I don't watch The Biggest Loser, because I am not entertained by inhumane misery factories that systematically force-feed fat people humiliation in the name of medically questionable body conformity and advertising megabucks. Just not my particular cup of power cleanse tea, per se. But apparently there was a dude on a recent season of The Biggest Loser who was a "professional Santa," complete with sebaceous jelly-bowl, and he dropped 88 pounds by trading in his egg nog for Muscle Milk or whatever. Which is great for him! He seems really happy about it! But he's now grappling with the occupational conundrum of being a totally yoked Kris Kringle in the face of centuries of holly jolly jiggly tradition. His solution? Suggesting that perhaps the very idea of Santa should also become thin! For the children:
"The world is going to have to change their acceptance of what Santa looks like," Pickler said. "Santa is a role model, and kids don't want to have a role model that's fat."
First of all, I'm sorry. Santa is not a "role model." I mean, is the Easter Bunny a role model? Is Zeus a role model? Is Rumpelstiltskin a role model? Oh hey, mom, could you amputate my arms and legs and paint me orange and feed me a candle, please? I want to be more like this jack-o-lantern, MY ROLE MODEL.
And second of all, the "obesity epidemic" is most certainly not the result of our society being too pumped about fat people. Society is not pumped. Kids already distrust and dislike fat people. Fat kids are already terrorized in school. You can tell that we're not cool with fat people, because we are currently having a conversation about making Santa Claus thin. So I'm PRETTY SURE that an overabundance of "acceptance" isn't our problem here:
Children learn healthy (or unhealthy) habits from those they admire. And Santa is one of the most recognizable figures in America.
For at least a month every year, he appears on billboards, storefronts and TV commercials. Millions of kids stand in line to sit on his comfortably padded lap and whisper secrets in his ear. They write letters to him, sing songs about him and read stories about him.
We worry about the effect fast-food advertisements have on students in school. With all his free publicity, should Santa still be fat?
GREAT POINT. I remember when I was a little girl, I couldn't wait to grow up and get super fat and be a dude and grow a big white bushy beard. You know, like my role model! The one with all the "publicity"! Unfortunately I developed a really bad "habit" of riding around on a magic reindeer and breaking into people's houses. And also keeping elves as my slaves.
Ooooooooobviously I get that this is a goofy, light-hearted puff piece for the holidays. But it feeds into the idea that fat people are hurting children just by existing and, particularly, by being loved. Gross, you guys. It's Christmas! Can't we just let everyone exist and get a little love?
Anyway, once we start to change the defining attributes of mythological figures, then how do we even tell who's who anymore? It doesn't make sense. Why don't we shave the potentially troubling individualities off of every character in every story that's ever existed until a "library" is just a big room filled with thousands of Pit-Pats and Greendale Human Beings grinding on each other in a pile? Foolproof plan!
Or, for that matter, why not redesign Santa Claus entirely so that he's literally Jillian Michaels? IT WOULD BE SO GREAT FOR THE CHILDREN'S WAISTLINES. Oh, once a year Jillian Michaels slithers down your chimney and makes you plank until you vomit! And leaves tapeworm eggs in the stockings of all the naughty fat children!
Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
Except for Jillian Michaels,
Who was screaming that you're a disgusting failure and then forcibly dehydrating you to make sure your weigh-in is dramatic enough to get big ratings.
Hey, long as we're "fixing" beloved fictional characters, I have a couple of issues with that "God" dude in the Bible (happy birthday, BTW!). Do we really want our children worshipping a rageaholic homophobe who speaks in riddles and is just smiting the 99% right and left? Wouldn't it be great if He were a black lesbian firefighter who handed out baby rabbits at gay weddings and turned bullets into Lindor truffles? SOMEBODY GET ON THAT. FOR THE CHILDREN.
Photo credit: ccaetano / Stockfresh.