Monthly Archives: March 2017

“…. The image of the man gone to pot, fat and feminine, was increasingly common as appetite and exercise became more important in the 1950s and 1960s. If fatness was not caused by a deficient thyroid, fat nonetheless seemed to diminish another set of glands…. Peter Wyden, double-chinned executive editor of the Ladies Home Journal, wrote about The Overweight Society in 1965; three years later he co-authored Growing Up StraightWith his wife Barbara, woman’s editor for the New York Times Magazine, Peter Wyden found that the same constellation of overprotective mother and weak father that lay behind obesity was also responsible for homosexuality. To be fat not only threatened an immediate sexual neutering but an imminent sexual inversion….”

Hillel Schwartz, Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat, p. 248

To echo Chastain’s intro in her post on Dances with Fat, I take no pleasure in Bob Harper’s health problems. I’m glad he’s getting the care he needs, and hope he has a successful recovery. However, his situation provides an exceptionally useful lesson in how “health” does not equal size, and we cannot overlook the ways that he profits from jeopardizing other people’s health by circulating this myth.