A bit of a statement to be sure but I for one am beginning to wonder this very thing. I am sick and tired of picking up the newspapers only to see a negative spin on a morbidly obese individual. The attacks range from wanting Bariatric Surgery on the National Health or a private health insurance, to being so overweight they find mobility so difficult that working is no longer an option so they must claim benefits and because of this become known as benefit scroungers.
It makes my blood boil that obese people can be attacked in this way and I honestly believe that it is tantamount to civil rights infringements.
How often do we see stories in the newspapers sensationalising someone being fat and claiming benefits? As far as I am concerned it is an all too regular occurrence yet no tabloid dares go near the people who have near drunk themselves to death and claim the same amount of benefits yet are costing the NHS a greater amount in medical services. They also leave the smokers alone, never raising the issue of someone having a limb amputated because of their addiction to cigarettes or the fact that the amputee costs the NHS a vastly greater sum than their obese counterpart. They don’t even raise the fact that they now sit pretty on the benefits they have been awarded (as pretty as a benefit scrounger can sit, the people who write these stories ought to try living on the amount that the so called benefit scroungers are expected to exist on) because they can no longer work.
No, to me it is becoming more and more apparent that being overweight is almost regarded as a crime. The obese are pigeon holed and stereotyped for ease of dislike throughout the media. They make programmes to shock and disgust yet never consider how the person ended up in the position they find themselves. They write stories that vilify the overweight people as a whole and spin untruths and misconceptions about ordinary folk who simply happen to be overweight.
I myself am post bariatric surgery by a few days under twelve weeks yet even with my incredible weight loss so far I would still today be considered obese. Am I a no hoping lazy scrounger that relies on the system for benefits? Well the assumption is already made that I am so I shall not disparage that preconceived all too regular misconception.
A story recently covered in the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror showed just how idiotic these papers were. Instead on concentrating on the fact a man lost 24 stone by dieting and weight loss surgery, they focussed on his name because it meant silly headlines. The headlines were “The Pie Who Loved Me’ and “Piefall” all because the guy who lost the weight was called James Bond. It is so crass that I cannot even bring myself to enlarge on it further.
There is also another story from the same daily newspapers doing the rounds at the moment that amazes and alarms me to the point I wonder if the people who write them actually understand what they are doing. There is a lady who has weight issues and refuses weight loss surgery because it would mean she would regain her mobility back and lose her benefits. At least that is the way the papers have written about it. There is no attempt to get to the bottom of the reason why she refuses the surgery, is it fear of being anaesthetised? Is it fear of what might change in her life? It could be so many things or just one but I refuse to believe that this lady refuses the opportunity to improve her life just because she would have her benefits cut once she becomes healthy; and to write such a thing is both vile and ignorant. I doubt if the papers even considered the subject may require psychological help to understand why she is happy to remain as she is, such was their desire to debase yet another overweight target of hatred.
I just wonder if the newspapers and other media outlets run these terrible stories preying on the lowest common denominator of the countries base hatred of things they don’t understand, just to make other people feel better about themselves?
It is time we got this kind of journalism to stop and brought these people to account for the disservice they do all fat people. Lets face it, you don’t need to be fat to be stupid or lazy, you simply need to be stupid or lazy. Maybe the people that write this bile should look inwards and I am sure they will find themselves guilty of stupid opinions and lazy journalism.
The actual Huffington Post blog can be found here