OPINION

Birth of Inclusivity

Opinion · ESTIMATE 3-MINUTE READ

Shootng the Dozens

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A crowd of six high school children gathers around a lunch table as tall, thin Mike squares off with short round Joey. The prior afternoon, Joey won the battle of you’re-so-thin insults. Now it’s Mike’s turn. And he begins firing insults in rapid-fire succession.

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The crowd roars in laughter as Joey throws up his hands, unprepared for the onslaught of humiliation. Joey waddles away, leading to more cries of laughter. Kids are doubling over, grasping their sides, and pointing.

For decades, portliness was fodder for bullying. Some people are shamed into bulking up and getting fit. More often, the belittlement leads to diminishing self-worth, eating disorders, and anti-social behavior.

By the time Mikey becomes Michael and Joey becomes Joe, a trend towards acceptance overtaked general consciousness. The driving forces against body shaming are social media and entertainment. By casting corpulent actors in serious roles and shaming the shamers on public media, people see obesity through a different, more acceptable, lens.

The hashtags are diversity and inclusiveness. Groups apply it to everything, from physical disabilities and race to obesity and sexual orientation. Be careful how the media crafts your perception of morality. Here is something else to ponder. Does broad acceptance make obesity healthy?

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