Thursday, November 13, 2008
This is what I see every time I leave my apartment complex.
It's an advert at the bus stop across the street.
For those who can't see clearly (not the best pic, I looked all over for a better quality image, but eventually just took a picture with my cell phone) it's an advertisement for the U.S. government's Small Step program, and it features a close up of a person's stomach, with the navel replaced with one of those blow-up nozzles you find in beach balls, and this fat stomach is literally deflating.
Above it says, "Small Step 89: Snack on fruits and vegetables. Lose your love handles at [the small step website]".
This irritates me every time I see it. And I see it all the time. It is a huge poster, and it's the first thing I see whenever I decide to go out.
It irritates me because it promotes weight loss and I'm opposed to the idea of changing eating or exercise behaviors with the intent to lose weight and opposed to the idea of correlating weight with health when those connections are scientifically bunk (expect a long post on this eventually).
It bothers me because it's extremely objectifying of fat people, to treat them like some inflatable device. Not to mention incredibly demeaning.
But what bothers me most of all is that it was paid for by the government.
My tax money went into that ad. This is a government program that the government is endorsing. Government endorsed fat hatred and bad science and continued myth.
Restricting natural body diversity should not be in our governments agenda.
Promoting health? Sure. I have no problem with my government endorsing snacking on fruits and veggies (though I would appreciate if they did more to make sure those were available and affordable, but whatever).
But I do have a problem with government telling me to lose my "love handles".
I love my love handles, thank you very much.
And you're the government. I don't appreciate you taking any stance on my love handles at all. Seeing as they're mine and a part of my body.