All About That Bass

      112 Comments on All About That Bass

Must be a function of my age … as of a couple of days ago, I was still one of the few people on the planet who had never heard the song “All About That Bass.” What can I say? I’m old and I rarely listen to pop music. When I create our family end-of-the-year DVDs, I have to ask my daughters to suggest songs for the music videos. Otherwise, every DVD would be like a tribute to the golden oldies.

I was familiar with the song’s melody because Sara took a liking to a YouTube parody about ancient Greece, which was amusing because … well, heck, rather than describe it, I’ll embed the video:

The tune got stuck in my head, probably because Sara has been creating instant parodies of her own to comment on various situations.  For example, after the hundredth or so time Chareva mentioned elderberry bushes, Sara began singing, “Because she’s all about that bush, ’bout that bush — elderberry.  She’s all about that bush, ’bout that bush — elderberry.”

So a couple of days ago, I decided to look for the original song on iTunes. I liked what I heard, so I listened to samples of Meghan Trainor’s other songs. I liked them too, so I bought the iTunes album. Then later in the day, while taking a work break, it finally occurred to me to check if Trainor had produced a music video of “All About That Bass.”

Wow, she sure did — and it’s racked up nearly a billion views. That’s billion … with a b. Here it is, in case (like me) you’ve been living under an age-induced rock and haven’t seen it:

I freakin’ love this thing. The lyrics, the melody, the beat, the harmony, the instrumentation, all of it. And I love the body-acceptance message the video puts out there. That’s a message Chareva and I want to include in the book we’re producing for kids – perhaps the closing message.

Yes, you can improve your body composition with a good diet and the right kind of exercise. But most of us will never look like jocks or models, no matter what we do. I spent much of my early life feeling ashamed of the skinny, weak arms and legs extending from my fat-bellied body, complete with boy-boobs. That shame was a waste. A complete and utter waste.

I sometimes wish I could go back in time and have a long talk with that kid. I’d let him cry on my shoulder for awhile, then explain to him what actually matters in life – and it’s not the shape of his body. I can’t do that, so I’ll have a talk with kids who read the book. I want them to know they can’t compare themselves to people who were born to look like athletes or models. I want them to understand what a mistake it is to think, “Someday, with enough work and sacrifice, I’ll look like that – and then I’ll be happy.”

Anyway, I’ve listened to the song and chuckled my way through the video several times, enjoying Trainor’s message of “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”

Then today, I read some of the YouTube comments. I’m sorry to say there’s a sizable contingent of morons and ignoramuses among the millions of people who’ve seen the video. Here are some samples, in all their grammatically-challenged glory:

why cant you make people feel bad about the body, if it isnt any permanant disability where they cant do anything about it? fatties are fat because they cant spend enough time to exercise and cant refrain themselves from eating chunk loads of junk food its their fault.

Nice to finally hear from people who have carefully studied the issue … although I could swear I recently read a journal article that concluded: The commonly held belief that obese individuals can ameliorate their condition by simply deciding to eat less and exercise more is at odds with compelling scientific evidence.

This over-autotuned,IQ-lowering,grotesque shit made by someone who looks like a chubby 40-yo tranny – almost a BILLION??? Gotta be shittin me…

If this is an IQ-lowering video, then my guess is that you’ve already watched it at least a hundred times.  Best stop now … before you can’t tell the difference between, say, Tom Brady and a 40-year-old tranny.

This is just wrong. Self-criticism is crucial for surviving. Now she promotes being fat. What comes afterwards ? Will she be responsible for rising levels of deaths because of diabetes and heart strokes? Don’t think so.

Yes, that’s what prevents fat people people from being thin: they don’t criticize themselves enough.

F***ing fatass ugly bitch and what a f***ing stupid song.

Something tells me Trainor will manage to have a stellar career despite your opinion.  Perhaps the “something” is the almost-billion views.

So where’s the song for short men? Oh wait, this fat bitch probably has a 6 foot minimum requirement like all other women and doesn’t see the hypocrisy. You can’t grow taller, but you can burn off that fat ass bitch.

That’s the first thought that occurred to me as well:  What, no lyrics praising short men?!! Clearly, Trainor only dates tall men, like all other women!  What a hypocrite!  I’m not six feet tall either, so maybe you and I should meet for drinks in a pub someday and share our feelings about women who don’t write songs for short men and other height bigots.  I’ll bring a booster seat for you.

Once a year in the US, UK, and Canada they discover a fat chick that is able to sing and she’s like the hottest thing for about 2 months telling everyone how great it is to be fat and you should be proud of being fat. Enjoy your diabetes and heart surgery. No worries, Megan says it’s OK.

