Open for Discussion: Santa’s too Fat

A month ago, Rachel wrote about a movement afoot in Britain to make Santa slim down. Now, via Body Impolitic, I find out it’s happening on this side of the pond, too.

America’s top doc told the Herald yesterday that Santa Claus should slim down, in the latest blow struck in a global politically correct crusade against the jolly fat man.

“It is really important that the people who kids look up to as role models are in good shape, eating well and getting exercise. It is absolutely critical,” acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson said in an interview after a presentation on obesity at the Boston Children’s Museum.

Tell me again why that’s absolutely critical? Are there actually any studies showing that beloved icons have a strong direct effect on what children eat?

O RLY?

Or what about studies showing incontrovertibly that Santa’s actually a role model on the order of, say, professional athletes or actors? Are there seriously kids going, “Pass the milk and cookies — I WANT TO BE LIKE SANTA”?

No, I don’t believe there are. I believe there are kids going, “Pass the milk and cookies ’cause they fucking taste good, and I’m a child who needs more dietary fat than adults do and would rather not develop an eating disorder by being trained to believe all fat — the dietary kind or adipose tissue — is utterly horrifying.” Or at least, you know, the first part of that. But I really, really do not believe there are children saying, “I want to be an old, fat man who lives at the North Pole when I grow up. And to do so, I must get started now on a strict regimen of fatty foods and as little exercise as possible.”

Seriously. It’s absolutely critical that role models be seen eating healthy foods and exercising? (Not to mention being “in shape,” which of course translates to “thin,” even though scientists are actually catching on to the fact that fitness and fatness aren’t mutually exclusive.) Because… why? The studies demonstrating this are where? And those studies have what to say about all the role models who keep thin by eating virtually nothing and doing lots of coke, or the ones who keep “fit” by abusing steroids? Santa is a worse role model than those people because… wait, what?

Health experts concur.

“I thoroughly agree he should lose weight and we should find ways to make healthy foods more palatable to children,” said Dr. Meredith Harris, associate professor at Northeastern University.

Yeah. As I was saying over at Rio’s place yesterday, you know how you make healthy foods more palatable to children? PUT SOME FAT ON THEM. Otherwise, all the role models in the world aren’t going to make children prefer naturally bitter food to naturally tasty food. For Christ’s sake.

Also, you gotta love this, from Donna Rheaume, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (who, to her credit, at least declares Santa “fine just the way he is”):

“We would recommend people leave him healthier snacks this year like a nice apple or carrot and celery sticks, which have an added benefit because they are tasty for his reindeer, too.”

Psst, guys… Santa’s not real.

And beyond that, as I said in comments at Rachel’s when this first came up, we always left a carrot for Rudolph along with the milk and cookies for Santa. (See? BALANCE, people!) And yet — even though my dad’s approximately as discriminating as your average billy goat when you put a plate of food, any food, in front of him (and going strong at 72, I might add) — I am pretty sure his Santa-impersonating m.o. was to eat the cookies, drink the milk, and put the carrot back in the fridge.

Know why? ‘Cause cookies taste really good. Raw carrots are yummy, too, but dude… not the same way.

The food and fat police are simply never gonna get around that fact. But if they’d take a fucking deep breath and get real, they might see that they really don’t need to.

83 thoughts on “Open for Discussion: Santa’s too Fat

  1. This is totally Cookie Monster Part Deux: a ridiculous and absurd assault on something wholesome and innocent all in the name of OBESITY EPIDEMICZ!!!~1ONE!

    A^5!

  2. But… but… our children need HEALTHY, THIN role models … like Paris Hilton… and Lindsey Lohan… and Kate Moss… and Britney Spears… oh, wait, I forgot, she’s fat now, too.

    *sigh*

  3. Should we all send letters to the surgeon general telling him he’s a complete wanker?

    Just letters upon letters upon letters that say nothing but

    “WANKER!!!”

    over and over?

  4. Coming soon to a theater near you…..”Santa Claws and his Ninja Reindeer.” A new and improved cybertronic Santa on the busiest night of the year with top level clearance at SAS, Mossad, FBI and MI5.

    And wait until you see the action figure! The new “Randy Santy” comes complete with washboard abs, on-board missile control system with lasers,bionic implants (we can’t tell you where but Mrs. Claws has been getting a real workout lately…wink wink nudge nudge) all so he can take on the Axis of Evil while delivering toys to good girls and boys…but not the fat ones. Because fat kills. Everybody knows that.

