167 thoughts on “Open for Discussion: “Obesity Is Suicide””

  1. I was kind of entertained by the fact that they couldn’t bring themselves to use a fat model for the sexy m&m ‘drug’ suicide in the bottom panel.

  2. If you go into his blog, you’ll see a picture of him with fried food. So he has no business telling fat people they’re committing suicide when he eats the very foods he thinks we do all the time.

  3. The Bariatric Surgery Association would like to help you not kill yourself by amputating an organ. Nice, thanks! A round of fistulas, reversal, extreme weight yo-yoing, and malnutrition for my friends! It’s so HEALTHY!

    What they’re missing is that obesity is not suicide, it’s murder. After all, we’re fat AT other people, not AT ourselves, and if you watch MeMe Roth for even one minute you know her blood pressure is suffering.

    Here in the ‘don’t-hate-yourself’-osphere it’s not blood pressure but head-desking which is our leading health concern.

  4. I’m pretty sure that I don’t have the necessary Sanity Points saved up for this one today.

  5. Yeah, my first reaction is: why is the guy model overweight and the woman not at all? NOT AT ALL? Here we go again with the Normal Weight Kills thing. OMG teh 20 pounz is crushing your organs! Don’t enjoy chocolate!! Don’t believe those assholes that tell you a little dark chocolate is even better than a glass of red wine a day!

  6. I dropped my lunch when I saw the ads, seriously. I was eating a greek salad and a combo of olives and tomatoes fell out of my plate and rolled onto the floor. Oh my. This is disturbing, on so many levels. I’m really disgusted. WTF.

  7. Um.

    Ugh? Those are some MESSED UP ads.

    Also, Sara said:

    “I would love to die by sausage or butter or m&ms or any combo of the three.”

    My reply:

    Hells fucking yeah! ^_^

  8. Okay, yes, it’s an offensive point of view. But before people start getting upset, I feel compelled to point out that this is somebody’s ad portfolio. It’s not an expression of personal beliefs — hell, it’s not even a real media campaign. Actually, the overall range and type of ads suggest that they were created as assignments for an advertising class… meaning that it’s uncalled for to paint this man as a vile human being just for creating an ad campaign concept. (And I do think, for selling the product — namely, bariatric surgery — it is extremely effective.) As an op-ed in the newspaper, this would be appalling, granted. But there’s nothing venomous about this; it’s a fake idea created expressly for the purpose of selling something that none of us happen to want.

  9. The fine print on those should say:
    Bariatric surgery can help you commit suicide faster.

    Even if fat IS unhealthy – and I’m more inclined to believe alternative theories such that insulin overproduction is unhealthy and fat is sometimes a benign symptom of the latter (this is what my skinny diabetic internet friend believes) – bariatric surgery is worse.

  10. Note that the small text is shilling weight loss surgery as well. Funny, wtih all the complications, dangers and unproven nature of the procedure, I’d say WLS is suicide.

  11. Actually, if Kat is right, I feel really bad about naming him as an idiot, especially because I totally understand having to create something as a school assignment despite your personal feelings about the project.

    Um… I don’t know if this is kosher or not, but is there any chance to have my first comment with BK’s name in it edited to say “This guy” instead of his full name? I really don’t want to slander a graphic design student’s name on the internet for no good reas.

  12. Kat, I agree that calling him an idiot is probably going too far. And the campaign is clever, which makes it that much more disturbing.

    Unfortunately, it’s based on completely false premises. And whether he personally believes in what these “ads” are saying or not, these images–and especially the tagline–are powerful and hurtful, and that’s worth discussing here.

  13. If it’s not kosher – no sweat. And I still want a butter bomb belt. I think it’s my right as a fat woman.

  14. Done, OTM. And I totally want a butter bomb belt. (Though the nerd in me needs to point out the implication there is that “obesity is murder-suicide,” not just suicide, even. Ahem.)

  15. Just find it interesting that he’s framed these as public service ads. They aren’t, they are surgury ads, so I’m wondering if they were framed to him that way or if he thinks of them that way. Either way, the commentary at the top says he mostly agrees with them.

    And yeah, first thing I notice is that the woman on the bottom is startlingly thin comared to the two guys.

  16. Midsize Lurker, on April 9th, 2008 at 4:19 pm Said:
    The fine print on those should say:
    Bariatric surgery can help you commit suicide faster.

    Even if fat IS unhealthy – and I’m more inclined to believe alternative theories such that insulin overproduction is unhealthy and fat is sometimes a benign symptom of the latter (this is what my skinny diabetic internet friend believes) – bariatric surgery is worse.

    Well, that is if one gets complications of the anesthesia upon being operated on.

    Or the post-surgical stomach explodes because doctors these days do not address underlying binge eating disorders since their egos are on the line and they want to produce the numbers (it _is _ a business).

    I have the fortune or misfortune of having met (and been related to) too many WLS patients in recent years.

    It is and/or isn’t like a diet.

    It doesn’t usually result in a certain dress size or the ability to don a bikini.

    There must be a reason that regular people are taking it up, insurance must pay so much % for the procedure. And it must be easy to get them to pay for it.

    Non-medical management of weight (or non-management, period) doesn’t bring the doctors the numbers.

    Best of all, non medical management, etc. puts the locus of control with the would-be patient. Not the doctor’s ego or bank account.

    Conclusion: My opinion is that weight loss surgery is not worth the trouble.

  17. 1 person in the United States kills themselves every 16.9 minutes. Suicide causes more fatalities in the US than Homicide. There is an estimated 4.6 million survivors in America as of 2005. And yet the Northern Bariatiric Surgery Institution feels justified in creating ads with graphic depictions of a death that effects millions of Americans. On the darkest day of my life I SAW a person I love in nearly an identical position. The RAGE that I feel towards those that would inflict me with and AD ( a fucking ad trying to fucking sell me something) which causes near photographic memories of that day, all in the name of health, is near indescribable (although it seems I am doing my best).
    It is ironic that by juxtaposing the two they are in fact encouraging those that feel they have no other alternatives in life. They are affirming the already dangerously skewed perception of individuals in this precarious position. I feel sick.

  18. Kate — I agree that the larger mentality involved is absolutely worth discussing. I just wanted to offer up something in defense of the designer, who — though he may be echoing said mentality — is in all likelihood just a kid who was assigned with finding a creative way to sell bariatric surgery. (I should also admit that I’m a copywriter, in the interest of full disclosure.) So, discussion on!

    OTM — It’s not just your right as a fat woman. It’s your right as an American! (And those people who would deny us butter bomb belts? FREEDOM-HATERS.)

  19. I can’t quite slap words together to adequately explain the thoughts that I’m having at the moment, except I fucking hate that people are no longer capable of discerning between truth and bullshit. I’m so fucking tired of it.

  20. And the solution to your ills? Bariatric surgery, of course!

    How frustrating.

    The guy is a very talented designer. Pity he had such awful clients.

