Laurie Toby Edison


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Laurie Toby Edison by Carol Squires

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Body Impolitic’s “Stupidest Fat Comment” Contest

Laurie and Debbie say:

We’re no strangers to the stupid things people think and say about fat, but we can still occasionally be gobsmacked by new levels in stupidity.

This week, we’ve found two.

First, we have this completely not fat-related article about San Francisco’s wild parrots and whether or not they should be fed by tourists. The reasons to limit tourist feeding are that “the parrots are harmed by relying on the handouts instead of fending for themselves, and are more susceptible to spreading and catching disease.” Even though this is hardly a topic you’d expect to lead to stupid fat comments, this gem leaps out:

Barbara Perrow, a visitor from New Haven, Conn., says “… protecting them from feeding is a good idea. Obesity is a real problem in this country, and you have to start somewhere.”

Second, from what is mostly just a silly scare article on internal body fat (with no underlying statistics to bolster their theories), we find this stunner:

“Being thin doesn’t automatically mean you’re not fat,” said Dr. Jimmy Bell, a professor of molecular imaging at Imperial College, London.

Can you top these? We’ll collect goodies until the end of the month, and then send a free inscribed copy of Women En Large to anyone who finds a worse one.

Alan Bostick found the parrots and Meowse pointed to the secret fat people within every thin person.

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10 Responses to “Body Impolitic’s “Stupidest Fat Comment” Contest”

  1. belledame222 says:

    yes, we’re all worried about the avian obesity epidemic. ffs. BRAWWWWK!!

    i can see it now: the new “Polly Wanna Cracker” diet. you eat nothing but crackers and gorp, and you have to eat it out of someone else’s hand (portion control, you know). comes complete with bonus exercise tape based on standing on one leg, arm flapping and loud, throaty squawks.

    that second comment is straight out of Yogi Berra.

  2. kactus says:

    Here’s a good one, although typical, from a discussion of Leonard Nimoy photos over at Feministe:
    Grilltacular said: “The beauty angle is interesting, but is it possible to be a physically healthy 250lb woman (long term)? Many people correlate bad health with unattractiveness…”

    Here’s the link:

  3. Laurie says:

    Dear Belledame,

    I love the “Polly Wanna Cracker” diet. I think if you could get the bird on Oprah, you would make a fortune.


    That is a good one!

  4. O says:

    This is my nomination for stupidest fat comment–apparently, fat girls are happy to be raped, because they’re glad of the attention.

    “A barrister provoked outrage yesterday by claiming that the victim of an alleged gang rape was so fat she would have been ‘glad of the attention’.

    Sheilagh Davies, defending one of three boys accused of raping two girls, said the 16-year-old girl had ‘slimmed down a lot’ since the alleged attack.

    She told Inner London Crown Court: ‘She was 12st 6lb – not quite the swan she may turn into. She may well have been glad of the attention.’ ”


  5. Debbie says:

    O, that certainly is one of the nastiest fat comments in my experience, as well as being stupid. Thanks for sharing it with us (and no thanks whatsoever to Sheilagh Davies for saying it).

  6. O says:

    hey debbie,

    It’s horrible, isn’t it? It happens to be current (i.e., from just yesterday!) but it’s in my books for worst “official’ comment of all time. I find it especially appalling that this was said by a woman who is a barrister, and she said this in the course of defending male defendants of the charge of rape.

    But I think there is a clear continuity here… many women as teenagers heard from boys that “fat chicks are easy, they are so grateful”? I heard that said many times; boys explained to me why my best friend was (to their eyes) automatically an ‘easy lay’–simply because of her ‘size’, and they didn’t even know her in any way. She was presumed to be a slut and ‘easy’, because she had (and still has) fabulous breasts and was larger than the supposed ideal.

    As an adult I have heard it from adult males online or in situations where they were so drunk and I was so much ‘one of the boys’ that they would say it in front of me. This idea is everywhere. I condemn Sheilagh Davies, but she is expressing an idea that permeates the (western, industrialised) culture. It’s horrible.

    Thanks for responding; if you’d linked a website or blog I’d have taken my rant there. :) This makes me so angry….

  7. O says:

    Oh wait, are you the Debbie who is THE debbie here? Wow, I feel dumb…but also happy that you thought my comment worth replying to.

  8. Debbie says:

    That would be me. Don’t feel dumb; the world is full of Debbies.

  9. Laurie says:

    Ann Rostow (whose work I normally really like) is definitely up there for stupidest remark about fat in this comment on Jerry Falwell’s death. Obviously I agree with everything she said about Fallwell except her conflating fat with evil.

    “Speaking of not being very nice, Mr. Falwell was a mean-spirited, hard-hearted, racist, with no tolerance for human complexity or conflicting ideas. He paraded around as a lovable family Man O’God, eventually morphing into a blubbery quad-chinned testament to gastronomic self indulgence, which no doubt killed him in the end.”

  10. Lynne Murray says:

    Fat is becoming increasingly demonized (ya gotta laugh—or anyway I do) at the idea of the hidden fat lurking in thin people…until the medical imaging industry reveals it to horrified victims, who thought they were safe from this dreaded infestation. What an opportunity to use the “inner fatness” as a kind of demonic possession to further alienate even the visibly thin from their own bodies.

    “You’re fat,” has been an insult such a long, long time–that it won’t be a short road to reclaim that word. This reminded me of a come-back retort my father taught me to use when someone called me fat (he grew up a fat kid, in the 1920s, fighting in Irish gangs in Chicago). “I may be fat on the outside, but you keep your fat between your ears.” Who knew that this could indeed be the case?

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