  5. I suggest postcards, save on postage. Also, we could mix things up by sending half “Wanker!” and half “Uber-Weenie!” messages, just so he doesn’t think it’s a form letter ;-)

  6. Cookie Monster can’t have cookies…Santa can’t have cookies….

    What did the cookies DO to these people? Won’t someone PLEASE think of the torture you’re causing them?!

    Seriously, folks. What the hell is this whole “Makeover Santa” movement supposed to accomplish. Kids aren’t looking up to Santa as the Patron Saint of Fat.

    They want toys. Plain and simple. Let the man (legend?) do his job and stop takin’ away my holiday cheer, dammit! :-)

  7. Also, we could mix things up by sending half “Wanker!” and half “Uber-Weenie!” messages, just so he doesn’t think it’s a form letter

    Ah, you clever devil, JoGeek!

  8. LOL, and they said fat people were irrational?

    I am in tears over reading this. This is too hilarious. Santa will be on the biggest loser, you wait and see.

  9. The new “Randy Santy” comes complete with washboard abs, on-board missile control system with lasers,bionic implants (we can’t tell you where but Mrs. Claws has been getting a real workout lately…wink wink nudge nudge) all so he can take on the Axis of Evil while delivering toys to good girls and boys…but not the fat ones. Because fat kills. Everybody knows that.

    BWAHAHAHA!!

    Okay, setting aside my crazy anti-capitalist opinions about the co-opting of pagan holidays for the purpose of making craploads of money….this whole idea of Skinny Santa is completely fucking NUTSO.

    You know what’s worse than Santa’s ficitional bad eating and exercise habits? He’s breaking and entering!

  10. You know what’s worse than Santa’s ficitional bad eating and exercise habits? He’s breaking and entering!

    Seriously! Kids are capable of understanding that, just this once, a strange man showing up in your house in the middle of the night is a good thing… but they’re not bright enough to understand that eating cookies at EVERY HOME CONTAINING CHILDREN IN THE WORLD IN ONE NIGHT might, you know, be ill-advised for a normal person?

  11. I NEVER thought twice about Santa’s weight or lifestyle- much less once.

    And isn’t the idea behind Christmas supposed to be treating yourself and others?

    “And for dessert, RAISINS! Remember kids, only three per person!”

  12. I’ve decided that it’s this: the lack of any dietary fats is getting to the brains of these people. They’d be (maybe) 10 pounds heavier even if they ate their fried butter, but the lack of it is making them attack Santa out of hallucinatory jealousy.

    I’ve been thinking about the 10 pound weight gain since the 80s (ie: the obesity epidemic), and I wonder if there’s some correlation to the increased prescription of anti-depressants. It seems like any time I’m hanging around with the Newly Rotund, some proportion of them got that way due to the addition of anti-depressants.

  13. Jeez, is this guy a rear admiral because he’s such a butt?

    I am twelve, because that made me giggle embarrassingly loudly.

  14. Um, does this mean they’re gonna remake Tim Allen’s Santa Clause, since he goes from being a thin Scott to a fat Santa? And what about part two, where he has to find a Mrs. Claus and goes from fat to thin and back to fat once he finds her? Are they gonna make him stay thin? And part three? Jack Frost is thin and he made a shitty Santa.
    These people really need to get a life (at least a more enjoyable life than they have now). Maybe if they quit worrying about catching TEHFAT from us, and loved themselves, they’d leave the rest of us alone. Nah, misery loves company, and they must be miserable, so they want to drag the rest of us into it with them.

  15. I am so glad you brought this up – not only is it ridiculous that kids want to be like Santa when they grow up, but I also think that even if this was the case, kids often have short attention spans. I’m not thinking a kid is going to be hitting the cookies hard in March thinking “I better keep at it if I want that Santa-like silhouette by December.”

    And anyway, why cookies? And why do the rules apply differently for fat people? I have tried to argue against the fat-hate statements and everyone’s an expert comments, by saying things like “you can exercise for an hour a day and eat tremendously healthy foods all the time and still be fat, you know.” The response I almost invariably get is “any person who says they follow The Rules all the time and is still fat is lying.”

    By that logic, the thin person in the corner who eats cookies whenever she feels like it and is still thin is, what, breaking the rules of science? Is it that, by virtue of genetics, one person is allowed to eat cookies while another is scorned for it?