  21. Ok, so I just read all the comments and I understand that this not a real ad. Fine. Evs. Still disgusting for all the same reasons.
    Let me preface this by saying I understand that this is an FA related board, and that of course the immediate outrage falls squarely in its realitivity to FA ideals. That being said, I am a bit surprised at the general lackadaisical and humorous attitude towards suicide that some of the posters here are taking. With all due respect Kat, it is not just venomous but downright careless and vile. Its effective for selling the product? It’s clever? That makes it ok? I have worked on a suicide hotline, I have heard people die over the phone, and it is not something that is fun or clever or interesting or controversial. It is FUCKING death. Plain and simple.
    I am sorry if this is off topic. I hold my tonuge whenever I see someone post how that would “rather slit their wrists than…..” I thought that it was important to point this out.

  22. *headdesk*

    As someone who has dealt with suicide in a very direct way, I am extremely appalled that someone would use it to advertise maiming oneself in the name of “health”.

  23. This makes me want to throw up, it’s so sad. Especially since it’s an advertisment for Bariatric Surgery. Usually, isn’t that a drastic measure?

    Ugh. It really makes me want to throw up.

  24. vivelafat, I think you make a very good point. I have been extremely fortunate to have never been personally affected by suicide, and I think that colors my view of these ads – I see the lies about “obesity” first, and the unequal measure of fat for men and women second. I see the suicide angle from an emotional distance and fail to grasp the impact. I definitely see how such a graphic and kind of whimsicle (sausages are sort of defacto funny) depiction of suicide is both careless and vile and I’m glad that you pressed that point of view.

  25. vivelafat — For all the reasons you just mentioned, this would never be a real advertisement. I certainly don’t think that insensitivity to suicide is okay. But I don’t necessarily agree that it’s careless and vile for the designer to include these posters as a part of his personal portfolio, on his personal website, where they serve no other purpose than to show his ability to think creatively. The impetus behind it isn’t “Look how funny suicide is”; it’s “I made this”. That’s all.

  26. As a fat woman, I am horrified at the scare tactics these ads use. Real ads or not, the artist chose to use histrionics as his weapon which is no less appalling for being effective. I’m also confused at the need to use a slender woman to illustrate obesity while the men are actually fat. Is thin the new fat? Or is it just that women become unhealthy/hideous at a much lower BMI than men do? Oh wait! We do! And there’s just been a study released to prove it!

    As someone who is close to several suicide survivors and a lot of clinically depressed people, I’m disgusted at the use of this imagery.

    As a human being who cares about other people, I would complain to any company that chose to use these ads if they were real.

    He’s talented, yes, but I fear his eventual career if he gets hired by the sorts of companies that would stoop to these Machiavelian tactics.

  27. I looked at these ads and my first thought was, the most important thing to the doctors is that they make money off doing the surgery.

    Imagine what it’s like to be in advertising and to have to get out of your warm bed every morning to find new ways to make people think they look or smell disgusting just so somebody else can make a buck off a remedy. :shudder:

  28. Sure, life is suicide! People should be ashamed of bringing life into the world, dont they know their kid will die!

    WLS should not be advertised, period.

  29. I have to think that he really agreed with the premise of these ads. You don’t just whip out suicide images just to “make a point” unless you really believe that point is valid. You don’t just mock up some photos of dead people for your class project that you don’t really believe in. I don’t think you would make this kind of connection if you didn’t really believe it.

    (If you DO just whip out suicide images to make a casual point that doesn’t mean much to you, well then, I hope the USDA has marked you as a Grade A Giant ASSHOLE.)

    I mean when I think about these ads, and the obesity hysteria, in the context of all of the really truly horrible things happening in the world… I run out of words. We’ve got soldiers being blown up daily by religious extremeists, coming home to no health care, suffering from PTSD, we’ve got men who are allowed to kill their wives and daughters at the slightest whim, then there is Africa… which… yeah.. people dying of horrible diseases, drug violence, extreme poverty, human trafficking….. Shall I go on? And this, THIS is what this dude chose to make really graphic ad campaign about? “Seriously guys, don’t be fat it might slightly increase the probability that you might get a fatal disease.”

    It hurts me.

  30. As a former(?) self-injurer, I am goddamn appalled at the implicit statement in these ads: If obesity is suicide, you should mutilate yourself as an alternative. While that is how it works — a person who self-injures is usually using the only mechanism at hand to STAY ALIVE — I do not believe for an instant that it’s healthy or should be advocated, and neither does… well, ANYONE ELSE. That this ad campaign is created on the premise of “self-injury is good for teh fattiez” is just fucking sick. I don’t care if it was an assignment or not; the creater still chose the direction the ads would go in, and I would like to kick him squarely in his miniscule nads.

  31. Um, if it wasn’t clear: bariatric surgery is deliberate and elective self-mutilation, which is why I drew that correlation.

  32. I’m right with vivelefat on the horror of the imagery. Even if he’s “just a student doing an assignment”, this is not okay on any level.

  33. Wow thats some crazy business. Whats crazier is as a senior art director at an ad agency, if this guy showed me his book and i saw that I would probably nail him to a cross for it and tell him that it’s not the most clever ad and it offensive and it will hinder him in getting a job. (though i do like his sugar ads)…

    what a tool

  34. From an advertising perspective, if this is an appalling lack of taste that you wouldn’t allow out with your name on it, why would you hire someone who thought that way? Who thought it was appropriate to show to strangers? Yes, it shows a different way of thinking, but that way of thinking is exactly what is getting judged when you’re on that interview.

    This isn’t even about fat people. I’m not fat and I was personally offended. Not because I know fat people, but because I’ve been suicidal. Suicide doesn’t come with treats.

  35. Okay, an advertisement for a product/service you are trying to sell is not a “public service campaign”. And like several other people, I noticed that the woman isn’t fat – God forbid we should put a woman who is not conventionally attractive on an ad, even an ad about obesity. I also find that one particularily disturbing, because it looks like a realistic depiction of a suicide, unlike the sausage noose and butter bombs.

  36. “the implication there is that “obesity is murder-suicide,”

    Perhaps this is what people really fear when we are FAT RIGHT AT them!

  37. The point of an assignment in marketing is to produce something usable. There’s any number of people that could wind up messed up from those ads.

    That it is also stupid doesn’t mean anything for the assignment. After all, how often do you see a truly intelligent ad campaign? So far as this one goes: Audience identification with models? Check. Scare tactic? Check. Obviously sounding solution? Check.

    Note that lack of a “Factual” in the checks.

  38. OTM- Creamsicles are very serious business. You shouldn’t make fun of them. EVER. I think as punishment you should have to eat one

    Kat- I, respectfully, disagree. I thought that his portfolio was being used to let future clients see a sampling of the work that he can and has done. As such, it would be reasonable to assume that a variety of people would be accessing his site, not just those that know the artist personally. So yes, I do feel that it is irresponsible, because there are a multitude of people from those that are contemplating suicide to those that have been affected by it, who would be at best emotional assaulted and at worst cause themselves bodily harm as a result of his work. I advocate art in all of its forms, and stand by his right to create such a work. In fact, I feel if he had a personal vested interest in the matter, I might be more forgiving. But to use such charged imagery “where they serve no other purpose than to show his ability to think creatively.” is definitely careless, although perhaps not vile (a strong word) as he is young and I don’t see any intent to harm.

