Various of my colleagues -- Corby Kummer, here, plus T-N Coates and Andrew Sullivan -- have picked up the conversation involving the connections among obesity, class, region, etc in America. Reasons for my returning to this topic:
- When the original reader messages came in, I did not give them a consistent category tag. I've now gone back and labeled them all with "Obesity," so the whole thread (including this item) can be found here.
- Below and after the jump, a few more reader notes to carry out the discussion.
From a reader who works for a major US corporation:
"[Another reader] wrote: . I did this primarily because I was tired of my business associates in Asia beginning every conversation with "My god, you are fat!".
"My Asian experience pales in comparison to yours (and presumably to your reader's), but my hunch is that your reader's business associates believe they were paying him a nice compliment. The long and tragic history of undernourished Asians led to a cultural view that to be of a healthy weight was to be prosperous. Hence, "My God, you are fat!" is equivalent to a Westerner saying "nice car!" or "you look great!" I can see how your reader might have felt insulted or hurt, but I am pretty sure the intentions were exactly the opposite. [JF note: Certainly in China, "Hey Fatty" is not a term of abuse.]"
From a (female) graduate of
CalTechCaltech [I always forget]:
"Are science nerds fat? The answer is an unequivocal no, especially for women.