  16. Why don’t we just gun poor Santa down and put him our of his misery: no more Ho’s, no more cookies. WTF is left?

    “Santa needs to change his clothes. The red velvet is far to pimpish. He also needs to release those reindeer back into the wild, and finally, he needs to do some jail time for all those years of breaking and entering.”

  17. Why don’t we just gun poor Santa down and put him our of his misery: no more Ho’s, no more cookies. WTF is left?

    Yeah, don’t forget no more pipe, and in some cases, no more letting kids sit on his lap. In public. With their parents a foot away.

    I’m not thinking a kid is going to be hitting the cookies hard in March thinking “I better keep at it if I want that Santa-like silhouette by December.”

    Cacie, that totally cracked me up.

  18. Actually, Charlie, I suspect that it’s actually carbs these people are seriously jonesing for, along with the fat. Why else would they want to take a big man’s cookies away?

    Yeah, and Bugs Bunny really made kids prefer carrots over any other snack, too, didn’t he? Geesh.

  19. Yeah, and Bugs Bunny really made kids prefer carrots over any other snack, too, didn’t he?

    Ooh, didn’t even think of that one!

    Wait, holy shit, I just realized the cause of the obesity epidemic: Garfield. TOO MUCH LASAGNA.

    The timing is right, people. Think about it.

  20. I just passed this news on to one of my coworkers who I think puts it best, “Shoot him, just ‘effing shoot the Surgeon General. What do we need him for anyway?”

    And I just called my mother, who herself is uber-thin and overly weight consious and she actually shrieked “WHAT?!?!” And then whimpered, “But, but…its SANTA…” into the phone.

    I for one will make 100% sure that my children, when I have them, will know Santa only as the fattest of the fat men ever. Just out of spite.

  21. So, since we’re now going to destroy age-old icons in the name of the holy 2% body fat, I was thinking s we should really edit all the old Disney movies so that all of the villians look like Miss Piggy. Seriously – it’s just not enough to not have fat “good” role models, but I think we need a symbolic way of making our children associate fat with evil.

    I can’t wait to see Maleficant turn into a ginormus heaving dragon, only to have a fat attack and collapse before she can even make it off the ground.

  22. The Surgeon General is a douchebag. I really, really, really would like to send him a lovely card informing him of just what a no-fun, uptight, snot-eating, brain-dead, shortsighted nincompoop he is. Perhaps I’ll include a Christmas picture of me FLIPPING HIM OFF WHILE I EAT A COOKIE.

  23. You know what? When every kid has enough to eat and warm clothes and shoes, and schools that work, maybe THEN I’ll worry about how fat Santa is.

  24. Milk and cookies? We always leave him a glass of sherry and a mince pie. Mind you last year I was shocked to find we had no sherry so I had to leave him a tot of nice irish whiskey instead, I’m sure he didn’t mind though. And a carrot for rudolph.

    Some years I’ve come down in the morning and found the carrot had the end bitten off. Last year was the first one where it was me and not dad who actually pretended to be Santa though. Even Em’s 27 now, but somehow it’s a tradition I can’t quite let go of :)

  25. TRUFAX: Santa actually was one of my role models as a kid. But that was because my mother made it clear to me at a very young age that giving gifts because it feels good to make people happy is one of the most amazing things to do in the world – not because I wanted to scarf approximately 2 billion cookies in a single night. (Though the elf army would have been cool.)

  26. All I could think of after reading this was a twist on the old Auntie Mame quote:

    “Life is a banquet, and the government is telling us we poor suckers should starve to death.”

    My second thought: “Doesn’t he have anything more important to think about, being Surgeon General and all?”

    For criminy’s sake, leave Santa alone. He’s been around longer than any of us and he’s doing just fine.

  27. I can’t wait to see Maleficant turn into a ginormus heaving dragon, only to have a fat attack and collapse before she can even make it off the ground.

    Hee! And when the Evil Queen brings Snow White the poisoned doughnut, Snow White will virtuously turn it down, thus saving herself!

  28. Laurie: the Easter Bunny needs to quit having any truck with those awful calorific cholesterol-laden eggs, is what. Far more suitable for kids to color cartons of Egg Beaters. Plus, think of the merchandising possibilities when the Egg Beaters people roll out special coloring-friendly black-and-white cartons and team up with Crayola every spring. SYNERGY, BABY.

    um, I think I just hurt myself. pass the cookies.

