just imagine my shock and dismay when I visited Ocho Rios last Heroes' Day Weekend and saw all the stores closed for business. As we strolled through the town looking for stuff to buy, we could not find one store or gift shop that was open, only restaurants. Mark you, it was a Sunday, but don't tourists shop on Sundays, too? I always thought that tourism had no weekends, and that every day was tourist day.

I asked some friends of mine who live in Ocho Rios and their response was, "Nutten nah gwaan a Ochi anymore." Has Falmouth stolen the booty from Ocho Rios? I need to know, and I guess so do you. Ochi is dead on a Sunday and something should be done about it.

On a brighter note, what a wonderful fish and seafood festival Port Royal had on that same weekend. And for the first time I tasted lion fish. I must say that it's delicious and actually tastes like parrot fish. Who would have thought?

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