"It was only a few years ago that I first noticed an obese person in a commercial. Then there were more. Now, like obesity itself, it has gotten out of hand.
This disturbs me in ways I haven’t fully figured out, and in a few that I have. The obese man on the orange bench, the fat pharmacist in the drug store commercial and all of the other heavily larded folks being used to sell products distresses me. Mostly because the message in all this is that its O.K. to be fat.
As we know, it isn’t.
It isn’t, mainly, because of the attendant health issues. The risk of several cancers, crippling damage to joints, heart attack, stroke, diabetes and sleep apnea —a much under-publicized life-threatener — defies sense.
So why is it so prevalent in our culture and in the media? Could it be that the ad agencies — always with our best interests at heart, of course — are making use of the appalling fact that obesity in the United States has doubled and rapidly redoubled to the point where one-third of the population is imperiled by gross poundage? Fat people, the commercial-makers may feel, are entitled to representation. What’s wrong with that?
Like right-wing scolds everywhere, and Cavett uses that favorite phrase of the Right "politically correct" in order to plead dispensation for his toolishness, Cavett finds it pleasing, comfortable and self-esteem-enhancing to tell people whose appearance he dislikes to shape up or get the hell out of his world.
Fat Michael Moore has done a thousand times more to try to improve the health of Americans than Dick Cavett has ever dreamed of - as if Dick Cavett would ever dream of something so noble and non-pretentious as that.
Dick Cavett likes to pretend it's about his humantarian concern for the health of the obese, but what it's really about is Dick's delicate sensibilities and how those fatties have trampled upon them. Boo hoo!