Monday, September 24, 2012

Lindy West is a Badass & a Genius.

So, remember a few weeks ago when I was all, "Hey guys, I'm not posting anything ever again, deuces!"?

Well, oops, turns out I'm posting two days in a row now—but only because I feel strongly enough about the following subject to forgo the bazillions of other things I really, honestly should be doing, because you all need to read this article.

Seriously, guys. You NEED to read this article.

Once, about a year ago, I tried to tackle a similar subject for the Eye ("Health Over Weight: Reordering America's Dietary Priorities"), but I think I was simply too intimidated by word count & "journalistic import," too focused on making my argument palatable—or, you know, let's be real, just not quite talented enough—to speak the raw fucking truth the way that West does here. 

Below are some of my favorite excerpts, the wit & righteous indignation of which I could only hope to ape on my best of days, the content of which I want beamed into the brainstem of every living being on this planet. Enjoy:
Growing up, I was always fat. Not as fat as I am now, but never, ever skinny. Never small. ... I was the girl the mean kids would target with the old, "See that guy over there? He likes you" gag. Good one, bros! In case you don't get it, the punchline is that I'm fat. So obviously he didn't like me—it would be against all the laws of the universe. At the same time, though, I played three sports, I was active and healthy, I was good at school, I was funny, and I was popular. I was a happy kid. And I was still miserable. Because that's what fat does.

I cannot even
imagine being that same fat kid in 2012—having to put up with all the misery and the shame and the tunics (SO MANY TUNICS), along with the added pain of knowing that the government officially considers you an epidemic. You're a "problem" that needs to be "fixed." Newscasters with knitted brows talk about you in the abstract like your butt is a crime wave or a natural disaster; they show bodies that look like yours with their heads chopped off; they tell you that this body you have—the one that grew around you out of nowhere, that you're just getting used to—is bankrupting the nation and mowing down future generations like fucking tuberculosis. Tu-pork-ulosis. Whatever.
Then, later:

Here is the thing.

I know no one will ever believe me when I say this, so fine. Whatever. But since, apparently, this isn't evident even among health professionals churning out ad campaigns, I do not fucking eat chocolate cereal and buckets of ice cream. Here is what I actually do: Pretty much every morning before work I walk 1.1 miles uphill to a coffee shop, which is across the street from the organic co-op where I do all my grocery shopping. I eat normal, human amounts of unprocessed, fresh, largely local foods. I have no mobility problems. I have flawless cholesterol and blood pressure. I never get colds, I have never been hospitalized. I have a great job, I make a good living, I'm in an incredibly happy relationship. Sometimes I eat dessert, sometimes I don't. I pay taxes. I take care of my family. I do not commit crimes. I'm nice to strangers. In general, I think you could say that I contribute more to the world than I take out of it.

And I'm a fucking epidemic?
I'm a problem?

You have the gall to make generalizations about my life because, in your eyes, I superficially resemble a massive, diverse swath of the population whose lives you've also deigned to generalize? Whose complex, painful, messy, joyous lives you've boiled down to, "Har har too many Cheetos"? Please.
In short: You go, Lindy West. You fucking go.

Today's Headphone Fodder:

Yep. It's happening. Don't fight it. This song is amazing.

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