No, This Is Why You’re Fat


Did you know that nobody in Washington, D.C. is overweight? Also, people are fat because they are lazy slobs, period.

Get hip to this: people used to walk more, back in the “Old Days.” They also died of syphilis and croup and had slaves, but whatever. New fattie James Polk blames his freshly expanding waistline on a recent move from Washington, D.C. to suburban Mississippi, where “overly-ample ‘waddler[s]'” are carted to “the front door of Wal-Mart” in an article titled “Fat People Don’t Walk” at the New American Village. Because fat people don’t walk, they just get airlifted to their next donut, amirite?

Presumably, thin, black-clad city dwellers are always jogging chicly to their next Urban Funk Double-Dutch slash Brazilian jiu jitsu class/exciting laptop-necessitating job/rooftop garden party. The article is couched in terms of “city planning” and “medical costs” and “I’m really just concerned about your health here, guys,” (which, worry less, okay?) but it’s swimming in fat – and poverty-bashing. Apparently it’s bad enough to be fat, but going to Wal-Mart while being fat is unpardonable and merits public shaming.

Look, walking more is great. It’s good for you, it doesn’t pollute, it frees up resources – I’m all for walking. I’m all for being healthy and active. But putting fat/poor/tasteless/rural on an oppositional axis to slim/attractive/urban/culturally-and-morally superior is not only incorrect, it’s cruel.

I’m not sure what the point of this article is supposed to be. Let’s rebuild Los Angeles to fit an East-Coast gentleman-of-leisure’s specifications? Force calisthenics on Southern rural-dwellers with few resources? Reproduce widely-disseminated stereotypes about what fat people must be like? Or just point and laugh at all those dumb fatties at Wal-Mart?

Image: kayugee

Mallory Ortberg

Mallory resides in San Francisco, California. You can catch her weekly Sex By Numbers column.