  29. This is such rubbish.

    If we are going to believe in Santa, then we have to believe he is magical. Otherwise, how else could he deliver presents to all the world’s children in one night.

    What’s to say that milk and cookies aren’t the magical substance he needs to live on? Take away Santa’s cookies (and mince pie for the Brits :) ) and maybe he dies? Who knows?

    Yanno, if they are picking on Santa like this, the Easter Bunny can’t be far behind. After all, the gifts he leaves are mostly just candy! And while there’s no legend/tradition of leaving cookies or other sweets for the Easter Bunny, s/he leaves fattening products for kids to gorge on, thus encouraging the ‘fat epidemic’ going on!

    And then we have to destroy Halloween. No more trick or treating for the kids, as they score tons of high fat/high sugar candy for walking a couple miles in one night.

    Hmmm, and for those of us in the US, we also have to take away Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, as they are just an excuse to have bar-b-ques and picnics with all sorts of high fat foods (hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage, mayonaisy rich foods like deviled eggs and potato salads, with desserts being cakes and ice creams and…).

    Good greif.

  30. What’s to say that milk and cookies aren’t the magical substance he needs to live on? Take away Santa’s cookies (and mince pie for the Brits :) ) and maybe he dies?

    This made me LOL so much harder than it should have. WAY TO KILL SANTA, FOOD POLICE!

  31. Arrrrrrgh! Sacrilege! But par for the course, maybe…we had a bit of a ruckus a while back over the Teletubbies being ‘bad role models’ for small children. I mean, c’mon, we’re talking brightly colored creatures with antennae on their heads who speak gibberish, and you’re worried about the effect their shape will have on kids? (Please, nobody let the health fascists start on hobbits. They’re about the only lovable, heroic fat characters I haven’t heard anyone call for a makeover on.)

    As with Eleanor, the sherry-and-mince-pie combo for Santa is what I’m used to – that’s what my folks did when I was small. Funny how our wonderful nanny state hasn’t seen fit to involve him in an anti-binge-drinking campaign….no, no, don’t give them ideas!

    Besides, weren’t the diets of the Arctic peoples touted as incredibly healthy a while back? Fish oil and all that? So, if Santa lives at the North Pole and eats like the locals, he’s probably also pretty healthy. And face it, if the nearest Otis Spunkmeyer outlet were however many hundred miles south over pack ice, you’d have every right to a once-a-year cookie binge, right?

  32. You know what? When every kid has enough to eat and warm clothes and shoes, and schools that work, maybe THEN I’ll worry about how fat Santa is.

    Heh. Yeah. When you find yourself on a crusade against Santa rather than a crusade against world hunger or children without health care, then you know you’ve got your priorities a bit skewed.

  33. I’m going have to side with Mrs. Claus from “Rudolph”–

    NOBODY WANTS A SKINNY SANTA.

    Why are these people so against cookies? Cookies are wonderful.

  34. “Doesn’t he have anything more important to think about, being Surgeon General and all?”

    Not since that universal health care program got passed! No one’s sick anymore!

    Oh, wait…

  35. Jane, Right ON!

    Laurie, ha ha HA!

    Hey, everyone come on over to my house! It’s latkes, sufganiyot and gelt (for the Hebraically Challenged, that’s potato pancakes fried in oil, jelly donuts fried in oil – not baby flavored, sorry – and chocolate wrapped coins) Santa, you’re welcome, too!

    Oy, Santa is a Saint, even. For goodness sake, I thought saints were beyond reproach!?!?

  36. Are there seriously kids going, “Pass the milk and cookies — I WANT TO BE LIKE SANTA”?

    Mmmm, I don’t think that’s the problem. The problem is that there are kids going “Grandpa looks just like Santa!” instead of “Grandpa is part of the Obesity Crisis and is causing damage to our health-care system, as well as his own health. Grandpa, if you just eat less and move more like they taught us in second grade health class, the pounds will melt away like magic! Then I can still love you.”

    If there’s a legendary fat person around who kids can look up to, it makes it that much harder to teach them to despise all fat people qua fat, doesn’t it?

  37. Wow, I officially continue to be surprised at how restricting America wants to become.

    I think I shall move to France where you can have your cake… and eat it too! Covered in cheese! With a glass of wine (or 3!)! And top it off with a delicious, buttery croissant.

    Santa? Role model? Um, that’s like saying Curious George is a role model, so we should make him human and give him an eating disorder so the children of today can learn restriction and conformity. WOO. WOO. woo.