Dang, maybe I need to get stronger glasses.  I’ve watched the video several times, and I haven’t spotted the fat chick yet.  Is she hiding behind those dancers with the big leg muscles?

Nobody likes fat bitches stop trying to convince yourself otherwise.

No worries, sir.  I’m sure there are still plenty of women in the world who meet your standards — and with that attitude of yours, you’ll no doubt make one of them a fine husband.

Okay, you get the idea. There were also laughable complaints that Trainor is insulting thin girls and and saying they’re not sexy, which will make them feel bad about themselves.  Oh yeah, huge risk there.  Given the current culture, I’m reasonably sure thin women won’t be suffering from size-related self-esteem issues any time in the next decade, no matter what lyrics Trainor writes for her songs.

If you’ve listened to a few podcasts where I was the interview guest, you probably know what eventually became Fat Head started out in my mind as a short piece on how we treat fat people in America. They’re perhaps the only remaining group you can make a target of nasty, bigoted remarks without being run out of town. It’s their fault, they’re disgusting, they did it to themselves, they could be thin if they wanted to, blah-blah-blah. Some of the YouTube comments prove the point rather clearly.

But a music video doesn’t draw nearly a billion views unless it strikes a chord with millions and millions of people.  I believe this one struck a chord for a good reason.

You go, Meghan … and thanks for the great song.

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112 thoughts on “All About That Bass

  1. Barbara

    When I read the moronic comments on the video I too was trying to figure out what “fat girl” they were talking about. Oh well, as Ron White has frequently said…”you can’t fix stupid”.

    I’m still working on getting my mother’s voice out of my head about how fat I was growing up…I wasn’t; I’ve seen the pictures. You believe what you hear.

    Thank you for the 2 entertaining videos.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Maybe the comments were inspired by our friends Collins and Squealer at Julian Bakery. They called Dianne Sanfilippo fat, which is laughable.

      Reply
    2. Erica

      Barbara, I get that about mothers. Mine called me ‘bottle butt.’ I think it’s because I have hips. I surely wasn’t fat. I weighed 120 in high school and was 5’6″. My mother’s build was no hips. They called her “Rail” when she was younger. But it affected me, nonetheless. My daughter is my fashion consultant. She keeps telling me to forget what my mother told me about colors and my body. She’s the best thing ever.

      Reply
      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        Yeesh … I’m sure your mothers thought they were helping in some way, but … yeesh. I just can’t imagine my mom — or Chareva — ever saying something like that. You both have my sympathies.

        Reply
  2. Steven

    I think I might like the song more if she left out the part about her mom telling her “boys like a little more booty to hold at night”, and the “I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll” part. Life is probably better, in general, for ‘fit’ women, as it probably is for ‘fit’ men, but at least a lot of them work hard for it. As a ‘white cis male’, seems people are quick to dismiss anything I struggle with; guess it’s cause I’m ‘privileged’? I believe I’ve heard so called PUA’s talk about ‘fit’ women having really low self esteem. Perhaps it’s easier to dismiss someone’s struggles, and/or more difficult to empathize, or even sympathize, if we see ‘them’ as ‘privileged’?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      No disrespect for fit people who work hard to stay fit. But I’ll bet those dancers are very fit, and yet some people would call them fat because they don’t look like skinny models.

      Reply
  3. Laurie

    I am convinced the interwebs would be a better place if no comments were allowed. Oxymoron happening right now, haha. But seriously, sometimes it makes me really worry about the world and how much hate there is out there…on every single subject.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That was my thought when I saw the comments. Okay, so some people don’t like the song, or don’t like the way she looks … but what compels them to spew such anger and hatred in the comments instead of just moving along? These people aren’t right in the head.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T.

        Tom, the internet provides a place for fools to voice their idiocy without the reaction they’d get if they did it in real life. No one listens to these inadequates in the real world, so they take their illiteracy to the internet where they’re free to be stupid and someone might even listen. They even generate a reaction from people like you who wouldn’t give them the time of day in the real world. This encourages them to ‘share’ more of their opinions with us. The downside of the internet is that some people say things they wouldn’t dream of saying in public. It’s difficult to do, but they are best ignored.

        Reply
  4. Armando

    Well I use to be one those people that looked down on fat people. I use to be hard on myself as well, but after watching your doco, reading other books and articles I realised it is not as simple as “cut your calories, exercise, end of story.” The media spins the info on the benefits of high car diets and the government is the worst of them all when it comes to nutrition. You posted an article a while back the coca-cola is launching a media campaing about “eating a blance diet” where you can drink fizzy drinks and be okay. Then you have shows where they fat shame people and make them do ridiculously exercise regimes and diets. Have you ever watch thomas the tank engine? They make it okay to call people fat, they call the controller fat. Hence the name “the fat controller.” He is fat because he ate too many kippers.