  39. Not to be the sensitive hothouse flower, but as someone who survived a period of serious suicidality (LONG ago in my past, thank Goddess!) I would have appreciated a trigger warning on that ridiculous photo essay. I don’t know why it got me the way it did, but my breakfast was looking for the nearest exit. :\

  40. I mean when I think about these ads, and the obesity hysteria, in the context of all of the really truly horrible things happening in the world… I run out of words. We’ve got soldiers being blown up daily by religious extremeists, coming home to no health care, suffering from PTSD, we’ve got men who are allowed to kill their wives and daughters at the slightest whim, then there is Africa… which… yeah.. people dying of horrible diseases, drug violence, extreme poverty, human trafficking….. Shall I go on? And this, THIS is what this dude chose to make really graphic ad campaign about? “Seriously guys, don’t be fat it might slightly increase the probability that you might get a fatal disease.”

    Oh, dude, seriously. I find it absolutely INFURIATING that we spend so much time and energy wringing our hands that middle-class people might have a few love handles, while there are impoverished people, including kids, living in a super-high-stress war zone, being trapped indoors with almost nothing to eat, right here. And when anyone DOES pay attention to them, it’s to advance the idea that those poor people are eating too much, those greedy slobs, for grabbing on to what will fill their stomach (and keep their kids calm for a few minutes) at a price they can afford. Puke.

  41. Hahaha, I was just thinking, God help him if any of his prospective clients are fat, or have thought about suicide. Pretty much rules out everyone.

  42. I replied before reading all the comments and I have to agree with Karen. The ads are not useable, and as such there’s no good reason to post them to the internet to show off one’s mad design skillz. My husband is a designer and yes, has had to make ads for some very objectionable things for class. They’re not in his portfolio, because he doesn’t want to be represented by something he disagrees with fervently.

  43. I’m also appalled at these ads, real or fake. I have several problems with them:

    1. Personally — I’ve self-harmed, and man, it is NOTHING like having an extra half-helping of mashed potatoes just cuz they taste good, mmmmkay? Apples and fucking oranges.

    2. Rationally — If obesity were ’caused’ by eating too much, dieting or eating what normal, skinnier people eat would have long ago ‘cured’ it. It hasn’t. Duh.

    3. Feministically (okay, I made up that word) — why *is* that normal-sized woman dying from M&M’s, again? I can only conclude that she’s choking, since no other conclusion makes sense. Yeah, it’s nice that we get both fattism and sexism in the same (real or fake) set of ads…it’s actually quite illustrative.

  44. vivelafat: I agree with what you said about suicide. That’s my main issue with the ad, too. Suicide is not a fucking joke. It should not be co-opted into an advertising campaign to sell anything, and it shouldn’t be linked to my fucking body type.

    As a woman who has seriously contemplated suicide in her life, I am really fucking appalled that anyone, student or not, would suggest that my body is a CHOICE, and that my body is the same as suicide. It is not. MY body is NOT the same as putting a gun to my head. It is not the same as trying to kill myself with pills. It is not the same as trying to slit my wrists.

    I also find it fucking appalling that there this ad doesn’t take into account that people actually DO committ suicide because they are fat, because they have been so shamed by it, shamed by projects/portfolios/ads/media spots/stories like these.

    I feel no sympathy for a student trying to come up with an advertising class project. It is the onus of a student to challenge the system, as well. To look in the face of the established norm and say: I can do better. To not take the easy way out. His project is now on the internet: it is in a way public property, a piece for public consumption, a meme. It is not JUST a homework project anymore. He put it out there, so he deserves the critique.

  45. Mmmm this is so deliciously offensive to so many different people! I certainly hope no one who has lost a loved one to suicide stumbles across it. And that’s just for starters.

  46. I imagine the biggest reason it would never actually get published is because of the wrongful death suits that could potentially crop up by the families of the suicidal and the obese turned suicidal. Its really not a stretch to think that hearing that your body is suicide, thinking nothing you’ve done has made a difference, and completing the process. Surgery = expensive. Since mostly the poor are fat, surgery = not an option.

  47. Isn’t it cheese (like Cracker Barrel), not butter, that’s in the second pic?

    Oh, and how about: NOT eating is suicide? My relatives (grandmother, great-uncles and aunts) live(d) into their 70s and they aren’t/weren’t skinny. If suicide-by-fat means living till I’m in my 70s, then I don’t think it’s much of a suicide.

  48. Oh wait. It is butter, not cheese. Mmmmmm, cheese. Now I wanna stop at a supermarket and buy some Calumet (a local smokey goudat that is just heaven!)…

  49. I’m not sure, but I don’t think this guy is a student. Just from reading the comments on his other photos it sounds like he is an actual art director and he’s showing actual projects that he’s worked on. Plus I could swear I’ve heard about an anti-obesity ad campaign like this. I can’t remember the details, but the photos ring a really loud bell. Or it could be that I’ve finally lost it. Either way, real or not, even discounting the detestable use of suicide imagery, ads selling a medical procedure directly to (potential) patients makes me nauseous. It’s the same as pharmaceutical companies advertising drugs directly to consumers rather than doctors, creating a new market out of perfectly healthy people.

    But anyway, I agree with libbyloo that his commentary on artificial sweeteners is kind of cool, although he didn’t really research the Equal spoof very well; phenylketonurics are not an ingredient containing phenylalanine – they are people who cannot consume phenylalanine. That’s why there’s a colon after phenylketonurics on the ingredients list; it’s a warning, not an ingredient.

  50. Isn’t it cheese (like Cracker Barrel), not butter, that’s in the second pic?


  51. Thoughtracer: As a woman who has seriously contemplated suicide in her life, I am really fucking appalled that anyone, student or not, would suggest that my body is a CHOICE, and that my body is the same as suicide. It is not. MY body is NOT the same as putting a gun to my head. It is not the same as trying to kill myself with pills. It is not the same as trying to slit my wrists.

    I also find it fucking appalling that there this ad doesn’t take into account that people actually DO commit suicide because they are fat, because they have been so shamed by it, shamed by projects/portfolios/ads/media spots/stories like these.

    Exaaaaaaaaaaactly what I was trying to say earlier. Thank you.

  52. I actually find myself wondering if he did them as a project, then posted them simply to see how many people reacted, and how. I know some people who post things online just get a rise from others, and I also know some people who search for things online deliberately to get riled up.

    Personally, I find them well done, but tasteless at best, and extremely offensive at worst. (having looked them over three times before posting this). And as they look photo’d, I also feel sorry for the models, being involved in such a travesty.

  53. Two things:
    1. While this is not a real ad, it is very telling that we all thought that it was until someone pointed it out. This indicates that we could realistically see Bariatric surgery adopting this add. It suggests that the idea of being overweight as suicide is something that already exists. Moreover, it is a connection that exists enough for this artist to come up with the idea and think nothing of it when he designs the shoot and equates obesity with suicide–and then puts this out into the world via his website.
    2. I have lost someone very close to me to suicide. Suicide is not eating butter, sausage, or M&Ms. It’s taking immediate action on purpose to die–to take yourself out of this world and away from those that you love and love you. If I eat M&Ms, I am not purposely trying to end my life. In fact, I’m living my life by enjoying the food I eat. I am also not trying to kill everyone in a 100 foot radius by putting butter on my bread. The fact that the idea that overeating is suicide just goes further to show the kind of humor we attach to a real problem–suicide and suicide ideation.