  38. Next up: Requirements that all stuffed cuddly toys should slim down. At least 20% less stuffing inside to bring down their STMI (Stuffed Toy Mass Index) and make teddy bears and rag dolls slender role models for our children!

    Lord knows I wouldn’t be as fat as I am today if only I hadn’t had all those poor role models in fat, cuddly stuffed animals, the Cookie Monster, Garfield and Santa. And I did read a lot of Peanuts comics, and all those characters were drawn on the decidedly chubby side. And they ate cookies and milk! Curses! Charles Schulz made me fat!

  39. Ooookay, so does this mean that I’m actually being politically incorrect by being overweight? SERIOUSLY? This post cracked me up, but they whole thing is so stupid: “For the love of Santa Claus, save our children from the FAT!” Please.

    I guess next it’s going to be diets for polar bears and penguins and the Easter Bunny and pretty much anything that hibernates because the fat our children would be exposed to is so frightening. No wonder children are on diets. Our society is completely warped.

  40. Jaed, I was going to double up my comment by saying that maybe the real fear here is that Santa is the only fattie folks seem to LOVE, loving Santa is openly encouraged (nearly mandated!) in our society, and he isn’t painted as disgusting or bad or immoral, blah blah blah, in the way that fatties on, say, mass transit are.

    You can’t have a lovable and omniscient fat person on the scene, judging people worth, when you are busy kicking fatties to the curb, right? Sigh…

  41. Emerald, don’t forget the ruckus over Tinky Winky’s handbag (ZOMGgay!!!)

    On a more po-faced, humourless note, isn’t this victimisation of a fat old geezer also serving to tell our impressionable youngsters that it’s never never never alright to be fat – even if you’re old! That the fight against the demon podge must be fought into one’s very dotage?

  42. That the fight against the demon podge must be fought into one’s very dotage?

    My grandma turns 72 this month and she just started Weight Watchers. Again. My great uncle is dying from a lung disease caused by years of unsafe working conditions, and his doctor put him on a diet. So yeah, I’d say so.

  43. Wait… are you saying… what do you mean Santa Claus isn’t real!?!?

    Oops, sorry, Queen Bee!

    What I meant to say was, he’s totally real. And diets totally work.

  44. Hahaha, I was sitting the other night with the bf watching Rudolf, and I realized watching the snowman narrator that we still have snowpeople…they are supposed to be round! Snowmen have rolls! They ARE rolls.

    The bf commented that the santa in Rudolf seemed to be much less of a douchebag once he put on some weight.

  45. Watch out… Buddha’s next.

    Didn’t they already try to go after him? I swear I read something about Buddha’s belly being “metaphorical,” or something….’cause no fatty could ever be truly enlightened.

  46. So, since we’re now going to destroy age-old icons in the name of the holy 2% body fat, I was thinking s we should really edit all the old Disney movies so that all of the villians look like Miss Piggy. Seriously – it’s just not enough to not have fat “good” role models, but I think we need a symbolic way of making our children associate fat with evil.

    Miss Piggy was my total IDOL when I was kid! Seriously I had this super awesome calendar Miss Piggy as covergirl for a variety of magazines. It was awesome! And ZOMG now I know why I’m fat ,too! KTHXB

  47. “We would recommend people leave him healthier snacks this year like a nice apple or carrot and celery sticks, which have an added benefit because they are tasty for his reindeer, too.”

    My god. I joked about exactly this on another blog, but this woman is serious.

    Christmas, by definition, is a FEAST. Feasts cannot be had without food. They are a time of celebration, not grazing on carrots.

    Santa, by definition, is a generous and jovial old man who gives presents. Jovial means, amoung other things, ‘of or relating to Jove’ AKA Jupiter. In astrology, Jupiter is considered a positive influence and is associated primarily with growth, good humour, prosperity, luck, good fortune, but above all expansion (of wealth and waistline) and generosity to the world. Could a thin Santa be such an effective symbol? Or have we reduced Santa’s symbolic function purveyor of crass consumerism only.

  48. I swear I read something about Buddha’s belly being “metaphorical,” or something….’cause no fatty could ever be truly enlightened.

    If it’s a hallucination it’s a shared one, because I read that too.

  49. It’s really important that kids have thin role models, because all their role models (like Santa) are fat, and there are no strong role models in the media, or the arts, or on TV, or in sports, who are thin, so…

    Oh, wait.