    Reply
  5. Andrea

    Thank you SO much for sticking that earworm back in my head! It’s a catchy song, and it’s cute, but man it’s hard to get rid of once it’s playing in your head!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s what makes a hit, like it or not. I had “My Sharona” stuck in my head for months, and I didn’t even like the song.

      Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Ah, yes. Not-so-fond memories of retyping a college paper from the beginning in order to edit it.

  6. Nads

    When I was fat, I was my own harshest critic. But thank goodness I only became fat as an adult. It would have been torture to be teased as well.

    It’s a shame I put my whole life on hold for 15 + years because I didn’t want to go out looking so terrible (harsh critic), and didn’t want to shop for clothes because they all looked bad (harsh critic) and because I was a failure. I could have actually achieved something instead of beating up on myself.

    Self esteem is a huge key. Believing you are worth fighting for, and not giving up on yourself. That is the difference now, besides finding what worked for me.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Lots of overweight people do that, which is why anyone who believes they need more self-criticism is an ignoramus.

      Reply
  7. Justin

    I’ve always been conflicted about this song. I don’t really like the song itself, but I appreciate the message. There’s also another example here of false consensus that I feel like barely anyone ever mentions. Along with the perpetual belief that hard work will 100% of the time lead to weight loss and muscles, there’s also the one about what makes for a “10” (to use the Trump vernacular). I personally am not really attracted to the sort of women that everyone else apparently agrees are the most attractive women in the world, and I know I’m not alone.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Snow

      From what I’ve seen this is actually pretty common, but, and here’s the kicker–most guys never articulate what they ARE into. It’s just an “I’ll know it when I see it” thing for them. Which would be harmless, except I know many, many, MANY men who for some reason feel the need to put down women that they aren’t attracted to who are presented as being attractive–generally in front of other women. But we don’t hear “I’m not into that”. What we hear is “that woman, who is WAY more attractive than you could ever be, still isn’t good enough for me”.

      If they’re not into that, fine, but why make it into some sort of public comparison?

      Reply
  8. j

    Hmm..i dont know..guess Im cynical..or moronic.
    But I think Meghan is part of the problem, not the solution..
    I believe that the whole Meghan Trainor concept is disingenuous..and she and her ‘bosses’ are cashing in on the whole fat acceptance/thin shaming/man whipping mindset. Now I have no issue with entertainers making money or being successful (which Meghan clearly is). I just think it’s sending a message in a bad way. Granted that the music style itself is catchy and refreshing, I take issue with the image it sends and lyric…

    Shes not exactly fat (actually quite normal) and definitely not obese. Yet she comes off as speaking for the entire demographic of women that would include the fat and obese. Then basically shes telling them to adopt a “F you if youre thin, haha im kidding” and “im big..deal with it” attitude. How does this help anyone? ..Especially someone who might be genuinely unhappy with their weight?
    If someones happy with their weight then thats great. But if theyre not happy, how is pretending and having a snarky attitude to go with it gonna help?

    Also she implies that her ‘supposedly’ big body is validated because men like it…you know, cus all men like more ‘booty’ or whatever. Well I dont speak for all men, but Im willing to bet many could not give two s***s…Im willing to bet different men like different women of different shapes and sizes and intellect.
    And aside from the point that a woman’s validation shouldnt come from a man, she again is asking her audience to adopt an ideology instead of adopting introspection…Again, how is this helping?

    I guess I dont see what there is to celebrate about Meghan and her subtle ‘im joking but im not’ hostility…she went about it the wrong way..
    “Happiness comes in all shape and sizes” …and so does misery I suppose…but focusing on the preceding would have done fine on its own..Celebrate the good without poking anyone..

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Shes not exactly fat (actually quite normal) and definitely not obese.

      Correct. Now compare that to all the imbeciles on YouTube calling her a fat bitch. That’s what makes a song celebrating her size and declaring herself sexy (which she is) a wonderful reply to people who think anyone who isn’t model-thin needs to lose weight.

      I don’t interpret the song as hostile towards thin women. More of an in-your-face reply to thin women who consider themselves better because they’re thin … you know, the ones who think all it takes is a little discipline to look like them.

      My naturally-thin wife watched the video and laughed out loud several times. She took no offense at any of it.

      Reply
      1. j

        Well yea I dont agree with vulgar commenters either..

        Her body type and those of the girls in the vid remind me more of Marilyn Monroe figures..

        Reply
        1. Kathy from Maine

          People are always saying, look at Marilyn Monroe, she was a size 12!