    I am no less upset that this is not a real ad–because, as we proved today–it really could be. It’s consistent with how American society views suicide and views obesity.

  54. Yeah, and the “suicide” thing. I went on antidepressants for 15 years trying not to kill myself, back when I wasn’t
    “obese” and therefore should have had no reason to want to die (har), and gained a cubic fuckton of weight doing so. Fucknut doesn’t just have it wrong, he has it backwards.

  55. If it is a class project, it is possible he couldn’t find a fat woman willing to pose in the picture, or that he was afraid to offend a fat woman and so didn’t ask.

  56. I have been lurking for a while but haven’t commented; Hi!

    Meowser almost made my point, but I just wanted to add that food is not unhealthy, even sausage and butter. What is unhealthy is when companies stir together chemicals. make their concoctions look like food and sell it at more affordable prices than fruits and veggies or bread or the ingredients for a lovely chocolate cake. Isn’t this the same things this guy was saying with his Domino sugar ads? But he didn’t go a step further or see how his topics are connected.

    If someone is trying to kill us with food, I think this is an important clue to how they can be stopped.

  57. I totally get the outrage.

    I also happen to think that overstatement is the bedrock of advertising. This car will make you sexy. This cream will make you eternally 20 years old. This dog food will make your golden retriever strong enough to retrieve a whole honking tree.

    That sort of thing. So I don’t necessarily think this idea is a huge exaggeration of what we see every day.

    Or is it?

    The butter belt makes me wince for every man, woman and child who has ever been killed by a person who turned himself or herself into an incendiary device.

  58. I was just pointed here by someone who emailed me about this string of posts. Whether you agree or not, these posters, which were produced, were designed to cause a reaction in people.

    So whether you like them or not, the series obviously caused you to react, so in that regard they were effective. I don’t mean to lack empathy or sympathy for anyone’s situation, but obesity is a serious issue that needed serious confrontation.

    I sincerely appreciate the traffic you have provided my site.

  59. I live under a rock. so its really rather hard for me to believe that other people believe this. Yet I know they do. I just don’t really encounter it.

    I’m fairly sure I could lose some weight if I spent all the free time running or doing something else just as un-fun for me physically. And if I didn’t spend time fully enjoying demon(whole) milk and good cookies every now and then.

    My sister lately has taken to dieting this and dieting that and it makes me so sad. did you know dark sodas have more calories than light sodas. so its perfectly alright to drink mountain dew. what? who makes this crap up? even if it is true I don’t see how drinking pee colored soda is really better for you than brown colored soda.

    I would also lose weight punching people in the face when they tell me I’m slowly killing myself by being over weight.

    Its just so sad how all the normal people and the thin people are just killing themselves every single day by BEING ALIVE! omg I’m dying too, because I’m live! crap! better stop that.

  60. After a little digging, I found that this was a campaign run by Blattner Brunner in Pittsburgh, PA back in 2006, and Mr. Knowlden was the Jr. Art Director for this project. So, that answers the question of whether or not he was/is an artist at the time of the ad campaign’s conception. Interesting that he lists it as his own work.

    Along with most of you, I find this campaign distasteful to the point of being nauseating. Like Lily, I wish there’d been some kind of warning – I blame myself, tho, I should’ve looked at the comments first. I had to get up from my desk at work and go stand in the sunshine for a few minutes to shake off the willies.

    But I’m still mad… I want to do something, but have no idea what. I was going to send a letter to the ad agency that this came from, but he’s no longer working with them, so I don’t see if it would do much good. Any ideas, friends?

    Oh, and isn’t having WLS done to better your health kind of like that old adage, “Killing for peace is like fucking for chastity”?

  61. Hah, good comment about antidepressants, Meowser. Some dumbshit psychiatrist had me on a rapidly increasing dose of lithium (not for bipolar, which I don’t have, but for “treatment resistant depression” which probably had something to do with the fact that I was being constantly abused and belittled by my family at the time) and talk about blowing up like a balloon. I gained 50 lbs in about 3 months, most of it in water weight so bad my ankles looked like inflatable rafts.

  62. I’m just delurking to say that, having BEEN suicidal, no, obesity is nothing whatsoever like suicide and please go fuck yourself, Mr. Knowlden.

  63. Got my voice back….

    Just got off the phone with the attorney for the surgeons office that is depicted in these pics.

    They are appalled.

    I made the call after my first post to the surgeons office and spoke with Robbie. She was floored and assured me they are not responsible for these pics.

    Apparently they must have been pretty steamed to have their attorney call me for more info. He assured me he would be contacting this guy to have the pics removed.

    I see the guy removing the surgeons office number but not the pics.

  64. Disgusting on multiple levels. Even if he is a kid doing it for an assignment etc etc (which he doesn’t seem to be), why is that an excuse for producing a crass and inappropriate ad?
    1- Surely he wouldn’t score well for an add that is so offensive (to people who have come into contact with suicide, I doubt that if such a project was set, offending fat people would be much of a worry).
    2- Being young is no excuse for being insensitive, offensive etc, for example one of my friends kids is four years old and made a racist comment a while back whilst I was looking after her. she didn’t really realise what she was saying, it didn’t stop me sitting her down and explaining why it was wrong and objectionable. I doubt said this ‘kid’ is under 18, he should know better, especially from the suicide perspective.
    3- Even if you are set an assignment/it is a job, you can down play it. I can think of many ways that while maybe less arresting would be more tasteful and acceptable ways of advertising WLS. As a medical student I get the FAT KILLS message all the time, and whilst refuting it completely would damage my grades, I do try to put in the ‘however’ 77% genetic, how strong are the links really? part in my essays. I stay happy because I don’t feel I’m totally betraying HAES, my tutors are happy because I am questioning and evaluating science. Point being there are ways round most things.

  65. kristen,

    I think more likely he thought he *had* found a real fat woman for that last image. Using my pop culture monocle, I can see the various evidences of ‘obesity’ – her body is cut off on a rising curve, even though that could easily just be her boobs, an ad featuring a model we were supposed to think of as thin would probably cut the image just past her boobs, ending the line on the dramatic, concave drop from ribcage to belly. Also, her neck is not long and skinny.

  66. Wow Bamagirl. Nice work. I am totally impressed (and I have a total girl crush on you now)
    Time Machine- I totally get what you are saying. It is almost an odd catch 22, because these ads that I assume are trying to be “anti-suicide” in a round about way, actually are contributing to it.
    Amanda- Why not make it a cheese AND butter vest. Mmmm.

  67. Wow!
    My uncle hanged himself 20 years ago. A couple years later, my friend overdosed on pills and survived, but tried to kill herself 3 more times before she was hospitalized for months.
    This campaign is awful and offensive in so many ways.

