I like reading the search engine searches that lead people to my blog. Sometimes, it’s entertaining to figure out how a search engine would use the criteria and point to me, like the one for “carribean fruitcake”. Then there are the WTF moments, like the one asking for a specific porn.
But then, there are the ones that cause me to shake my head.
I had one of those the other day. The search input was “54% of women would rather be hit by a tr” (wordpress only gives so many keystrokes of the search, but I can guess the end of it). Now, I just googled to see if I could find that statistic, and couldn’t find it. I’ve found a couple references to that statistic, most prominently a post on Shapely Prose that had a YouTube movie produced by TriDelta. But the original study or poll finding showing those numbers eludes me.
It doesn’t matter whether the statistic is right. What matters is that people actually think it’s better to die than be fat. Because getting hit by a truck (especially if you aren’t protected by a car) is a sure way to die.
Why do so many people think it’s better to be dead than fat?
To believe it would be better to be dead than fat negates the health issue argument that most fat people hear from concerned friends, families, strangers on a bus. You know, where people say that it’s so unhealthy to be fat, that teh fatz will kill, does kill every single day. Yet, isn’t being dead a lot more unhealthy than being alive but having high blood pressure? Or bad knees? Or sinusitis? (Yeah, that last one comes from an acquaintance of mine who has regular bouts of sinusitis, but has been told by her doctors that she just needs to lose weight and the sinusitis will go away.)
Now, maybe I’m just crazy (and that’s always possible), but I’d much rather be alive, and living with any disease, than be dead. High cholesterol can be lowered. Diabetes can be controlled. Busted knee joints can be repaired or replaced. Dead? That’s permanent.
Please don’t take this as me being callous about truly terrible diseases. I know about senile dementia and how it changes a person. My grandfather had senile dementia for a few years before he died, most likely due to cumulative effects of some minor strokes. My mother-in-law is suffering from that now. I know about auto-immune diseases that make a person live with severe consequences of the disease. I’ve known people who had cancer (both who survived, and who didn’t survive). I know a man who died of an extremely aggressive, extremely rare cancer. I’m not being callous here. There are some diseases that are terrible and make a person yearn for death. And if the phrase had been “I’d rather be dead than have *insert terrible disease here*”, I’d completely understand. Heck, I told my husband, soon after the day my grandfather didn’t remember me, his eldest granddaughter, the one he raised for 11 years of my childhood, that I’d rather he shoot me than let me ever get to that condition. So I am not unsympathetic to real suffering and the desire to end it.
Contrary to the above, to say “I’d rather be hit by a truck than fat” actually shows what I’ve been seeing and saying for a little while. Fat fear, the obesity epipanic, is not at all about health. If it was about health, they wouldn’t use something that was sure to kill you. That’s like saying “I’d love to catch cancer so I can lose weight.” Oh, wait, they do. Never mind then.
Why is being thin so much more important than being healthy? That’s really what it comes down to. And no, if people really wanted to be healthy, they wouldn’t say they would rather be dead than fat. Because people can be healthy while overweight (contrary to popular propaganda), but nobody can be healthy dead.
Anybody got any answers for me? I’m drawing a blank here.