          It’s true, but a size 12 when she was alive (in the 1960s) was a whole lot different from a size 12 today. When I was young, I often sewed my own clothes because it was fun. I still have patterns I used in the 1960s. Guess what. The measurements for a size 12 in the 1960s are the same as for a size 4/6 today. Over the years, sizes have gotten larger because manufacturers can sell more clothes that way.

          If alive today, Marilyn would be a size 4 or at most, a size 6.

          Reply
    2. Elenor

      Consider, however, that the girls in her age range who look like her (you know: girls who are “**fat** like her!” As the idiot commenters on YouTube write; as the media constantly portrays, as the movies and music videos constantly enforce) are castigating themselves because they do NOT look like model-thin stick figures. Do you really think any (actual) fat girl believes she can be acceptable because this ‘skinny-bitch-by-comparison’ is singing that she is acceptable? That is so not gonna happen! The fat girls are looking wistfully at her and thinking: “I’d LOVE to be that thin and then I’d finally be happy.”

      You clearly don’t spend any time around (what should be seen as) “normal-looking” girls and young ladies, to know how horrifically self-derogating they are! How many girls did that study say stated that would rather get CANCER than get fat?! Something above 50%?! There is not a fat girl on the planet who would take this video as a ‘pass’ for being fat! (And alas, “J” you are part of the problem… Do you think this singer should have to lose 20-30 pounds in order to “be okay”? Wanna bet, when she’s not singing lyrics, SHE thinks she should?)

      Reply
      1. j

        Actually I think some women (and men) are self-derogating no matter what they look like. Thats why I said happiness (and misery) comes in all shapes and sizes. Although Im inclined to believe women by nature are more critical of their own looks compared to men..could be wrong(?)..

        I agree that not all so called fat girls are gonna take this video as a pass for their weight because theyre not foolish. But some might, and that would be bad for someone who has weight-related health issues or is just unhappy with their weight. Thats why I dont like the video’s message..intentional or not. Meghan, who is by no means fat, is asking the viewer she’s talking to, who might actually be fat, to potentially adopt her mindset with a sassy attitude to go with it (I just wish she would have approached the matter differently..)

        If youre familiar with the ‘fat acceptance’ and the ‘healthy at every size’ initiatives that are gaining traction and media attention, you will see that there are groups promoting just that. My issue with those movements is that theyre creating an idea that it’s ok to be whatever size you are (even if youre obese) and that society has been brainwashed by the media, hollywood, and the fashion industry among other things..
        Just to be clear, I dont agree with anyone bashing or attacking someones looks. I do think however that the general desire to be thin or a ‘normal’ weight is first a biological drive and also a general marker of health.
        If someone doesnt agree with that, that is fine, but those movements shouldnt try to impose certain beliefs on the rest of society…especially if they go against our very primal nature.

        If someone says they rather have cancer than be fat, then that is an internal problem that surpasses the weight problem they might have.

        And no I dont think the singer needs to lose 20-30 pounds, she is not fat, and I cant presume to know whether or not she wants to. If she secretly thinks she should, then her video contradicts her own beliefs..
        Do I think she would look better if she did? It’s possible..but thats just my own opinion and not everyone would agree with it. To which I say- I respect their opinion..

        Reply
  9. Angel

    Well, this is something I never thought I’d learn about on your blog, so thank you! I’ve never really listened to the song either, I honestly thought it was about liking a bass beat in a song. I’ll be purchasing the song too.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      All I knew was that someone had released a song called “All About That Bass.” I also assumed it was about liking a bass beat … and as someone who once played bass in a mind, I appreciated the thought.

      Reply
  10. A skinny person by choice

    Hey Tom,

    That’s great your celebrating the HAES movement and all. How about apologizing for calling vegan’s “walking cadavers”? Thin people get shit on all the time in this society because it’s acceptable. How well would it go over for a pop star made a song saying that boys couldn’t possibly be attracted to fat girls?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Nawww, I’ll skip that apology. I only pick on the walking cadavers when they show up here and preach to us.

      Reply
      1. A skinny person by choice

        Can’t say I’m surprised. You have the integrity (and flip-flopping ability) of John Kerry. You also lumped all vegans into the “preachy” vegan camp (because LCHF never preaches…riiiight). Nice gross generalization.

        FYI, why no pictures from the Jimmy Moore Disc Golf Tourney? His weight up again?

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Which part of “I only pick on the walking cadavers when they show up here and preach to us” did you interpret as “lumped all vegans into the ‘preachy’ camp”?

          I’d suggest you take a remedial course in reading and comprehension, then go check my previous posts dealing with the vegan zealots. If you can spot the paragraph where I claim all vegans are zealots, be sure to quote it back to me.