  68. Hah! A friend actually just sent me this link, but I had seen it before about a year ago.

    I told her, “Too bad no one with millions of dollars to spend on an ad campaign wants to make billboards grossly depicting the horrors and risks of weight loss surgery.”

  69. Yes, Alyssa. I watched my mom shoot herself when I was a young girl. As someone who is overweight according to the BMI (BS-Measuring-Index) and someone who lost her mom to suicide, I cannot count the ways that this is offensive, cruel and another indication of how insane our society has become.

  70. Sickening. Utterly.

    BarnaGal, well done, but I’m confused now: are they real ads that the surgery just didn’t look at before publication? Or did this guy design mock ads for a real company? (I recall our art class getting an assignment to design mockup album covers for real, existing bands, so I guess it’s not uncommon among students, but I’d think putting them out publicly, in a situation where it’s unclear whether they’re real or not, would be asking for trouble.)

  71. It doesn’t even make sense. “Obesity is suicide”? Even if you accept the (ludicrous) premise that obese people choose to be obese, wouldn’t it then be: “Being obese is suicide?” How can a physical characteristic be equivalent to an action?

    And yes, I am totally picking on something trivial in this ad campaign so as to distract myself from the unbelievable callousness it shows to both fat people and the suicidal/formerly suicidal/those affected by suicide, mostly because I fall into both those categories.

  72. i went to art school for graphic design and if this really IS just a student assignment (fake ad), then I would say, in a class critique, that the ad is indeed clever. one of the things they teach you in advertising is that shocking/controversial ads are a GOOD thing. so he may have gone for the easy “creative concept” that’s weighted down by social prejudice instead of digging a little deeper to challenge himself more. Typically, at least with my school, you only have a week or less to come up with something from start to finish so maybe he didn’t have any other good ideas. this is a cheap shot though and i would hate it 1) because of the message it conveys 2) because he’s probably trying to get an easy A and I hate the graphic design “culture” sometimes. all the designers who think they’re so cool and great.

  73. I’m sorry, mock or not, they’re offensive.

    How many people are survivors of suicide or have had some one they know/knew try or succeed at it? I know the ad’s for shock value and to make you think, but all I can think about is the time I swallowed a bottle of pills ten years ago when in the midst of a very bad depression.

    Having anyone push drugs or surgeries at me so they can play on my fears is fucking offensive.

  74. This may be the person who created the ads, but richie of BFB says he indeed has seen these exact ads posted in the UK – he described them in detail long before I ever saw them.

    So they are being used. I don’t of course know this person’s personal view, but the ads themselves are insidious, and are advertising bariatric mutilation under this horrendous guise. It’s absolutely unconscionable.

  75. Bamagirl, you are definitely my Hero of the Month. And we’re not even halfway through April. Thanks.

    ::weaves you a crown of pollenless roses and violets::

  76. Oriencor I have had friends and relatives die by suicide – in fact two of them hung themselves. Yeah they’re fucking beyond offensive. What they’re advertising? Death by surgery instead of the spurious “death by fat”? No. words.

  77. Like, two-year-olds are totally committing suicide!!!!!!!! Oh, wait … that was their parents killing them with junk food. I forgot. *headdesk*

  78. Bamagirl, thanks for making that call. If nothing else, getting a call from an attorney might help this idiot figure out that he’s an *offensive* idiot, and, in a perfect world, might make him rethink a few things.

  79. Sorry, didn’t see bamagal’s post – now I’m going to have to ask Richie where he saw them because he said he’s seen them over there. Sigh.

  80. Annie – Yeah. I can’t even try to touch that part of it, I’m still dumbstruck by the brutality of the stupid images.

    Might take a few hours before I poke that part of it with a stick.

  81. So let me get this straight, BamaGal. We are offended by this designer’s concept, thus we are trying to have the ads removed? As in, censorship? Seriously? I emailed the guy — this ad campaign was executed at the client’s request. He’s responsible for coming up with the concept, i.e. doing his JOB. I get that everyone thinks this is “insensitive”, but being sensitive =/= good advertising, and being sensitive to an audience who would never be interested in the product you’re selling is just inane.

  82. Wow. My latest post is actually about WLS and how it can kill you far more quickly than merely being “obese.” That is, assuming you buy the stories the media force feeds us about how obesity is more of a risk than terrorism.

    This is horrifying. I thought it was bad enough before realizing it was something promoting WLS!

  83. That is really horrifying.

    I’m sorry if someone upthread already said this, but I think the woman isn’t obese because he’s depending on the gore-nographic sex object trope; which only works if the object is female, supine, passive (‘cuz she’s dead) and yet still alluring and fuckable (if you have a violent misogynist imagination.) See also, CSI, Law and Order, high fashion photography, etc. And of COURSE the passive-dead-sexxxxy-sexxxxy-victim thing won’t work if she’s FAT.

    Notice how the two other males photographed are also standing upright?

    Wrong on so many levels. I hate that the world we live in can even contain this.

  84. I am appalled with these images. I am seething with rage at the idea that overeating causes fat and fat causes death and suicide is preferable to being fat. But like a smelly great turd on top of all that is this:

    “…the effects of poor eating in a way we can all understand.”

    Because, you know, fat people are stupid ignorant fuckers, too.

  85. A Sarah, you said exactly what I was thinking (about the thin female model) but couldn’t figure out how to express. The ads are truly appalling both from an FA and feminist perspective.

  86. Here you can see that Brandon submitted this campaign to an advertising blog: http://sandeepmakam.blogspot.com/2006/12/obesity-is-suicide.html

    It provides links to the ad agency (Blattner Brunner) too. The client is The Northern Bariatric Surgery Institute. Perhaps they should hear from you.

    If this were an art project commenting on the perception of obesity in America (not to mention what constitutes “obesity” given the apparently normal proportions of the female victim), I would find it disturbing in that good art way. Without that intention it is a crude and offensive scare tactic in which the Institute, the Agency, and the Designer all share complicity.

  87. I’m not even fat and found this offensive because sausage, M&Ms and butter are just fucking delicious and anyone who shit talks them has NO SOUL. This man is obviously an asshole but I couldn’t help laughing at the butter-laced suicide bomber.

    Can anyone else see that as a really awkward but funny commercial?

    “I’m going to destroy you all…with DELICIOUSNESS!!”

    Man, I would totally do myself in that way but we all know there’d just be butter everywhere and my boyfriend licking it off me then…yeah.

  88. i’m really sorry that it’s an ad agency treatment for a real bariatric insitute, because when i saw the ads, they utterly cracked me up. the m&m pills one especially was just glorious in a camp, valley of the dolls-ish way.

  89. This is appaling and disgusting. I’ve *attempted* suicide (not via sausage, butter, or M&Ms) and I am outraged and offended. And I was 30 pounds underweight in the midst of a bout of anorexia. Suicide is NOT a weight issue.

    Fucking wankers.

    Sorry. I’m too pissed for a coherent comment.

