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A Very Shallow Hal

Fat is in some ways the last acceptable prejudice. As mentioned in the class discussion, fat bodies somehow become collective, public bodies, and invite (mostly negative) comments from outsiders. Somehow this negative commentary is considered normal or even acceptable, since the weight issue is tied closely with health in many minds. Anyone not incredibly skinny is seen as being overweight or unhealthy, and while there are certain heightened health risks with excessive weight gain, there are also certain heightened health risks with dieting and excessively thin bodies. The People Magazine article mentions the extensive dieting and training needed to keep weight off, and this struck me as particularly hypocritical. It is difficult to see such women (with the exception of Emme) as pro-fat or even pro-women since they reinscribe the dictates of patriarchy by feeling the need to be skinny.

Weight-loss surgery is drastic and can put patients at risk. It also can in some cases offer an “easy out? for women; instead of accepting and loving their bodies, in can seem like an easy solution – they can simply become thin and then they will love themselves. While this is not true for all who have such surgeries, it is most likely the case for some, like Holliday who still believes food is “out to get? her. If women (and men) are able to fully accept themselves, whether fat or skinny or average or whatever, these issues would not exist.