New Surgeon General Accepts "Hurtful" Weight Criticism

Illustration for article titled New Surgeon General Accepts "Hurtful" Weight Criticism

While we find the debate about Dr. Regina Benjamin's weight totally inappropriate, in the Good Morning America interview after the jump, Dr. Benjamin says that though the comments about her weight are "hurtful," her weight "should be an open dialogue."


In the clip above, Benjamin, who is being sworn in today as Surgeon General, says of the controversy, "I'm a woman. Just like everyone else, I want to be attractive. You don't want to see those negative things — people calling you names. So it was very hurtful." But rather than going after her critics for arguing that her weight disqualifies her from office, Benjamin says, "I'm just like 67 percent of Americans. I struggle with my weight just like they do." She identifies fighting the national obesity epidemic as one of her goals as Surgeon General and suggests that she'll work to lose weight along with the rest of the country.

Thankfully, Benjamin does challenge the idea that everyone who wears a "plus-size" is unhealthy. "Being healthy and being fit is not about a dress size," she says. "It's about how fit you are at that moment in time." We would have preferred something closer to Tyra Banks' "Kiss my fat ass" declaration, but that's probably not the tone Benjamin wants to set on her first day in office.

Earlier: Female Nominees Continue to Face Scrutiny Over Their Size, Weight


C. Everett Koop was a big guy. He didn't get called on his weight.