  50. In our house, Santa is left much goodness, because we like to think he takes his 15 nanosecond break here.

    Last year it was a glass of eggnog (the real stuff- Brandy made toy assembly an interesting process) eggnogg cookies, gingerbread, a sandwich, carrots and apples for the reindeer.

    Now I know.

    It is all our damn fault. I’m sorry!

  51. Well, there’s nothing wrong with carrots and apples – I like my carrots with a bit of butter and some sesame seeds. Or maybe as a galette with some pesto. And I like my apples in pies. Celery sticks are a bit harder – does Santa like roquefort?

    And I suppose, if I’m leaving him cocktail food, I’ll give him a cocktail or two to wash it down with.

    And the surgeon general can kiss my well-muscled size 14 arse.

  52. ~~Eat whatever you like, in moderation,
    and you’ll live longer.
    ~~If someone were to say to you:
    “If you eat Brocoli, three times a day, you’ll grow up to be smart…like Stephen W. Hawking, without the wheelchair,” would you stuff yourself with Brocoli, three times a day?? NO!
    ~~Popeye was a good role model for me. I ate lot’s and lot’s of carrots, and STILL my eyes are junk!
    ~~Now, I wear glasses when eating Brocoli.

    Take care. Enjoy your food.
    It’s the Holidays, damnit.
    LIVE!

    xx,Will

  53. He had a broad face and a chiseled flat belly,

    That flexed, when he laughed just like the people on the telly.

    He was twiggish and thin, a right fitty old elf,

    So I realized I was obese and went to work out myself.

    Doesn’t quite have the same ring does it? The Surgeon General was clearly deprived of cookies as an adult and is determined to take it out on even imaginary festive characters and MUPPETS as a result.

    What a complete wanker.

  54. Should we all send letters to the surgeon general telling him he’s a complete wanker? Just letters upon letters upon letters that say nothing but “WANKER!!!” over and over?

    I really, really, really would like to send him a lovely card informing him of just what a no-fun, uptight, snot-eating, brain-dead, shortsighted nincompoop he is. Perhaps I’ll include a Christmas picture of me FLIPPING HIM OFF WHILE I EAT A COOKIE.

    Hahahaha! Yellowhammer and Jane, these ideas rock. Jingle bell rock.

    And my response when I read these stories was similar to others in the thread: “Wait, don’t these people have real jobs to do?” I truly love America for being such a land of opportunity, but maybe it’s getting a little out of control when any fluffernutter can pull a paycheck from my tax dollars for telling kids to leave Santa a plate of what’s left over in my basket after I eat all the hot wings.

  55. Gorsh, I’m glad Will was here to enlighten us about how to eat our food. He must be an expert.

    I sure wish I’d thought of eating healthy food because you like it instead of because you think it’ll make you moral, and posted about it repeatedly here! Oh wait.

  56. Pingback: Nobody wants a skinny Santa! « Poet With a Day Job

  57. Please someone tell me this Santa thing is a joke, or a story out of The Onion.

    I mean, really: the illogic of it is enough to make my head explode – the idea that kids will develop an attitude that they should be fat because Santa is.

    I mean, if ANYTHING, Santa’s a little tiny counterbalance to all the hate out there. I mean – Barbie dolls. Starlets getting horrible scolding stories in the tabloids if they gain 5 pounds. Little kids not being allowed to have cupcakes for their school birthday parties any more.

    I do not understand – DO NOT UNDERSTAND – the mentality of people who want to do this kind of crap, take all the fun and joy and specialness out of life and make us all this grey mass of dry-broccoli eating treadmill conformists who never enjoy anything because it might – gasp – be bad for us.

    I’m sure “lack of pleasure” is pretty bad for us, come to think of it.

    Maybe we should all bake a batch of cookies and send them to the Surgeon General. Oh, they’d get thrown out of course (either out of fear of what might be in them or because they contain EEEEVILLL calories), but still…it’s a protest.

  58. Ricki, I think it’s a punishment thing – so many people thing being fat is some sort of deep moral failing. And they can’t even leave it at that – they’ve got to make a virtue of eating a certain way, and as we all know, virtue must not be pleasant. So if you enjoy food, rather than treating it as some sort of necessary evil which will lead you to virtue, you’re doubling your sin. We’re fat. We don’t deserve sweets, any more than we deserve love. and we can only eat broccoli if we promise not to enjoy it.

