The Pink Flamingo is not thin. I have never been thin. I would be classified as obese.
Guess what? I don’t really care – not any more. Contrary to popular opinion of people my size, I have an extremely high IQ (way too high). I come from a family that is not exactly rolling in the ready, but we have never been deprived. My blood is as blue as any member of the British Royal Family (cousins). I don’t have a life, but that is because I spend 12 – 14 hours a day writing. I am a workaholic.
I don’t care about what you think of me.
What I really care about is the way I have been treated over the years.
From CNS News comes the news that people like me are causing the country to go broke. So, they want to reduce the number of fat people.
My question is how?
Are they planning no medical care, termination of our lives, etc?
“…According to CBO’s analysis of survey data, health care spending per adult grew substantially in all weight categories between 1987 and 2007, but the rate of growth was much more rapid among the obese (defined as those with a body-mass index greater than or equal to 30). Spending per capita for obese adults exceeded spending for adults of normal weight by about 8 percent in 1987 and by about 38 percent in 2007. That increasing gap in spending between the two groups probably reflects a combination of factors, including changes in the average health status of the obese population and technological advances that offer new, costly treatments for conditions that are particularly common among obese individuals.
A relatively simple set of calculations using survey data indicates that if the distribution of adults by weight between 1987 and 2007 had changed only to reflect demographic changes, such as the aging of the population, then health care spending per adult in 2007 would have been roughly 3 percent below the actual 2007 amount. Similar calculations show the potential effects of different trends in adults’ body weight on future health care spending. CBO considered three scenarios. In all three, CBO assumed that per capita health care spending will continue to grow faster for adults whose weight is in the above-normal categories than for those whose weight is considered normal. CBO’s assumptions and findings for the scenarios are as follows:
First, CBO assumed that there will be no future changes in the distribution of adults by body weight and, therefore, that the prevalence of obesity will remain at the 2007 rate of 28 percent. If so, per capita spending on health care for adults would rise by 65 percent—from $4,550 in 2007 to $7,500 in 2020, CBO estimates—largely as a result of the continuation of underlying trends in health care that have led to rapidly increasing spending for all adults regardless of weight. (All dollar figures are in 2009 dollars.)
Alternatively, CBO assumed a rising prevalence of obesity—namely, that recent trends (from 2001 to 2007) in adults’ body weight will continue. In that scenario, the prevalence of obesity would rise to 37 percent by 2020, and per capita spending would increase to $7,760—about 3 percent higher than spending in the first scenario.
CBO also assessed the impact of a possible reversal in recent trends by assuming that, by 2027, the distribution of adults’ body weight will return to the 1987 distribution (essentially reversing what happened from 1987 to 2007). In that scenario, the prevalence of obesity among adults would drop to 20 percent by 2020. Per capita spending would increase to $7,230 in 2020—about 4 percent lower than spending in the first scenario.
Because lower rates of obesity are associated with better health and lower health care spending per capita, there is considerable interest in devising policies that would reduce the fraction of the population that is obese. Research and experimentation in this area are ongoing, but the literature to date suggests that the challenges involved in reducing the prevalence of obesity are significant.
How reducing obesity would affect both total (rather than per capita) spending for health care and the federal budget over time is less clear. To the extent that people, on average, lived longer because fewer individuals were obese, savings from lower per capita spending would be at least partially offset by additional expenditures for health care during those added years of life. Moreover, the impact on the federal budget would include not only changes in federal spending on health care but also changes in tax revenues and in spending for retirement programs such as Social Security, for which costs are directly tied to longevity. As a result, the net impact of reductions in obesity rates on national health care expenditures and on federal budget deficits would depend on the magnitude of those various effects. This brief does not address the changes in longevity that might arise from a changing weight distribution or the potential impact of such changes on total health care expenditures….”
I have been shunned by people who do not wish to be near a person of my size. I have been harassed, belittled, insulted, and treated as though I am not a real person. This has reached a point where I am, at times, loath to meet people, afraid of what their reaction will be when they meet me.
I am not thin.
According to current popular culture I am a drain on society. I am one of the causes of our medical melt-down. I will be one of the individuals who cause the nation to grow broke – paying for my medical costs.
