Truth & Sensitivity

With rampant obesity in the USA, more and more folks have reason to worry about weight. It is a sensitive issue, that can spark strong emotions. Which is what happened in response to the recent "Fit" Doesn't Fit post. In my own defense, I support using healthy images of real people as good role models, rather than steroid pumped men or waif-like women. I have touched on that topic before.

An anonymous comment to the "Fit" post illustrates my point on emotional responses:

I can't believe how cruel and uncaring the posts are in here. So, local newspapers and TV station only use models for photos and video tell locals they are too fat and ugly? Yes, let's pretend Montana does not have obese people. And for shame, let's just hope none of these people actually goes to a fitness center and tries to lose weight. Those centers are only for the beautiful.

Why, having photos of unfit people might spoil the breakfasts of all the beautiful people in the Great Falls area.

Look in a mirror, people. You all flatter yourselves far too much.
The key is healthy. Appropriate. Public images become standards, examples, justifications. I do not see why we should condone, let alone promote, the use of obese people, as examples of fitness. It just sets the bar lower. Sure, it might make other fat people feel better since they are not alone, but that is not helping them. I no more want my daughters emulating a "fat is ok" philosophy than choosing to be anorexic pop princess wannabes.

So, it should not be "cruel" to be honest. If the reader had bothered following the original post and links, he/she would have found another photo, of real people, making a real effort to stay fit. Not models. They were good role models, good examples.

He/she might also have noted that I said "I applaud the Tribune for getting the word out, particularly for folks who may not realize the options they have." I want inspiration, I want my children to have inspiration. Actually, I want everyone to have inspiration. If someone is fat, and unhappy about it, that someone should go to the gym, take a walk, maybe even eat less. Do whatever it takes to overcome it.

But, when it comes to matters of weight, sensitivity seems to overcome reason. The truth apparently does not matter. The photo that spawned this storm showed a heavy person and a heavier person who did not look fit. At least one looked clinically obese. The truth is, they were not good role models for folks who want to get healthier. Instead, they were good excuses for people who want to feel better about not exercising, eating better, or being fit.

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