    Again, I say, the surgeon general, my ass, the kissing that can happen.

  59. I mean, if ANYTHING, Santa’s a little tiny counterbalance to all the hate out there

    And that’s why we have to destroy him. Because if there is even the tiniest counterbalance to the hate, our children might get the message that it’s okay to be fat. And we could never have that.

  60. 1. But… but… our children need HEALTHY, THIN role models … like Paris Hilton… and Lindsey Lohan… and Kate Moss… and Britney Spears… oh, wait, I forgot, she’s fat now, too.

    Oh yeah… Better a crackhead who can’t finish rehab (or looking 50 when you’re only 30) than fat. So, now Lindsay the crackhead is a better role model than say… Jordin Sparks or Michael Jordan

    2. Next up: Requirements that all stuffed cuddly toys should slim down. At least 20% less stuffing inside to bring down their STMI (Stuffed Toy Mass Index) and make teddy bears and rag dolls slender role models for our children!

    But…but….but… I want my squishy teddy… *tear*

    I love spinach. No thanks to Popeye. I love chocolate chip cookies and milk. No thanks to Santa. Christmas comes once a year. Nothing wrong with indulging.

  61. It is clear that these anti-fat-Santa people are just anti-fat, because the real issue is that children should learn that exercise is what counts, not whether you are fat or thin. Scientific research supports this. Clearly, jumping in and out of a sleigh, going up and down chimneys, arranging presents and lifting heavy bags full of toys is very good exercise, especially because he does it about a billion times. Santa is fit and fat.

  62. Fatadelic writes: Santa, by definition, is a generous and jovial old man who gives presents. Jovial means, amoung other things, ‘of or relating to Jove’ AKA Jupiter. In astrology, Jupiter is considered a positive influence and is associated primarily with growth, good humour, prosperity, luck, good fortune, but above all expansion (of wealth and waistline) and generosity to the world. Could a thin Santa be such an effective symbol?

    Thank you! You get it, 100%. Children *should* want to emulate Santa, because Santa is a symbol whose body shape represents generosity, expansiveness, celebrating the feast. The problem with commercialism in Christmas is that people simply come to associate Santa with a store employee hawking toys and photographs. The “giving” side of the season is limited to “buy lots of stuff and give it to people.”

    And there’s the other point a couple of writers mentioned above, too – that if children associate Santa with warmth and love and generosity, they will also associate their grandpas, uncles, etc. who happen to be fat with the same things. What the Santa Police want is for children to look critically and harshly on their fat relatives (and friends.) This is the nasty, ugly side of Fat Santa Bashing.

    I know that Santa has not always consistently been depicted as fat (there are vintage images of Father Christmas that aren’t particularly rotund), but it seems to me that here and now, Fat Santa is a way to stick it to the Food Police. And if you do keep Christmas, getting older, fat male relatives to dress up as Santa for the kids can be a lot of fun – as well as a symbolic way to flip off the fat bashers.

  63. Hmm, sounds like a politician attempting to appear topical and important for fear of being considered totally irrelevant while at the same time trying not to appear too radical.

    SG: ‘I’m afraid America has no idea who I am.’

    Consultant/Flunky: ‘Well sir, perhaps if we attack somebody we might raise
    awareness.’

    SG: ‘Hmmm, somebody well-known but not TOO important or TOO
    controversial.’

    Con/Flunk: ‘How about the Obesity Epidemic? Everybody knows that’s bad
    and evil.’

    SG: ‘Yeah, but who’s up front that we can safely go after?’

    Con/Flunk: ‘It is December, Sir. . . . Santa Claus has got that Bowl Full of Jelly
    thing going on. . . With all the cookies & eggnog his arteries have
    gotta be one solid clot or he’s about ready to go into a diabetic
    coma.’

    SG: ‘Yeah – YEAH! We can really go after THAT Fat Bastard!’

    Con/Flunk: ‘Even better, Sir: he can’t claim defamation. . . ‘Cause he doesn’t
    exist!!’

    SG: ‘. . . Wait . . . Santa. . . Doesn’t. . . EXIST??!’

    Con/Flunk: ‘. . . Ummmm, I’ll go pick-up your suits now, Sir. How about a nice
    hot Coco when I get back? With some yummy 2% and half an
    Equal!

  64. Pingback: Lessons from the short and fat « I AM in shape. ROUND is a shape.

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