I’m trying out a new concept to get me publishing shit on this blog more often, largely inspired by the wonderful Sargon of Akkad’s This Week in Stupid series. Basically, whenever I find a news article or opinion piece that takes a shit on my brain I’ll do a write-up of all the reasons why it’s utterly retarded and a reflection of the sorry state of modern Western society.
Okay, pre-amble over, today’s article written by a complete fuckwit is…
Printed in the Huffington Post, this article is the latest in a long line of ‘fit-shaming’ articles I’ve seen crop up regarding what I’m going to have to go all-out Fox News on and refer to as The War on Not Being A Dribbling Hambeast.
So, apparently Bulimia.com have started a campaign to help those struggling with the eating disorder understand that a beergut maybe isn’t the worst thing in the world, and at the very least is preferable to vomiting three or four times a day. That’s definitely a noble goal on the face of it, eating disorders are a serious problem and certainly nothing to scoff at, so what’s my problem?
Well, this particular campaign has focused entirely on depictions of men and women in comic books. The depictions of women in comic books, in particular, have been the source of much criticism for a long time now, especially those drawn by people like Rob Liefeld who draw waists so impossibly small you wonder if he didn’t just forget to finish the drawing. This is, in fact, a very real possibility with Rob Liefeld, but for the most part women are almost always drawn with at least mildly unrealistic proportions, in comic books. Men usually are as well, mind you, but apparently that’s not really an issue judging by the headline; find somewhere else to cry your privileged tears, MRAs.
I’ve still not mentioned the problem, have I? In fact, so far I think I’ve probably done a better job of championing this campaign. Well, okay, maybe I can get to my point by first addressing a direct quote from a representative of Bulimia.com:
“Our hope is that when viewers see these superheroes visualized in such a manner that they can identify with, they may feel better about themselves and realize the futility of any comparison between themselves and the fictional universes of Marvel and DC Comics.”
Okay, first of all, fuck you for reminding me I’ll never be Batman. Second of all, fuck you twice: when I read comics I don’t want to be reminded of real life, I want the fantasy and escapism that fiction is designed to provide.
Thirdly, fuck you again: I don’t have a beergut like the men in your dipshit campaign because I actually exercise and monitor my diet. I’m sorry that most average people lack this kind of discipline, but I don’t see why we should be encouraging their slide into mediocrity and patting them on the back for being too lazy to be the best they can be.
I assume your campaign is targeted at people you want to actually gain weight –which is why I’m confused you think they’d relate to these flabby depictions, but whatever– but why you’d do that by swapping one undesirable bodybuild for another is beyond me. People who are already skinny are in a great position to start working out and put on good, healthy weight, so why are you instead encouraging them to pig out and get fat?
I’ll be honest, I see this as a symptom of an irritating attitude I’ve grown increasingly weary of in this participation-trophy culture that’s taking over modern society, where we’re raising a generation of children to believe that they don’t even need to try their best: just turning up is now apparently worthy of a pat on the back.
No, fuck that. How about instead we teach kids that failure is okay as long as we learn from it. You know, kind of like Batman already did.
What the fuck kind of message do you think you’re sending to kids by telling them not to shoot for the stars, but instead reach for the lowest possible hanging fruit and just do the bare minimum they can be bothered doing? What good do you think can come of encouraging this kind of mediocrity?
Don’t misunderstand me, I know that average is the best most of us can hope for, and funnily enough the vast majority of us resigned to that long before you stuck your oar in, that’s precisely why we have things like comics: they’re an escape into extraordinary worlds where even normal people can get bitten by a spider and suddenly become a hero instead of dying from radiation poisoning. The entire point of fantasy is to distract us from reality, not fucking remind us of it.
Even fucking children understand that these things are not meant to be real life: I watched Aladdin at least fifty times growing up, not once did I ever expect I would grow up to be an Arabian street urchin, and I don’t remember reading about a string of drowned children after they saw Finding Nemo and wanted to be fish.
So why do you feel the need to patronise grown fucking adults by going ‘psst, you see these fictional superheroes, designed to be the embodiment of physical perfection? They’re not actually real and they never could be. Okay, have fun.’