          Then you can go look for the vegan sites where I’ve shown up in comments to preach at them. I don’t know any LCHF advocates who feel compelled to visit vegan sites and preach to them about how wrong their dietary choices are. But I know lots of LCHF advocates whose sites are visited by preachy vegan trolls. That’s the difference.

          Reply
          1. Mark

            Ehhhhh, I’m going to have to put my hand up here and confess to doing EXACTLY that. I just couldn’t help myself when one sanctimonious Vegan Priest declared: “No one has ever chased down a wild animal and eaten it raw”. I responded with the Youtube video where the hunters face down a pride of 15 lions and steal a leg of their fresh kill. I figured ‘3 men who square off against lions’ would go above and beyond ‘chasing down a wild animal’ (one is, let’s face it, far more dangerous than the other) in pursuit of meat. As you can imagine, the ‘conversation’ on the vegan’s end quickly descended into childish name calling and personal attacks. I decided then and there that trying to deprogram them is best left to more patient people than I.

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Goof grief, apparently the Vegan Priest knows diddly about hunter-gatherers. They often ate the organs raw immediately after the kill.

              But yes, trying to deprogram someone who believes that statement is a waste of time.

            2. A skinny person by choice

              I’m actually not a Vegan. Preachy hippies annoy me just as much as the next person. I am, however, a skinny person. It’s fun pointing out Tom’s hypocrisy when he uses the ‘you’re so skinny it’s gross’ to putdown another group of people, while at the same time decrying anonymous YouTube comments of all things for fat shaming Meghan Trainor.

            3. Tom Naughton Post author

              I’m sure you’d like to believe you spot hypocrisy. But I’m not being hypocritical. I don’t tell fat people (or not-skinny) people they need to lose weight to accept themselves, and I don’t tell skinny people they need to gain weight to accept themselves. I happen to be married to a naturally-thin woman.

              But when vegans show up here and preach at me about how their diet is superior and I need to adopt it or die of heart disease or cancer, pointing out that they have almost no muscle and look like walking cadavers is merely stating a fact. When people intentionally adopt a diet devoid of animal protein and their muscles waste away as a result, I take that as a sign the diet is far short of ideal.

          2. Firebird

            Yep. If you peruse through You Tube universe, you never see a LCHF channel owner going out of his way to diss vegans. They will on occasion, post a video in response to an attack by a vegan…who always seem to be the ones to fire the first salvo.

            Vegans are always angry and defensive. Correlation = causation?

            Reply
            1. Jennifer Snow

              This is because it’s not about health for them, it’s a Moral Crusade. They don’t eat Vegan because it’s healthy (although they usually claim it is), but because Meat is Sin. It wouldn’t matter one whit if you proved, absolutely and beyond any possible argument, that eating meat is the optimal diet. The vegans would simply become more sanctimonious about how they’re willing to bear that cross in order to avoid sinful meat.

            2. Stephen T.

              Jennifer, that’s spot on. They desperately want meat eating to be unhealthy and distort the evidence accordingly. They are almost the last people left who defend Ancel Keys.

              When vegetarians decline to eat meat for moral reasons, I can at least respect their position. When they want to rewrite history and twist evidence, they lose that respect and appear ever more angry and fanatical.

        2. j

          Skinny person..Im a fan of Tom’s work. I dont support HAES or Meghan (see rant above), nor would I favor a pop star who was demeaning to or ridiculed fat people. There’s fringe extremists on both the low carb and the vegan camps..although I cant say I recall any prominent low carb spokesperson going out of their way to troll vegans…cant say the same for some vegan spokespersons..

          Just wondering..what is your obsession with Jimmy? Are you just looking for that one guy so you can point and say ‘A-ha!’…in order to support your argument for veganism?

          Reply
        3. Galina L.

          But vegans choose to look unhealthy in a pursuit of their ideology , and it is their choice to have the look of “a cadaver-looking person”. The situation when a naturally-fat person can’t find a 100% regiment for his/her weight loss is different.

          Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              You don’t believe some people are genetically geared to be fat? Thanks for putting your ignorance on display for all to see.

            2. A skinny person by choice

              No, I don’t. Husky, stocky, etc. But someone cannot naturally be pre-disposed to weighing 400 pounds. There seems to be a shortage of ‘naturally fat’ people in third world countries where food shortages were common. In the olden days, the only people who were overweight were rich because, shocker, they didn’t have to do physical work and they could afford a lot of food. But yea, lack of exercise and eating too many calories is not at all the cause of the obesity epidemic. No sir!

            3. Tom Naughton Post author

              Wow, you nailed it! It’s all about eating too much and not exercising enough! That of course explains the explosion of obese babies in the past decade … those lazy little bastards don’t have the discipline to pull away from the boob and go to baby-aerobics classes like babies in previous generations.

