Several years ago I remember listening at length to all of the smoking ban talk in and around my city and I turned to my husband and I said “We are next”.
And, by that I wasn’t referring to smoking. I have never touched the things and Puddie very much prefers the tobacco of the smokeless variety (which I hate and he knows it and I am pretty sure he hates too).
No, what I meant was fat people.
This was before the “National Crisis of Obesity” was on all of the radars and people started trying to fix all of us “broken” people.
Now, mind you, I don’t like second hand smoke any more than the next guy… and I have been frustrated when my kid has been subjected to it in a public place… but what I recognized that day all those years ago was something familiar to me… although I had never taken a draw from a Marlboro in my life…
Admittedly, I had no role either as a smoker, legislator or peanut gallery when it came to the smoking bans and I do now appreciate the non-smoking areas for my family… I have often wondered how smokers feel and felt.
Almost overnight it seems as if they were vilified.
Fast forward to this year when the state of Georgia decided shame was the ticket to fighting Childhood Obesity.
And then there was the time I was sitting in a conference session where a speaker made an off-hand comment about Paula Deen getting what was coming to her (Diabetes) for all those years of eating the food she ate. I sat there and wondered if half of the room (fellow obese attendees) felt the same shame I did when she made those comments.
And now, again… I hear the hint of shame as the School Lunch Program is changing and parents are frustrated… and rightfully so…
I get the frustration… from unwanted food wasted, to the lack of protein and a one size fits all approach, to the impact the changes will have on the kiddos that depend on the school lunch as their main (if not only) source of food for that day that has now been reduced significantly. Very valid concerns.
I too am outraged when I hear of the stories of teachers even going as far as to take away a kid’s sack lunch because they deem it unfit in all their righteousness.
But I have another concern.
On several occasions–out of frustration– I hear parents say “But my kid is not fat.”
I bite my tongue (until now) and try not to say “Would you feel any differently if they were?”
Would you be any less pissed at the new program?
Should fat kids have the same rights as other kids or are these mandates only unfair to non-fat kids?
Then I wonder how little Bobby is going to feel when Sally Sue blames him and his fatness for the fact she doesn’t get ranch today with her carrot sticks.
The last thing Bobby needs on his plate is another reason to point out how he is different.
I am not saying that I have the solutions… but as someone who has spent her life figuring out what doesn’t work in the weight debate, there is one resounding wrong answer: