America the big takes on foreigners’ fat


There is a reason I have no desire to travel the world, see exotic places, and meet new and exciting people and it is this: new and exciting people who live in other places are strange.
To put it more succinctly, while otherwise sane and noble people are embarking upon yet another New Year’s resolution to lose weight (or try until, say, Jan. 15 at the latest), in Spain they are banning you from fashion runways if you refuse to gain some.
To note: “The fashion industry was rocked recently by Spain’s decision to ban underweight models from Madrid runways in an effort to promote healthy body weights. Advocates praised the move as a positive attempt to stem the rise in eating disorders.”
Ah, those wacky Spaniards. When they’re not being voluntarily trampled by bulls, they’re apparently running random checks of the body mass index of models in Madrid.
In a scathing rebuke, Cathy Gould, North America director for New York agency Elite, told journalists the ban was “outrageous and discriminatory.”
I couldn’t agree more. Certainly we all weep for the plight of the poor, misunderstood super model.
Faint. Meanwhile, back in the States, Americans know how to handle themselves: namely by completely overreacting and causing a scene. It seems that sick subway passengers, the majority of them dieters who faint from lack of nutrition, are among the top causes of train delays, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Obviously, they have no idea of the great strides in weight acceptance being made in Spain.
Indeed, after track work and signal problems, ill passengers rated among the main reasons for subway disruptions in 2006, according to an analysis of MTA statistics, AM New York reported Tuesday.
Dropping like a stone on the subway tracks because you missed a couple meals? THAT’S what I call dedication to a real weighty issue.
Meanwhile here in the Midwest, I’ve completely solved the issue of feeling bad about myself following senseless exposure to Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. Me, I get all my fashion advice from the Wal-Mart ads. For years, Wal-Mart has been featuring its employees and their families as models in its advertising fliers. The store saves money and gives some regular folks a chance at a little taste of fame. Imagine yourself in a Wal-Mart circular, wearing a pair of $7 denim shorts from China, smiling like you just won an Oscar. You’d be the envy of your neighborhood. At least until they lined the cat box with your page just to keep all that glory from going straight to your head.
Goodwill. Aside from the obvious goodwill created by the Wal-Mart program, there’s a more significant benefit for society as a whole. Gazing at models such as Karen, deli manager, and Jessica, sister of Brittany the customer service associate, a reader can sit up straighter, drop the bag of cheese-its and/or jumbo slurpie they’ve been sucking up, and exclaim in relief: “I can’t believe it. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? These women have HIPS!”
THAT is why you won’t hear OUR government sitting around worrying itself sick over underweight, well, ANYTHING.
Clearly, the only problem with those Spanish models is they need to spend more time in the United States.
And, quite possibly, Wal-Mart.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt has weightier topics to cover. She welcomes comments and suggestion via
;; or P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460.)


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.