Dr. Deah's Tasty Morsels

The Walking Dread

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Dr. Deah

It is Healthy Weight Week.  Because I have written about HWW for the last three years (see archives of Tasty Morsels) I won’t spend a great deal of time explaining it here.  In a word HWW was developed over 20 years ago by Francie Berg to raise awareness of the damage that diets can cause and to dispel the myth that a person’s health can be measured by their weight.  To find out more about HWW and or to engage in an online discussion about continuing to use the name Healthy Weight Week in the future you can read Marsha Hudnall’s recent post in the ASDAH Blog. What I really want to talk about are zombies.  I am a relatively new convert to the zombie apocalypse culture having almost thrown up when I saw Night of the Living Dead with my best friends in Junior High School.  I was 12 when we all traipsed off to the movie in a pack.  Giddy with excitement and reveling in the freedom that came with being out of Elementary School, there was not a parent in sight to monitor us.  As we piled into the movie theater WITH BOYS, I really had no idea what movie we were going to see.  That was inconsequential.  The point was in the adventure.  Until…the zombies appeared on the screen. THAT totally freaked me out.  So when The Walking Dead series came around, I ignored it having no interest in activating that living dead trauma that had laid dormant since 1968.  Until my partner started watching it and I found myself getting totally sucked in. It isn’t just the zombies that I find mesmerizing; it really isn’t ever about the zombies in these movies.  It’s about the way the humans interact with each other about the zombies.  What could be an opportunity for everyone to join together and fight a common enemy is predominantly squandered, as greed and fear result in in-fighting and back stabbing.  Yes the zombies are compelling to watch but the human behavior about the zombies is magnetically repulsive.  Maybe it is because I am so fascinated by people and what we do when we are at our best and at our worst that has me glued to The Walking Dead like a zombie to a lung, but glued to it I am.  Perhaps it's the metaphor of today's overly bigoted and opportunistic society that keeps me tuning in week after week.  As I watch the “biter” population grow episode after episode, impervious to any intervention by the non-infected humans, it becomes clear that the situation is hopeless.  Hopeless and depressing, especially as the people continue to kill each other off for their own personal survival or gain of power.  I don't usually get hooked on depressing television shows...this one is different.  I guess the zombies are kind of cool. But why am I writing about zombies in a size acceptance blog? Well, here’s the deal.  Lately there has been an increase in articles appearing in my inbox warning me and the rest of the world that the fat people are proliferating and we should all be Very Very Afraid. I can not help myself…it feels like I am watching an opening montage for World War Z as headline after headline cautions me of the growing number of fatties and the scourge of obesity.  Yes they actually call it a scourge!
“Childhood obesity: modernity's scourge.”
Fat people are taking over the world!
“Number of fat people in US to grow, report says Three-quarters of all Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020”
Fat people are taking over the universe!
“Obesity Epidemic Astronomical"
Fat people are destroying the planet!
“Overweight People Put Unsustainable Pressure On Planet's Resources”
Nothing could be worse than "turning" into one of them!
“The Women Who Say they Would Rather be Blind than Fat: One in six women say they would rather be blind than obese, a survey has found. Others would prefer alcoholism or catching herpes to being massively overweight.”
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! There are many solutions offered to conquer the Walking Dread.  Here are a few:
  • “Solve America’s Obesity Problem With Shame”-Christopher Friend
  • “Fat Americans Need a Healthy Dose of Shame”-| The Philly Post
  • “If we don't stigmatize fat people, there'll be lots more of them. The last thing our gargantuan, slobbering masses need is for self-serving charities to indulge them.”-Rod Liddle
  • “The Crusade against Fat People: Saving the world from one disgusting beast at a time.”-A blogger whose name I don’t want to mention because I don’t want to give him any publicity.
But Dr. Deah, they are only looking out for us, it is for our own good.  We should be afraid of fat people after all they will…well…they could…they are…well…FAT! Do they really think fat people are so ravenous that they will surround them, pull them down and start eating their vital organs? Okay, let’s play a a game.  Re-read all of the headlines above (actual quotes each and everyone by the way) and replace the words overweight, fat or obese with zombie and see what you think.  No, wait, zombies are made up fictional creatures.  Better yet….try replacing the words overweight, fat or obese with the gender or ethnic group of your choice.
"African American People Put Unsustainable Pressure On Planet's Resources.” "Solve America’s Geriatric Problem With Shame.” “Number of homosexuals in US continues to grow.” "The Crusade against Jews: Saving the world from one disgusting beast at a time.”
Is it difficult to see just how bigoted these campaigns are? These kinds of scare tactics are cruel, ineffective and can only be explained by desire for financial gain, lack of knowledge, and the belief that fear is a great motivator.  Where is the compassion or acceptance for diversity?  Where is that live and let live attitude? Have they all forgotten the Golden Rule, do unto others...? Zombies have no brains, what is their excuse?  Are we really that dreadful??? I don't think so. Til next time, Dr. Deah wego badge 2 I was nominated for a WEGO Health Activist Award!  If you would like to endorse me as someone who has a valuable voice in the blogosphere you can CLICK HERE  In honor of Healthy Weight Week if you order a copy of Dr. Deah's Calmanac from my website you will receive a free bumper sticker!  The bumper sticker has the sassy size acceptance message:  "My only weight problem is YOUR problem with MY weight."  CLICK HERE to shop! Live in Los Angeles?  Dr. Deah's Calmanac is for sale at Skylight Books on N. Vermont Street.  Send me a selfie of you holding The Calmanac in front of the store and I'll send you a free bumper sticker in honor of Healthy Weight Week!  

About Dr. Deah

Dr. Deah Schwartz, clinician, educator, and author specializes in Expressive Arts Therapies, Eating Disorders, and Body Image. Deah is the author of Dr. Deah's Calmanac: Your Interactive Monthly Guide for Cultivating a Positive Body Image and co-author of the NAAFA award winning Off-Broadway Play, Leftovers, and its companion DVD/Workbook Set. An outspoken “New Yawker,” Dr. Deah believes that it is everyone’s responsibility to point out and eliminate size discrimination even when it means battling the mainstream media, and even more challenging...family members! To find out more about Dr. Deah’s work or to book a session visit her website at www.drdeah.com

Categories: Blogging, Body Acceptance, Body Image, Dr. Deah, Dr. Deah's Calmanac, Healthy Weight Week, Obesity, Size Acceptance, Weight Stigma, Zombie Apocalypse | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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