              You’re a dumbass.

            4. A skinny person by choice

              You’re the dumbass.

              You’re a libertarian yet claim it’s not the (lack of) personal responsibility that has made 60% of the population overweight. Yep, they are just alllllll naturally pre-determined to be fat (odd that these people were missing just 2 generations ago. odd that these people are missing in your libertarian paradise of Somalia. odd that these people didn’t exist during the Great Depression).

              I was unaware of babies being born obese. A baby can be born with a BMI > 30? That’s news to me, and also a medical miracle!

              Question: When Jimmy weighed 400 pounds, was he exercising every day and eating ~2200 calories?

              Another question: What has changed in the past 10 (milliseconds in the timeline of evolution) years that would all of a sudden make people be born to be naturally overweight their whole life?

              Get your head out of your ass.

            5. Tom Naughton Post author

              Dumbass. Moron. Imbecile. Dipstick. Take your pick, but the bottom line is that if a logical thought crossed your brain synapses, your head would explode.

              Yes, I’m a libertarian, and yes, I believe in personal responsibility. When people eat the high-grain diet recommended by the government, they think they’re being responsible. They’re also being set up for a metabolism geared to accumulate fat. Then they try simply eating less of the same diet — because know-nothings like you tell them that’s the key. Once again, they’re attempting to be responsible. Taking responsibility for your own actions doesn’t solve a problem if you don’t have the correct information. Is your lil’ ol’ pea brain capable of grasping that concept?

              If you are unaware of babies being born obese, you are admitting to being ignorant — yet having a strong opinion despite your ignorance. Lovely combination.

              No, when Jimmy weighed 400 pounds, he was drinking 12 sodas per day and eating Little Debbie Snack Cakes, as he’s made clear. There are people who choose to eat junk despite the consequences, as I’ve said many times. There are also people who find it very difficult to lose weight even when they don’t eat junk, as is the case with Jimmy now. I wrote a post about a study in which obese people failed to lose weight on a 600-calorie diet administered in a hospital. The doctors were mystified and called them “thermodynamic paradoxes.” Do you want to tell us they didn’t lose weight because they were eating too much and not being personally responsible, dumbass?

              What changed in the past milliseconds of evolution is that babies are being born already insulin-resistant, thanks to the changes in our food supply and very bad advice given to their mothers.

              To turn your question around, do you really and truly believe that in the past few decades, a whopping percentage of the population suddenly became less disciplined? When I was a kid in the 1960s, I don’t remember any of my parents’ friends ever counting calories, jogging, or going to a gym. If anything, they were less disciplined than the people I see trying to run off their excess weight on treadmills at our health club. But they were lean.

    2. Andrea

      Wow, you’re totally right! Let’s go look at all those magazines that Photoshop normal healthy women to much bigger sizes! Let’s go take a look at the runways packed full of size 20s while the size 2s are told that they are just too skinny for haute couture! Or all the movies in which fat people are portrayed as intelligent, but their skinny friends are buffoons who do pratfalls for cheap laughs!

      Wait, THOSE DON’T EXIST.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer Snow

        Heh, I’m an enormous woman myself but it really hasn’t bothered me much that fat people are always portrayed as comic relief in movies and TV. Perhaps because I see being funny as a skill that requires significant intelligence and self-esteem to pull off. Basically the media are saying “fat people had to develop social skills because nobody’s willing to put up with their endless bullshit in the hopes of getting in their pants”.

        But it is sad how many fat comics have basically committed suicide or otherwise had some serious health issues. 🙁

        Reply
  11. Matt Huston

    Tom, way to dive deep in a new fun important direction.

    * +1 for your moving book-intention: ‘…I’d let [younger Tom] cry…I can’t do that, so I’ll have a talk with kids who read the book. I want them to know they can’t compare themselves to people who were born to look like athletes or models. I want them to understand what a mistake it is to think, “Someday, with enough work and sacrifice, I’ll look like that – and then I’ll be happy.” ‘

    * Your and Chareva’s book will do much good.

    * Oh, and my only comment on YouTube comments is ‘Never read YouTube comments.’ I tried it once, and could feel both my IQ and belief in humanity draining rapidly out of both ears.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      My belief in our school systems certainly takes a hit every time I read YouTube comments. I’m actually stunned when I read a comment written by someone who knows how to use an apostrophe or a comma.

      Reply
  12. Josh

    What else can we expect concerning prejudice against fat people when we have a US Senator who wrote a book titled:

    Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations (ISBN 0-385-31474-4) is a 1996 American book by Al Franken.