  90. @Jay – To try to get offensive ads removed isn’t censorship, at least not except in the most technical dictionary definition of the word. BamaGal registered a moral objection to ads that crossed social mores into offensiveness. They’re free to ignore that complaint, but if they do they could damage their public reputation and/or their consciences. To use a completely overblown example, if there were ads graphically depicting bestiality and cannibalism, I would complain in a heartbeat, because again it would be reminding the company of the social consequences of their actions.

    It is not inane to restrict your “shock ads” to meet community morals, regardless of who your target audience is. It is both good ethics and good business. And complaining is in no way an unethical action. As someone I don’t know once said, being open minded doesn’t require you to be so open minded that your brains fall out.

  91. By the way, the photo of him eating fried food is not him — it’s from another designer’s portfolio.

  92. 117 comments and counting. Maybe provoking this kind of response is what a client would pay the big bucks for. Meh, seen worse…

  93. I’m very difficult to offend, and generally take the position that everything if ok to make fun of. Yet, this still annoys me because, as mentioned, the woman isn’t even obese. Even in the context of his message he completely lost the plot due to sexism.

    I do like his ads for sugar, though.

  94. I love black humor myself, Alice, even if it’s directed at me. It has to be funny though. To be funny it has to have a basis in reality, or at least in an alternate reality that is made clear. These are well-executed but genuinely fucked-up, as to their message. Like I said when I saw them and someone else said above, “Obesity is Suicide – Let us do it FOR you.” Or “let us kill you faster!” If I were ignorant about fat and WLS I would probably think they were hip and funny as well as clever – if very mean-spirited and definitely black humor. Which, as I say, is ok, except it actually has to be funny.

  95. Wow. My fat-assed self has no health problems at all.However, my friend’s mom is at a healthy weight, thanks to her bariatric surgery! Oh, except that it didn’t go quite right, and now she can’t digest food at all, can only drink Ensure, and has to have megadoses of vitamins just to keep up because her body can’t absorb vitamins properly now either. Oops.

  96. but… shouldn’t this make them all happy… with the fat people dead, they wouldn’t have to look at them. I mean … the message I get from so many is that I would be better off dead then fat. I get this message enough from the world…”you are fat go kill yourself”.. I am not surprised lol.

    I don’t know what to think or say … except that once again that is something that cuts so deep .. and leaves such a scar… how do they expect us to handle it?

  97. Jay,

    I said this earlier, but I think it bears repeating. There is an estimated 4.6 million survivors of suicide in the US (that includes those whose family members have completed suicide) For this ad to be effictive, as you claim it to be, it needs to apeal to those that they wish to sell the product to. Yet it alienates 4.6 million people right off the bat.
    Also, I completely support his right to show these pieces, if he felt strongly about them and stood by the social implications the pieces invoke. However, he needs to be willing to take full responsibility for those that harm themselves as a direct result of this ad. Is it worth it? If even one person ends their life in part because of the message that these ads portray is it worth it ? These are ads not pieces created for a gallery, or for artistic merit alone.
    Finally, as someone who has worked on a suicide hotline for many years I can assure you that suicide is not a just a “concept” or a “job”. It is not funny, or mysterious, or explosive. It is death, plain and simple, and I do not condone the exploitation of anothers pain to sell something.

  98. My first reaction was laughter. I mean, when you think about it more, it’s completely idiotic and indicative of society’s crazed fear of the fatz. But when I first looked at them I laughed. I’ve heard of death by chocolate, but never death by sausage. :)

  99. vivelefat, I imagine that anyone trying to blame a suicide on these ads would get a serve of the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” argument in return; i.e. these images by themselves are not capable of inflicting GBH on anyone, the ultimate choice to commit suicide lies with the individual.

    He should be held accountable for his role in furthering poor stereotyping and propagating illogical fat-hate rhetoric to the masses via these ads, and also for showing v.poor understanding of triggers for suicidal behaviour, but outside of that it’s rather grey. He was a Junior AD, and one of a team. Who bears the full brunt of the blame? The agency? The client who approved and paid for the campaign to run??

    Brandon said:

    So whether you like them or not, the series obviously caused you to react, so in that regard they were effective.

    So he thinks the effectiveness of the ads can be measured by the wrath they inspire? I’m pretty sure the client would find the better measure of effectiveness to be *increases in surgeries booked*. Which I would hope was not the result, obviously.

  100. Uggh. Things like this make me want to cry. To cry for the hatred that has to be inside people for them to think that way about me, to cry for the lack of compassion and lack of understanding that pictures like that promote.

    Luckily I just watched a youtube video clip from Young@Heart (the senior singing group featured in a new documentary that is being released here in the US tomorrow) and it was of an 82 year old very fat man singing Coldplay’s song “Fix You.” I saw it featured on Nightline tonight where they shared that the man he was supposed to be doing this as a duet with died of a heart attack a few weeks before the show (and he was not fat). That made me cry in a good way. In a way that celebrates the beauty of people, even very fat people on oxygen. Made me cry at the beauty of people living full amazing lives and dying doing the things that bring them pleasure.

    I can’t wait to see that movie.

  101. Good point, Jasmine. It seems about time for a good dose of blogauthoresses lovin’ around here, especially since it seems to have been a difficult few weeks in fat stories in the media.

    Breaking news: Commenters revolt and take over a blog to show well-deserved appreciation. (film at 11). :)

  102. “Breaking news: Commenters revolt and take over a blog to show well-deserved appreciation. (film at 11). ”

    and now for a bit of entertainment: We all know successful advertising leads to successful medical practices?

    Script for:

    This is Living!
    by Tina

    [INT. SUNSET] Slow zoom in on several months’ recovering ADULT Bariatric Surgery patient settling down to a fine at-home dinner with table exquisitely set with candles, silverware,fine china, colorful table linens:

    camera then pans slowly onto a baby bottle,

    pan closely on Junior Pureed baby food jar and and up towards a blender …

    then back down to the several months’ recovering patient, about to take a lick ..

    of the baby food

    Then smiling to the camera, “Nothing else stays down, you know. I won’t be on this forever.

    “But even if I just graduate to the toddler grind, I get to join my skinny minnie friends!!

    “When they invite me out to dinner.

    And I just know they will. I have been thin for many years at a time before …

    Somehow, though, my weight never stayed down.

    So that’s why I got this surgery.

    Well, when they invite me, I Just have to pretend I ate a 5-course meal first …”

  103. Ah, I remember when I first saw these awful awful photos, it was a few years ago I think. I was upset for a good hour or so, because my dad looks like the guy they had hanging in the sausage noose. >:( <— angry

    The person who made those photos are no less than soul-less, a person who will hurt anyone for money. I’m sorry if that seems harsh, but seriously this is some sick s**t. Perhaps this guy should visit the WLS wards in hospitals, and see if he can find some contradictary inspiration to his images touting WLS.

    I just don’t know, I mean this guy’s karma has to be shot for doing these photos. Who does he think he’s helping, or that he even thinks he’s the least bit clever?

    This is the kind of guy I would seriously, think has the mental pathology of a sociopath. How can someone be so hateful of people, to think that these sick images benifit anyone. I should be so glad he didn’t create any medical experiement images on fat people, then again that would most likely counter the company he’s advertising for. Being that WLS is medical experimentation on fat people.

