Society does not accept or celebrate obesity

To the Daily:

I am writing in response to Sowmya Krishnamurthy’s last
column (Some food for thought, 03/26/04) While I agree with
the author’s opinions on the seriousness of the obesity
epidemic and the need to approach this problem in a new way, I find
serious alarms in her suggestions that “society has given the
obese the right to be victimized.”  She suggested that
the mantra of “beauty comes in all sizes no matter
what” is a thinly veiled excuse to perpetuate obesity.

Speaking as in individual who is classified as
“obese,” I prickle at the notion that society accepts
and celebrates my weight problem. I would invite Krishnamurthy to
put on her “fat hat” for a moment and rethink her
position. Especially for young girls, being overweight causes
deeply powerful self-esteem problems that can translate into other
more immediately threatening destructive behavior. Being teased for
being larger — from being called “Hungry Hippo”
as a child to “Dee-Bo” as a young adult — did not
help me or any other obese person want to lose weight. In fact, it
made me feel completely horrible about my physical appearance and
subsequent worth as a human being. Yet the teasing seems to align
itself with the author’s insistence of a sense of
“tough love” for the fatties. I can think of few
instances where bullying or “demanding” individual
responsibility for a weight problem has truly inspired an
overweight person to lose weight. That “tough love”
attitude only perpetuates that which it hopes to destroy; by making
an overweight person feel disgusting and disgraceful for his health
problems, you make him feel like less than a person — food
often becomes a double-edged solace.

Instead, more people should focus on making the obese population
feel validated by showing them they are beautiful and
desirable, no matter what YM or Seventeen magazine say. The obese
population can only attempt to change their health problems
beginning from a base of encouragement and renewed self-esteem.
Learning to truly feel good about myself and my size was the first
step in my weight loss program and the most important. The messages
of self-love I received from people like Queen Latifah or comedian
Mo’Nique helped me feel motivated and confident enough to
improve my health. I knew that no matter what, I would always be
beautiful, after accepting this, I then began to want to change
my health for me.

In  conclusion, I would hope Krishnamurthy considers the
merit of teaching self-love and appearance confidence for
overweight people. After all, there are some obese people out there
who are trying to change their health, but are still big, beautiful
and loving it.

Kelly Andrea Sheard

LSA sophomore


Sexual message, not politics, result in bans

To the Daily:

I’d like to respond to Sravya Chirumamilla’s column
(Where is my freedom of expression?, 03/24/04) regarding the
Parents Television Council’s attempts to “control what
you know.” My first comment is that Brent Bozell is not
trying to control knowledge; he is trying to encourage people to
decide how they get this knowledge.

Secondly, I enjoy the songs that were banned, but the graphic
content of the music videos is just not necessary to get the
message across, as there are other videos that portray fruitless
love where the singer is wearing more than glitter. I do wonder why
MTV pulled Incubus’s song because that does seem to be a move
to suppress a political view, but please explain how Maroon
5’s graphic nudity is a political statement. Also, Howard
Stern was not removed from the air because of his political
messages, but rather because of his sexual references.

At what point do music videos and talk shows become too explicit
to be broadcast, then? There is a fine line between pornography and
“artistic expression.” It is difficult to decide
what is clean enough, which is why I advocate that guidelines be
written with clear lists and references to banned content. While
the parents are partially responsible for controlling their kids,
parents are not omnipresent, and the media should be kept
responsible for what is being broadcast.

Additionally, please explain how Stern and these music videos
are “youth programs.” What important information
do they provide for 13-year olds?

Finally, I’d like to thank Chirumamilla for her column,
because I am now a PTC member.

Lauren Montgomery

LSA junior


University is more than just classes and buildings

To the Daily:

Laura Davis’s letter (‘U’ should provide
academic instruction, not unrelated student services, 03/25/04)

about how tuition should be spent is wrong. A university or
college is not just for the buildings, the classes and the
lecturers. It is to provide education of all kind. Our courses
within our concentration limit the field of what kind of knowledge
we have. These are, of course, important to determining what our
professions are, but we need groups to educate us about the world.
I did not come to the University to strictly learn about what is
taught in my classroom. I came here to get a better understanding
of the world. I’m not active in most groups on campus, nor do
I support most of them, but I believe they should receive the money
I pay so that I may have the opportunity to learn from them. My
money is for my higher education, which transcends the boundaries
of my syllabuses. I do not agree with Davis when she says,
“These groups are wrong.” They are not wrong, but there
for our benefit. They provide the same education that I might take
from her group as well. Would she like it if I said that Young
Americans for Freedom is wrong?

I fully support all groups that provide me with a better
understanding and more knowledge, whether or not I agree with their
beliefs. I hope in her last year, Davis may gain some useful
knowledge to make up for her three years wasted here.

Jeremy Curtis

LSA sophomore


Tom Cruise wore ‘tighty-whities,’ not

To the Daily:

In the March 24 paper, you had a picture of someone
impersonating Tom Cruise from the movie “Risky
Business” on your cover. I am outraged that your paper would
put such a poor impersonation picture on your cover. Throughout my
four years at the University, I have faithfully read your paper
almost every day because of the quality material you put out. But
113 years of editorial freedom is no excuse for that picture. The
impersonator had on a tie, an unbuttoned shirt and was wearing
boxers. In “Risky Business,” Tom Cruise had no tie, his
shirt was buttoned and was wearing “tighty-whities,”
not boxers. In the future please show better judgment when choosing
cover pictures.

Paul Batkins

Engineering junior

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