Friday, February 12, 2010

Others have said it better...

So Michelle Obama has unveiled an anti-obesity campaign. Salon's Broadsheet capture pretty much everything I would say about it.

I would add to it that the entire framing of "anti-obesity" already gets this program off to a bad start. Because fighting "obesity" is part and parcel with shaming "obese people." Our size is a body trait. Potentially changeable but a body trait nonetheless. Waging a campaign against the way many, if not a majority of Americans, look is pretty problematic.

That's why when Stef and I started this blog, it would be about the stuff we do not the way we look. This is not a blog about our shame on the way we look. The way I look may or may not be the result of what I do but what's important is the what I do part. Is it no less of a victory that I've been more conscious about what I put into my body and taken more control of my body in terms of exercise if I didn't lose a single pound?

Rather than waging a campaign against something, how about waging a campaign FOR something. Because once you get over that awful anti-obesity frame, the campaign makes sense. It's about not being sedentary and eating a variety of foods that are home cooked. It's about increasing access to healthy foods. All good things that could be packaged as healthy and active living as opposed to anti-obesity.

P.S. Where the campaign does go far enough is the access. While it would suck for monsanto, what about increasing subsidies for organic produce and small farmers? It wouldn't cost a damn thing if you took away 10% of what you give to industrial agriculture.

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