    My rant is done.

  104. Wow, I can see brandon totally means everything he said in that comment about not meaning to lack empathy or sympathy, and that he has really opened his mind to alternative information about obesity and whether fat people really do down sausages, butter, and M&M’s like there’s no tomorrow (hint: NO) and whether the risks from obesity itself are typically wildly overblown in the media (hint: PROBABLY). But, you know, “obesity is a serious issue that needed serious confrontation.” I mean, everybody knows that. Way to think for yourself, there, b. What a maverick trailblazer you are! And so self-righteous, which is just the best personality trait ever.

    brandon, if you’re still reading, though I doubt you are, do you have any response to those of us who are wondering why your female candidate for bariatric surgery is not even fat? I’m sure it’s just a total coincidence, though.

    If nothing else, brandon’s comment should put to bed any idea that he was “just” doing an assignment or what he was told.

  105. Which is why you might as well butcher yourself on the way, what difference does it make?

    And you contribute to a bariatric surgeons’ retirement fund. Nice!

  106. Long-time listener, first-time caller. Having only skimmed …

    As a former self-mutilator (a coping mechanism with a valid physiological basis, btw), having dealt with suicide in a direct way, chubby chasing anarchist, I would have to say that most of you take this thing way too seriously. People will always define an ideal and demonize those who don’t fit. If it’s not you who don’t fit, it’ll be some other poor, undeserving group. In the meantime, let it roll off your back, keep your sense of humor and your sense of the delightfully perverse, and enjoy a better quality of life.

    And Jackie, nearly every medical procedure is an experiment on someone. That’s the nature of the science. You don’t have to get all “conspiracy theory” about it.

    My inclination is to continue the artistic theme with visual campaigns showing that being normal weight is suicide, being skinny is suicide, being gay, straight, WASP, black, etc., being an artist, all suicide …

  107. Jay, you might also want to consider that we are not a governmental department calling in and ordering someone to take these images down. Calls have been made to complain and someone on the other end has responded with equal horror. That isn’t censorship, that’s a service provider responding to the marketplace.

    Bariatric surgeons aren’t going to be interested ads that piss fat people off – they want ads that suck us in and make us want surgery.

    I’m just utterly appalled by these and whether or not they are real is totally moot – they express in a very visceral way what a large number of people feel.

  108. I don’t have words either. Ugh.
    But I do have a positive link to provide to counteract the ick.
    The Campaign for Real Booty. It’s a skater on the Charm City (Baltimore) roller derby league, who is herself plus-sized, calling for big roller girls to send in their photos and a little essay on why they’re proud of their booty.
    She’s been posting a Real Booty role model just about weekly from her submissions, and has realized that it’s not just conventionally-accepted-as-fat women who have struggled to come to terms with their own bodies; it’s just about everyone.

    So anyhow, I just thought I’d put that out there as a positive link.

    Also in my fantasy world, all these real-booty women find the guy responsible for these ads and just beat the goddamn everloving shit out of him.
    (Possibly in the style of the most bootylicious– or, should I say, bootyvicious— skater of them all, everyone’s idol, Destiny’s Problem Child, Beyonslay.)

  109. Brandon: You come on THIS blog and parrot that “obesity is a serious problem”? Clearly you didn’t even spend a second perusing this website and all the myriad of excellent posts and studies it discusses (and points to) that demonstrate without a shadow of a doubt that this “obesity problem” isn’t a problem at all. I’ll summarise: FAT/OBESE PEOPLE CAN BE HEALTHY. Just like thin people can be healthy, and underweight people can be healthy. . .Funny how that works.

    Jay: I think you need to look up what censorship actually entails, as well as its legal implications.

  110. These ads are inhumane – so funny to show someone hanging from a string of sausages. My best friend hanged herself and it hurts that people use suicide imagery to sell products.

    I’m too angry to talk about the other reasons these ads are wrong wrong wrong.

  111. “Here in the ‘don’t-hate-yourself’-osphere it’s not blood pressure but head-desking which is our leading health concern.”

    Giggle! I propose to issue helmets to all of us in the DHYosphere!

    I just wanted to say, every time I start to feel really down about Teh World We LiveZ In, I come to ShapelyProse and read the entries – and the comments. Shapelings, you restore my faith in some goodness in the universe. Thanks.

  112. Kate, you are awesome, awesome. I have had so many “ah-ha” moments from reading your posts on this site.

    But to echo some of the previous comments, please include some type of disclaimer in the future. I sincerely hope that no one opened this link in front of children, or that no one had the urge to hurt themselves after viewing those disturbing and horrifying pics.

    As far as the creator of those ads…some people just don’t “get it”

    Like many of you I have been personally effected by suicide, and I am technically obese (although I prefer the term Fabulous!) and yes they are very disturbing and sick. The point is, that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t get it. I am guessing that he is not fat, and has never been effected by suicide.

    It is like trying to talk to an anti-semite and explain to them that actually no, Jew’s don’t secretly control the world…You can complain, scream, shout, whatever, but that is not going to open his eyes.

    He is wrong and we know it, but he believes that he is right.

  113. As a former self-mutilator (a coping mechanism with a valid physiological basis, btw), having dealt with suicide in a direct way, chubby chasing anarchist, I would have to say that most of you take this thing way too seriously.

    “You guys, if it doesn’t offend me, it doesn’t offend you!”

    fattitties, way to make me even sadder I can’t skate.

  114. I don’t mean to make anybody sad to not be able to skate. (And you can learn! Unless it’s that you really truly can’t, like your knee tendons are too busted or something, in which case, bummer.)
    If it makes you happier, I wiped out, kinda went airborne over the top of somebody in practice last week and landed tits-first. I think my boob cracked my rib. You’d think boobs would be squishy enough that it’d be a nice soft landing, but no.
    I know, I think my rib was surprised too.

    Sometimes it just helps me, when I’m feeling fat and unloved, to just go on Youtube and watch Beyonslay’s videos over and over again. There used to be a great one that said “I DON’T THINK YOU’RE READY” and then had a clip of her absolutely nailing Suzy Hotrod from Queens, and then had the caption “FOR THIS JELLY”, but I can’t find that one. It was beautiful though.

    Antidote to depression. For me, anyway. Does anyone else have any good… I hesitate to say “fatspiration”, but something like it. Anything you can refer to in order to make yourself feel empowered and positive? Role models, songs, videos, books? Or just this website? :)

    It’s said that living well is the best revenge, so I really enjoy stories/pictures/videos of people being happy and strong and beautiful in sizes not represented in most of the corporate-produced media.

  115. Oh, right… let’s just scare the shit of people with pictures like that! That actually offends me!

    But that was the point, wasn’t it Brandon? I’m surprised you had the brass cajones to come here and comment. Just one question for you… if you have the brass cajones to come back here and comment… are YOU overweight/obese?

  116. Aw, I’m sorry, vivelafat! I burned out on being angry about the treatment of fat people, and went back to being angry about the treatment of atheists for a while.

  117. obesity is suicide! so kill yourself faster with a risky form of surgery!

    i think it is disgusting that they are playing off people’s fears in order to promote gastric surgery.

