It’s always been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that props up the other old saying of there’s somebody for everybody. In other words, you might be ugly enough to cause a car crash to one person, but another might just find you as cute as a button.
This applies to body types also. You might be ripped, as they like to say, or you might not … pay that much attention to physical fitness. Once upon a time, if you didn’t pay attention to your physical fitness, people would let you know about it, especially if you were a kid.
If you’re of the right age and had a portly childhood, you probably remember hearing the chant, “Fatty, fatty, two by four, can’t get through the kitchen door!”
Somewhere along the line, making fun of someone for a weight problem became a thing not to do, and that’s a good thing. Fat people know they’re fat and don’t need cruel reminders.
But somebody named Dr. Jordan Peterson apparently didn’t get the memo. He’s a clinical psychologist described as a YouTube star, for what that’s worth, and he tweeted a picture of Sports Illustrated swimsuit Yumi Nu with the caption “Sorry. Not beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”
Nu is what’s called a plus size model and whenever a plus size model lands something like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover, the move is applauded. I guess this Peterson guy thinks he’s breaking the rules, or swinging his fists against power by saying he doesn’t find an overweight woman attractive, and neither does anybody else, he’s just the only one brave enough to say anything.
That’s not true, of course. There are men and women who find overweight people very attractive. In less gentler times, they were called chubby chasers.
And it used to be most people didn’t really get fat until after they’d “found” somebody and could let themselves go. There’s a video of Lynyrd Skynyrd performing “Freebird” live on YouTube in 1976 or 1977, and one of the comments, after seeing crowd shots, is, “Look how skinny everybody is!”
And it’s true. Everybody looked malnourished in those days. Watch movies and TV shows from that time. If you were fat, you stood out. And you probably got tortured, at least verbally. Now, it’s been estimated that about half of us, including kids, are what’s called obese.
But for the non-knuckle draggers, being overweight isn’t a beauty question so much as it’s a health question. Comedian/talk show host Bill Maher has, for years, talked about so many people being overweight is the reason we’re so unhealthy. Of course, he gets attacked for it as people say you’re beautiful no matter your size.
And that brings us back to there’s somebody for everybody. Peterson might not find Nu attractive, but I can promise you the line of guys willing to go on a date with her would stretch through town and into the countryside.
A legitimate question, if you wish to fall in love with an overweight person at a young age, is how’s your health? If I’m going to devote my life to you, and I want to, how long will you actually be here?
And if you were to ask that question, the howl of outrage would pretty much guarantee that the relationship would probably end right there.
If we want to go back to a time when everybody looked malnourished, we can’t be afraid to look at being fat not as a non-hot problem, but as one of a not healthy problem. I’ve often thought if we were all in shape, there’d be so many beautiful people we wouldn’t even think about it anymore. I know there are some genuinely skinny ugly people, but that means there are also some genuinely beautiful fat people.
In the end, I guess we are what we are. I’ve been both fat and skinny, though I don’t think anyone’s ever called me beautiful. Probably something I don’t want to dwell on.
Like a lot of people, I didn’t hit the genetic jackpot. I wasn’t born a Kardashian, though I don’t think it would’ve been a great tragedy if I’d been born with the same genes Brad Pitt had during the time he was filming “Fight Club.”
Your mileage may vary.