I am a big man. I have weighted as much as 250 lbs (a quarter ton!) at a time in my life. I am married to a big man, and find most big men attractive. And like most big people I have struggled against my weight all my life. And also like most big people I can come up with 100 excuses for why I am the size I am. ”It’s genetics”, “I’m big-boned”, etc. But the truth is it is a fight I will always have until the day I die. The question is will I die because of my weight or not.
Despite sharing this struggle this I am (not so secretly) prejudiced against most obese people. I suppose I should have more compassion, but I would sooner vote for someone handicapped than someone over-weight. Someone handicapped either through birth or through an accident, presumably cannot help it. I am sure that most handicapped people would correct their situation if they could. I cannot imagine there are too many blind people if offered the ability of sight would turn it down.
This is not the case with many obese people. If you offered most fat people the ability to be skinny they would take it. But they are unwilling to work for it. Most over-weight people could help it if they choose and we, as a nation, are getting bigger. Now we have people so large they are required to purchase two airplane seats. There is no sugar-coating this, but big is not necessarily beautiful. Here is a simple rule of thumb for men: If you look down and can’t see your penis because your stomach is in the way, you have a problem.
If someone is large and fights it, then that is something I can get behind. I can vote for a person like that because they are willing to take on a challenge and a struggle. Take Bill Clinton for example, despite being President of the America still found the time to jog. It would have been really easy for him to go to pot and lord knows he was busy and could have had a legitimate excuse, but he understood it was important for him, his family and his nation that he exercises. Most successful leaders do and they lead by example.
What kind of example is Rob Ford providing?
How can anyone expect a mayor to care for a city, when he clearly doesn’t even care for his own body. Rob Ford is sort of active in sports, that is he coached a football team. But it is hard to respect someone who orders kids to do laps while not being able to run one himself. Personally I would find Mr. Ford much easier to relate to if he was seen running once and awhile, or cycling or even strolling.
I don’t it is overstating the importance of this. By running, Bill Clinton was showing his nation, his people whether they voted for him or not, in every state red or blue, that personal health is important. Not to mention the health benefits, physical and mental, that such activity would bring to his office.
Now many people might think I am being unfair. The right-wing media and the “Ford Nation” certainly jumped on anyone who called him “fat”. There is no hiding the fact I do not like the man. (I do not like his methods, his politics, his demeanour. I don’t like the way he represents the wealthy fat-cats at the expense of those already marginalized.) And perhaps I am; but I don’t think it is going to far to expect elected officials to be role models and Rob Ford sends a poor message when it comes to personal health.