See the published article HERE
I have been listening to some liberals voice concerns on an issue recently that kinda sticks in my craw. Apparently, for some, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight is tipping the scales (sorry) against him when considering his possible upcoming candidacy for the 2012 Presidential race. And to be fair, there have also been a handful of Republicans who have chimed in regarding his size. It is just bananas.
First of all, there are plenty of reasons to discount Christie as a Presidential contender. It isn’t difficult for me to come to the conclusion that he would make a most undesirable President. So, why use time, effort, energy and audience on a discriminatory non-issue? After all, I am much less worried about what goes into his pie hole than what comes out of it.
Prior to becoming the Governor of New Jersey, Christie was a lobbyist who pushed for the deregulation of energy and securities companies. Before that, he was an attorney who was accused and investigated for tracking cell phones and entrapment. Once elected, the story in New Jersey became very similar to here in Wisconsin. In fact, he and Walker would make great croquet buddies. Christie also passed a budget within a month of becoming Governor – a budget on which he did not campaign. Many people feel his tactics were sneaky and underhanded. He slashed public educationat the knees. Just hours before the budget was due, he used a line item veto to cut another 1 billionfrom the budget. He made unilateral and uncompromising decisions as his ammunition in his attack on the middle class of his state. Yep. Sounds all too familiar.
So when I hear pundits, politicians and others bellyache about Christie’s inability to run the country because of his BMI, it leaves me wondering why they do not focus on the real issues. I have heard the argument that he could die prematurely. Well, so could someone who smokes, enjoys skydiving, hunts or eats cheeseburgers. Even the healthiest person in the world could drop dead from a heart attack. Yes, perhaps the numbers are against a heavier person, but, like I said, there are many factors and I don’t think we want to only elect those who live in bubbles.
I suppose we would like our President to be the ultimate role model for our children. Sending a message that obesity is okay isn’t ideal – this is true. However, we should also teach our children to be accepting and tolerating (tolerating, I really do hate that term) of all body types, shapes, sizes and colors and not base our decisions on those traits.
Some say Christie isn’t electable because of our fatist society. We are so determined, in America, to accept only thin structures and buff bods. That may be true while watching TV or paging through magazines, but this clearly isn’t the case while strolling the grocery stores or grazing the buffets. We are a country who likes to eat (and eat, and eat). I believe people would see him as one of them. I think many people are more at ease with a heavier person because it makes them feel better about themselves.
I was thrilled when Melissa McCarthy, of Mike and Molly, won the Emmy award for lead in a comedy role. As a heavy woman in a sea of skinny minis she’s had a tougher road and her win was not expected. I am delighted when I watch something featuring “real” looking people. We are bombarded by expectations – rules – by society to look a certain way. When I see these rules being broken, I feel progress is being made on certain fronts. And while it can be difficult to reconcile the need for health with the need for acceptance, I, for one, appreciate the realization that I am not the only one bigger than a size 2 and that it might just be okay.
Maybe I am biased because to my own weight issues. I am looking at this through red velvet (with buttercream frosting) colored glasses. When I became pregnant 8 years ago, I also started a medication which caused me to gain over 70 pounds over the following 9 months. It took me 7 years (and medication changes) to lose 60 of those pounds. And I am still working on the last impossible 10. Being heavier, I have experienced circumstances and emotions that I would not have previously understood. It is truly remarkable how different one is treated because of additional weight.
I do believe Chris Christie in the White House would be a tragic and dangerous mistake, buut not because of crumbs on the Oval Office carpet or the need for a larger desk. There are plenty of reasons to vote against Christie. But, if you are voting based on his belt size, I think you have some reading to do.