I've come across another excellent article by Paul Campos that deserves a hearing.
Last year, Graham linked to a trenchant condemnation
of Michelle Obama's appalling effort to introduce government-sanction bullying of curvy girls via her insidious "Let's Move" campaign.
Now Mr. Campos has published a devastating critique of the same appalling government agenda. It should be noted that Campos identifies himself as a liberal, so his slam of this truly evil program is a matter of principle.
He is very charitable towards the First Lady, but he spells out the damage that her curve-o-phobic propaganda is having on full-figured girls in language that hopefully even she can understand:
The first lady would, no doubt, be horrified by the suggestion that her Letís Move campaign, which is dedicated to trying to create an America without any fat kids, is itself a particularly invidious form of bullying. But practically speaking, thatís exactly what it is. The campaign is in effect arguing that the way to stop the bullying of f** kids is to get rid of f** kids.
Campos indicates that the entire "ob***** epidemic" is a colossal fraud, a myth that has been created out of whole cloth by the diet-starvation industry:
As Australian scholar Michael Gard points out in his new book...Americans weigh no more than they did a decade ago.
Perhaps the saddest statistic is the partisan political split on this issue. If there were ever a case where all Americans should be able to unite around a common concept, regardless of their political affiliations, it is this one. Surely every sane, compassionate individual should affirm that it is monstrous for the government to be stigmatizing plus-size girls simply for not starving and for being naturally full-figured. And yet this is not the case:
Nearly three in five Americans now believe that the government should have ďa significant role in reducing childhood ob*****.Ē
Predictably, the prevalence of this belief tends to split along partisan lines: 80 percent of liberal Democrats compared to only 37 percent of conservative Republicans and 33 percent of self-described Tea Partiers.
How can 80 percent of any group believe that the government should meddle in people's lives this way, particularly when it comes to children and young girls, the most vulnerable members of society? It's simply unthinkable.
This is not a political issue; this is a human-decency issue.
Campos's final point is the most incisive:
None of this even touches on a subtler and more invidious cost to the Letís Move campaign: the profound shaming and stigmatization of f** children that is an inevitable product of the campaignís absurd premise that the bodies of heavier than average children are by definition defective, and that this ďdefectĒ can be cured through lifestyle changes. F** kids have enough problems without the additional burden of being subjected to government-approved pseudo-scientific garbage about how they could be thin if they just ate their vegetables and played outside more often.
Michelle Obamaís campaign against childhood ob***** is exactly the sort of crusade that liberals who donít want to give ammunition to conservative critiques of government activism should oppose. It is a deeply misguided attempt to solve an imaginary health crisis by employing unnecessary cures that in any case donít work. As such, it is almost a parody of activist government at its most clueless.
It's bad enough that girls are targeted, from a young age, by a fashion industry, a diet-starvation industry, and an exercise-torture industry that all bombard them with relentless thin-centric propaganda in order to make them feel bad about not being underweight. The government should be protecting
girls from such abuse, not propagating it. The last
thing in the world that the government should be doing is aiding and abetting this war on curvy girls.
Again, this is an issue that transcends politics. This curve-o-phobic agenda would be wrong regardless of which political party initiated it. It's abusive, it's emotionally and physically harmful, and it must be ended. Now.
No plus-size girl deserves to be treated this way.