    Can you imagine saying something similar about people of color, various religious groups, etc. ???? The howls of complaint would be deafening. It is a sad commentary on our times that such people get elected to anything.

    Note: FWIW, I don’t listen to RL nor do subscribe to most of his beliefs. Occasionally, he has a moment of enlightenment when he agrees with me. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Most religious groups. Based on what I see on TV, it’s still considered okay to consistently portray reborn Christians as hypocrites, buffoons or murderers. In fact, I won’t mention the show to avoid giving away the ending to people who may yet watch it, but there was a whodunnit series that was mostly good, but I knew by the second episode who the killer would turn out to be: the reborn Christian preacher, of course.

      Bigotry aside, you’d think Hollywood writers would get tired of being so predictable.

      Reply
      1. Firebird

        Thankfully there is Hulu, which has so many excellent shows from overseas! I’ve watched some brilliant work out of Ireland, Australia, Canada and Britain.

        Reply
      2. Dianne

        Thank you for this kind and thoughtful comment, Tom. More and more, it seems that if your ideas and opinions are influenced by your faith, they are automatically considered invalid, which is silly because everybody’s ideas and opinions are influence by some sort of belief system, whether religious or otherwise. It can be especially difficult if you are Catholic. In fact, there is a book titled “Anti-Catholicism in America: the Last Acceptable Prejudice.” I guess author Mark Massa didn’t know that overweight people are an equally easy target for the media or for the merely rude– take it from a fat Catholic who knows.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          There’s certainly a double-standard when it comes to Christians. Not excusing Mel Gibson’s rant about Jews, but he was drunk and said those things to the cop who pulled him over, having no idea he was being recorded. It wasn’t meant for public consumption. But the anti-Semitic remarks pretty much ended his career.

          Around the same time, a perfectly sober Bill Maher went on a rant on his TV show about how most Christians are hypocrites. Didn’t harm his career at all.

          Reply
          1. j

            Seems society as a whole is becoming more and more complicated..i.e. it’s seems harder for some very devout people to apply their beliefs in everyday life without apparently violating someone else’s rights..it’s so convoluted and pc that they have to walk on egg shells or face getting sued or publicly shamed..

            Whatever happened to separation of church and state? Not sure what’s happening to America in general..

            Reply
            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              What’s happening to America is we’re losing the belief that government’s job is to prevent people from harming each other and otherwise leave them alone.

          2. Firebird

            In Hollywood, people know how butters their bread. As a whole, I avoid organized religion. As author Dick Sutphen said, “Religion is run by gurus who just want your money.”

            I particularly like this quote:

            “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
            Thomas Paine

            Reply
        2. Jennifer Snow

          Ideas based on faith ARE epistemologically invalid. If they were valid by an epistemological standard, they’d be based on FACTS. So, yeah, if people insist on bringing their faith into an arena where other people are discussing factual information, they’re going to get laughed out of the place or, at best, ignored. Nobody cares what you believe in the absence of any reason TO believe it–it’s all equally arbitrary. They want to know WHY you believe it, and the entire concept of faith as a standard for anything rejects any possible process of identifying that why.

          If your ACTIONS are influenced by your faith it’s a thousand times worse. You can’t reason with someone who willfully follows the arbitrary and unproven. Like a schizophrenic, you can only hope that they don’t become violent, and, in many cases, this hope has proven to be extremely ill-founded.

          Reply
          1. Tom Naughton Post author

            The religious friends I have consider their faith exactly that: faith, which by definition means it can’t be proven as a fact.

            Reply
      3. Jennifer Snow

        This has less to do with bigotry and more to do with the fact that it is conflict that makes characters interesting, and religious belief is a convenient means of creating that conflict without having to spend a lot of time explaining WHY someone believes what they do.

        That and the religious ARE hypocrites–they can’t avoid it. Bring me any devout religious person and I guarantee you flat out that I will be able to point to something in their religious documentation of choice that they don’t do–and probably without much effort. They’re probably even aware of it. Now, is it necessarily of a variety that’s going to cause harm to anybody else? No. But couple that with writer laziness about having to develop character motivations and you wind up with a ton of religious bad guys.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Watching Hollywood-produced movies and TV shows, you’d have to conclude that the people most likely to commit murder are 1) religious people and 2) corporate executives.

          Reply
        2. j

          Ms. Snow..what do you have faith in? Science? The sole purpose of science is to disprove that there is a god..Facts themselves are arbitrary and based only on our present understanding of the universe ..

          Reply
          1. Tom Naughton Post author

            Let’s not turn this into a religious debate, folks. I had to issue a warning about that already in the Fat Head Facebook group.

            Reply
            1. Firebird

              Politics. Diet. Religion.

              Three topics that cause heated debates that quickly go off the rails.