I am a pariah.
Over the years I have been denied jobs. I have been in upscale department stores where clerks refuse to wait on me in the shoe department (little do they know – I am a world class shoe shopper). I have been over-looked when attempting to purchase make-up. BUT- I am never treated badly at a Louis Vuitton store where they keep a handy profile of the proclivities of my mother and I when it comes to Louis Vuitton. (Ever smelled the aroma of new LV fresh out of a box?)
I am consistently treated like dirt by thin women who have devoted their lives to diet, exercise, and little else. I have had various religious individuals offer to pray and consult me about my spiritual life. You see, God does not want us to be fat. He wants us to be perfect. If a Christian has a weight problem it simply must be a problem in their spiritual life.
Do I blame anyone for who I am? Aside from the usual childhood dramatics where we must blame our parents for everything, I don’t blame anyone. Yea, I do. I blame my pediatrician who put me on my first diet when I was 7 years old. I was nearly my current height, of barely 5 feet tall. I weighted 90 pounds, which was too much for the chart for my age. Can you imagine being 5 feet tall and weighing just 90 pounds! When I started to high school I was put on another diet. I was 5 feet tall and wore a size nine!
It is called yo-yo dieting. It is the reason I am completely against this determination to control the weight of school children today. They are being damned to either a life of yo-yo dieting or eating disorders. Their self assurance is being destroyed. Trust me, I know. Try having a fiance break up with you because his friends told him you were too fat for him! That happened to me about 10 years ago.
When people mention that the last real allowable bigotry is against people who are my size, the usual conservative mantra is – self control and personal responsibility. A normal sized person looks at someone like me and immediately thinks that there is no self control and a life of personal indulgence (at the shoe store, yes). We are considered slothful, lazy, of less than average intelligence, dirty, smelly, and repulsive. I was eating in a food court in a mall in Pasadena once. Every time I took a bite, a group of teenage boys behind me made pig snorts and oinks.
I admit to being lazy. It is an art – inherited from my father. I hate exercising for several reasons.
First, I loath getting dirty and sweaty. When I was a little kid I made my cousin Michael make my mud-pies for me so I would not get my hands dirty!
With my fair skin, and history of melanoma I cannot go out in the sun. I am allergic to many sunscreens. I was out in the sun for 30 minutes on Monday and have the sun-burn to show for it.
When I was a kid it was a pitched battle with my Jack LaLane watching mother. She is still like an energizer bunny (on a pacemaker), exhausting everyone around her – including herself. In my family, osteoporosis is a death sentence, suffered by women who are thin. Women who are my size have a tendency to live into their mid-90s with very few health problems. If you saw a photo of my 3rd-great-grandmother you would understand why I quit dieting. The genetic claim for me is not a cop-out, it is very real. In my family, if a woman is thin, she is usually dead by the time she is 65! My size – 95!
My mother has 12% bone density and literally what will probably be a killer case of osteoporosis. Have you ever seen anyone die of the disease? My grandmother did. Last year my mother experienced 2 broken vertebrae and a broken elbow. She is in constant agony with bone pain from the disease. She has spent most of her life quite underweight, almost anorexic.
Women my size do not get osteoporosis. It is a thin person’s disease. Not even diet or exercise will stop it. It is a death sentence.
There is really only one reason I would like to be a size 4 – the clothes. When a woman is my size, unless you give up on fashion and design what you wear, and have a talented seamstress, you are consigned to fashion hell. As a non-person I am not to have pretty clothes in gorgeous colors and great fabrics. You can’t even find patterns in my size that are not what designers think someone my size should wear. We are told to wear horrid “A” line skirts, that look vile on anyone. Blouses are ugly. There is no fancy lingerie. And for some weird reason, stylists think someone like me should wear horridly short hair.
You see, we aren’t allowed to be women. We are fat. We are to be laughed at, made fun of, ignored, and told how bad we are because we are not thin. No one bothers with quality of character or what is inside. It is all in the package, and women my size are to be rejected. After all, we are fat.
Remember – the quality of our soul does not matter. Neither does our talent, our abilities, or our kindness. Nothing matters but the size of one’s waist.