Great job, assholes, maybe your next campaign can be going into Santa’s Grotto and pulling off the dude’s beard, you fucking monsters.
Returning to a point I touched on a moment ago: Do you know why Superman is an impossible ideal? Because that is literally what he was designed to be. He was inspired by Samson and Hercules, themselves fictional embodiments of the unattainable male ideal*. But even if you didn’t know that, he’s called fucking SUPER man. Clue’s in the name, retards.
This is the problem I constantly run into when dealing with Social Justice fuckwits and idiotic campaigns like this: They make the assumption that everyone is as stupid as them and can’t distinguish between the real world and what they read in a book or see on a television screen.
Or maybe I’m giving the human race too much credit: Maybe I was the only one who was aware, while watching Avengers Assemble, that it wasn’t a lack of benching that meant I wasn’t fifteen feet tall like The Hulk.
Furthermore, amongst the many, many reasons the campaign is stupid is that it somehow manages to be even more unrealistic than the unrealistic ideals it’s attempting to discredit. Yes, super powers aren’t even remotely real, so maybe you shouldn’t have picked Batman and Iron Man as two of your examples, because they don’t have any. They are, in fact, just buff dudes.
So let’s conduct a quick experiment. Bruce Wayne was trained by the League of Shadows and spends every night of his life running across rooftops and battering fuck out of criminals, except on bank holidays. With that regimen in mind, which real-life human being do you think he should resemble:
Now, the purpose of this exercise wasn’t to make fun of James Corden, but to point out that calling these bodies ‘unrealistic’ is utter nonsense. The TAS design of Batman is one of the more ridiculously proportioned, and yet GSP almost perfectly fits the bill, even going so far as to have considerably more developed traps than Bats.
Don’t feed me this shit about unrealistic body types when what you really mean is ‘figures that require exercise/actually caring about your body’. As I say, this isn’t about fat-shaming or anything like that, but despite what Tumblrinas likes to play make-believe about, let’s not pretend that being overweight is actually a good thing.
I smoked for six years, and I only quit because they jacked up the tax and because I was out of breath taking a shit, but I never once conned myself into believing that the stuff I was putting inside my body wasn’t killing me. I just didn’t care, because everybody dies. Why certain groups have suddenly decided to start demonising fitness at a time when a large part of the Western world is in the sweaty grips of an unprecedented obesity crisis is utterly beyond me.
This is the same reason that I oppose the government constantly tightening the rules on alcohol prices and multi-buy deals: It’s not just because I miss getting twenty-four cans of Tennent’s for a tenner, but also because it’s completely two-faced so long as you can still sell gigantic cakes of Galaxy for £2 and get buy-one-get-one-free deals on microwave dinners that are literally dripping with fat.
Look, I’m not saying we should all be built like Tom Hardy, I understand that it takes an extreme level of work and dedication to maintain that kind of figure –a kind of devotion that most people don’t possess because, as I say, the majority of us are content with just being average– but that does not mean for one second that we should start to celebrate laziness and discourage people from striving for self-improvement.
If you want to be overweight that’s fine, I honestly don’t care, but don’t fucking dare denigrate the people who put blood, sweat and tears into pushing their bodies to their limits and being the best they can possibly be, and more than that don’t even shame those of us who work out, casually, just to stay trim and fit.
This new wave of fit-shaming, and I’m determined to shoehorn that into common parlance, reminds me of the people who boast about the fact they don’t read books, as though ignorance is something to be proud of. Again, if you don’t wanna read, I’m not gonna force you, but don’t act as if your voluntary idiocy is any sort of achievement.
Likewise, if you’d rather laze on the couch eating Doritos and watching The Chase, that’s your call, but realise that in doing so you forfeit your right to insult ‘gym-rats’ and anyone else who actually enjoys working out and reaps the rewards of doing so.
I think I’ve rambled enough here, so in closing I’d just say that while I think Bulimia.com’s goals are admirable, they are way off target. Might I suggest, instead of attacking works of art based in fantasy, you instead go after the real-world gossip magazines that publicly shame real-life women for having the gall to put on a few pounds?
Have a great fucking day.
*Sorry to any Biblical scholars who believed that long hair could really give you magic powers.