  13. Josh

    If you have ever suffered from being fat and not being able to lose the weight, or have a family member in that situation, you know how tough it is . I am reminded of former VP Cheney who has a gay daughter. Needless to say, his views on being gay do not jive with the views of many of his admirers.

    Reply
  14. JW

    Even if you are a lean, muscular type, the body comparison game is still a losing battle. There’s always somebody fitter, and it’s often that person who eats whatever they want but they “work out hard” (or they have a great trainer, etc. etc.).

    I’ll never forget Dr. Phinney’s statement on fitness in his excellent book on Low-Carb dieting: if you work out hard, you can improve your fitness by 10%. If you want to change it by 50%, you need new genes … (this was rigorously proven using studies of identical twins doing equivalent exercise)

    Reply
  15. Barbara

    I have found an athlete that has inspired me. Her name is Jessamyn Stanley. She has a wonderful body image even though she is not slender. I found her on FaceBook.

    Reply
  16. Deb

    I have had trouble posting, so I hope this goes through!

    Thanks, Tom, for posting those videos and for sharing your poignant message about talking to your younger self. It brought a lump to my throat and made me recall similar thoughts of shame about my younger self. I work hard every day to free myself of the emotional burden that shame would impose on me. And I work harder each day to make myself the best “me” I can be, no matter my size. The funny thing is, once I discovered “Fathead” and “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and Dr. Jason Fung’s videos, I finally had the right tools and knowledge with which to arm myself to be able to finally fight the battle effectively. I am continuing to lose the weight and I continue to get fitter and more active every day, (no more knee pain, yay!) but the real benefit, no, gift, is learning what an amazing body I had all along. I can waste time being angry about what size CW led me to, or be grateful about becoming free of all that and finally being at peace with myself. I pick gratitude. And that is in no small part thanks to all you pioneers like you who “put yourself out there” despite the anonymous venom you often face for bucking the “norm”. Because, we can be “normal”, or we can be “optimal”. I know which one I want.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Thank you, Deb. I think some people misinterpret what body acceptance is about. They seem to believe it means “I’ll eat all the junk I want and then love myself even after my choices make me obese.” As far as I’m concerned, if you’d rather enjoy junk food than be healthy, that’s your decision, but I that’s not how I see body acceptance. I think it’s more along the lines of the Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

      Reply
  17. Mark.

    I actually don’t remember hearing about the song and wondered from this blog entry’s title whether it was about the freshwater fish. I suppose there is already a bass-fishing parody of the song out there…

    Reply
  18. Vicente

    Hi Tom,
    I recently found this article. The author says that being satisfied with our own weight/appearance is important because otherwise you can decide to diet, and that is not good because hypocaloric diets make you gain weight, not lose it.

    She summarizes her view in the abstract:

    “Weight stigma, the perception of being fat, lack
    of understanding of normal growth and development, and increased concern about obesity on the part of health providers, parents, and caregivers have reinforced each other to promote dieting. Because weight suppression and disinhibition provoke long-term weight increase, dieting is a major factor producing the obesity epidemic.”

    (From “Integrating Fundamental Concepts of Obesity and Eating Disorders: Implications for the Obesity Epidemic”)

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Meanwhile, haranguing overweight people and making them feel ashamed of themselves will likely raise their cortisol levels, which in turn will make it more difficult to lose weight.

      Reply
  19. Vicente

    Obese people have elevated insulin levels, right?

    “In the presence of insulin, cortisol increases the activity of lipoprotein lipase, which leads to fat accumulation in visceral adipose tissue. Conversely, if insulin is not present in sufficient quantities, cortisol activates hormone-sensitive lipase, which causes fatty acid mobilization”

    (From “Determining the Culprit: Stress, Fat, or Carbohydrates‏”)

    In this case a verbal aggression seems to be also a physical aggression.

    Reply
  20. Rae Ford

    As far as the comments go, I find it astounding how many people think that insults and name calling are the best way to “persuade” people around to their way of thinking or conformity to a certain behavior. Of course, that sort of thing isn’t exclusive to comments on the internet.

    Reply
    1. Vicente

      Those people are blaming the obese of lacking willpower just because they believe they lack willpower.

      They think obese people are lazy, weak and lacking willpower, because they have been told obesity is a problem of “eating too much and moving too little”. Therefore those people think that the obese know the cause of the problem and a solution that works but requires willpower. If that were true, sticking to the diet would be the key:

      As far as success with weight management goes, adherence is king

      eating less and moving more works every time

      But, where is the proof that diets work in the long term if you stick to the diet? <b>There is not such proof</b>: hypocaloric diets have never proved to be useful for long-term weight loss (see).

      Reply

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