KEVIN BURCIAGA

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Al Bundy Fat-Shames His Own Customers

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2019

First of all, I hesitate to use the word 'fat' due to its negative connotations.

But one of my favorite shows in my TV-watching years (a long time ago) was Married With Children. Why? It's my kind of humor. It takes a sacred cow, the family, and slaughters it. Nothing against family, but I like comedy that treats nothing as sacred.

The protagonist of the show, Al Bundy, played by Ed O'Neil (The Wire, Modern Family), is a blue-collar shoe salesman for women. He has the worst customer-service skills anywhere. One way he offends his own customers is with relentless fat-shaming.

I remember one episode where a woman stands for a few seconds without attention and yells, "am I invisible?"

Bundy responds, "maybe from Pluto."

Listen, that kind of comedy was funny and it had its place.

I'm not sure I would laugh at that today. Being overweight, not liking your body, and struggling with body image are difficult to deal with. I dealt with it for many years. I hated it. There was no amount of shame that was going to motivate me.

It's still acceptable these days to say anything you want about fat/overweight people. It's like they don't matter. They deserve it. They got that way. If only they had a little more resolve and self-control. Poor people.

While I don't agree with the Health at Any Size movement promoted by people like Linda Bacon (at some point, you are unhealthy), kicking fat people in the side is no way to motivate them or to make changes they need to make.

A good balance of empathy and encouragement is the way to go. Fat-shaming is old and passe. Unfortunately, it's still acceptable.

Poor body image, struggling with weight, or need to make a change? Click here: https://bit.ly/2UQcLBW

Kevin

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