  118. Ack, I felt much better up the thread when I could believe these were just hypothetical ads in an online portfolio.

    What made me feel worse, though, was the tragically predictable response from the creator himself braying about how obesity is a serious problem, dontcha know. As if we’ve NEVER heard this anywhere before, ever.

    Oh, and I totally need a “I am Kate Harding” helmet! I’d hang it on a peg next to my computer under a sign reading: For Use In Case of Headdesk Moment

  119. f15h: As a former self-mutilator (a coping mechanism with a valid physiological basis, btw), having dealt with suicide in a direct way, chubby chasing anarchist, I would have to say that most of you take this thing way too seriously.

    Wow, it sounds like you take your status as a former self-mutilator really seriously, to the point of introducing yourself that way, AND to parenthetically validate its seriousness against anticipated objections from people who you fear might not take it seriously enough.

    What should I do with this knowledge? Hmmm. I could try to understand your self-description — ask probing questions, maybe, try to imagine your point of view, see the logic of your description…

    Or, I could just pat you on the head and tell you to chill out with your former-self-mutilator business. After all, I’m a former self-mutilator too (true) and that really doesn’t play a big role in my life. And, seeing as how my experience is The Standard For Everyone…

    Tell me, which reaction would you prefer?

  120. Brandon: “So whether you like them or not, the series obviously caused you to react, so in that regard they were effective.”

    Dude, totally. Size of reaction = advertising effectiveness. See also, The New Coke, Exxon.

  121. “And Jackie, nearly every medical procedure is an experiment on someone. That’s the nature of the science. You don’t have to get all “conspiracy theory” about it.” – f15h

    Most health procedures are performed, based on a risks vs rewards. That being the rewards are worth the risk, not so with WLS. It is known that the risks FAR outweigh the rewards with WLS. The only reason it is done, is our society’s negative attitude towards those who are fat.

    I’m not making a conspiracy theory out of this. Hitler’s followers did use medical experiments on Jews, Blacks, and Gypsies to try and make them eugenically perfect, or to see that they were unable to procreate. You don’t see any similarities between that and WLS do you? That the only reason this travesty is allowed is because people have been tricked into beliving that it’s better for fat people, to have their digestive systems lobotomized. So they LOOK healthier.

    Let me ask you something do you think chronic vomiting, wasting disease, dumping syndrome, are a sign of good health f15h? Those are just SOME of the many side effects of WLS. Under any other circumstance, it would be seen as a counterproductive surgery.

    As long as people are willing to belive the rediculous notion, that you can tell someone’s health just by LOOKING at them, these butchering surgeries will go on.

    You don’t think it’s a big deal, does it have to affect you personally for you to give a damn? How selfish is that? You shouldn’t just see this as a fat person’s issue. Whenever doctors ignore the Hippocratic Oath, it’s a threat to everyone. Maybe you will be next, to be experimented on.

  122. Brandon, I belive you are a Narcisstic. I don’t mean that flippantly either, I really do belive you need to go to a psychatrist and get help for your Narcissitic Personality Disorder, let me lay it out for you. Here is the DSM Criteria for Narcissitic Personality Disorder:

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:[1]

    1.has a grandiose sense of self-importance

    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    3.believes that he or she is “special” and unique

    4.requires excessive admiration

    5.has a sense of entitlement

    6.is interpersonally exploitative

    7.lacks empathy

    8.is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her

    9.shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Tell me this isn’t right on. Oh and pay special attention to #7. We’re dealing with someone who clearly is more than short of a few cards from their deck.

  123. I haven’t read all the other comments, but am I the only one who found that hilarious? I mean, my god, it’s so incredibly absurd and self-important. I almost spit my coffee onto my keyboard.

  124. A Sarah. A couple of comments had caught my eye when I initially skimmed, and one of them was this:
    “sarawr, on April 9th, 2008 at 5:23 pm Said:
    As a former(?) self-injurer, I am goddamn appalled at the implicit statement in these ads: If obesity is suicide, you should mutilate yourself as an alternative.”
    I merely parroted that line and another about suicide (although both are valid in my case, so “parroting” doesn’t carry some of the negative baggage). None of that stuff qualifies anyone to speak with more authority on the issue of “These images, right or wrong?” And none of them justifies getting all that upset about the images. I identify in lots of ways. The parts I mention are those that seem relevant at the time.

    As for your proposed reactions, either one is fine. My reaction would be the same in either case.

  125. Jackie,

    So fat people are being targeted by neo-Nazi Drs. Mengele, herded into concentration camps against their will? I was under the impression that all the necessary information (from both mainstream and alternative sources) is available in one form or another, and that those who undergo bariatric surgery do so of their own free will, having accessed as much of the information as they cared to in the course of making the decision. I’m not saying I think it’s a good decision, I’m not saying it’s a particularly healthy or safe decision. I’m just saying it’s not my decision to make.

    You want to be fat, you be fat. I like fat. I’m officially overweight myself. I’m also a big fan of human imperfection, and don’t understand why people get cosmetic surgery. Every surgery carries risks, so why go through it if you don’t have to? And I don’t really get why chicks wear makeup or shave their armpits and their legs. But you know what? None of those decisions are mine to make.

    Since you know nothing about me but presume to know my physical attributes, my intentions, and my motivations, I’m guessing that nothing I have to say could hope to penetrate the absolute knowledge you already have about your world. Still, it entertained me to say it.

  126. Apologies, Jackie. Re-reading your comment, I find that you specifically say it’s not a Nazi-style thing, but a culturally-based brainwashing sort of thing. Still comes down to whether or not you allow the individual to make a choice, about which we apparently disagree, but it’s nice for me I can respect you a little more.

  127. One is often not given the full information, and if one can prove (by the preponderance of the evidence, in civil cases) that the physician’s actions were fraudulent, that information was excluded in bad faith regardless of the effect on one’s capacity to make an informed decision or the consequences to one’s health and quality of life, more than one avenue of action is open.

    On the other side of that, it is incumbent upon the individual to seek information, and not just rely on a single authority or a limited viewpoint, prior to making major decisions.

    If one makes choices without availing oneself of the available information, one makes one’s own bed of nails …

    Not that I don’t have sympathy for folks in those situations, but I don’t at all buy this “victim of the culture” crap.

  128. This reminds me of the short-lived, but fantastic, sitcom Kitchen Confidential. John Larroquette put in a guest appearance as a chef who habitually gorged himself on fatty, although delicious, foods. Several bypasses later, he was told to give it all up. Instead, he commands his protege to prepare the most indulgent foods imaginable. He was going out in style. (I might as well add that his character wasn’t fat.)

    I think I wouldn’t mind going out that way.

  129. Another random (but sad) O/T here. An all too common problem, I’m afraid (fortunately not one I’ve ever experienced myself).

  130. Came back here to reference this on another blog about new fat-phobic/sexist ads for a medical spa in Bucharest, and thought I’d let you know the pictures from this “campaign” are no longer appearing on his site. Of course, you can still Google Image search the campaign and find the pictures. Looks like BamaGal made a difference.

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