While it’s impossible to explore the complexity of obesity research fully, my hope is at least to raise the possibility that there’s another side to this story. Despite the bombardment of antiobesity campaigns, a mountain of research suggests that the drastic claims that fat is killing us are more problematic than you might expect.
These findings surprised J. Eric Oliver, author of Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America’s Obesity Epidemic. With a background in statistics, he set out during a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University to understand how the soaring rates of obesity and its catastrophic consequences could be handled politically. What he discovered surprised him: “Based on the statistics, most of the charges saying that obesity caused various diseases or that obesity caused thousands of deaths were simply not supported. Yet consistently, these pseudofindings were promulgated as fact.” Paul Campos reports a similar experience: “When I began researching this topic five years ago, I assumed the fact that being ‘overweight’ was a serious health risk was so well established that this aspect of the subject was hardly worth discussing. Yet in the course of plowing through dozens of books, hundreds of articles in medical journals, and countless interviews with medical and scientific experts, I discovered that almost everything the government and media were saying about weight and weight control was either grossly distorted or completely untrue.
The first single off Lavigne’s new Goodbye Lullabydidn’t disappoint. Perhaps inspired by her recent divorcefrom Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley, “What the Hell” is about kissing various people and blowing off societal expectations about monogamy. The song’s not without its problems … the lyrics are addressed to an unhappy main squeeze, which begs the question of how consensual their non-monogamy really is. Still, as with the Lou Christie classic "Lightnin’ Strikes," I hear it as an exploration of dating around rather than a glorification of infidelity.
I’m surprised at the question of the song’s position on fidelity being addressed as potentially politically (?) problematic (more in the post’s comments than main text). That concern strikes me as being more the province of different moralities. I don’t think it’s anti-feminist to cheat on a partner, is it? It’s not oppressive behaviour, it’s just lousy. Unless no-one cares, in which case it’s no-one’s problem.
Lyrics are literature. Certainly some morality play is permissible in that realm, especially when it comes to things which are of no consequence outside of the members of a specific relationship, right?
I fear that it may be fall-out from our celebrities’-personal-lives-obsessed culture of judgement that we might feel a need to police the relationship ethics of an artist, or the protagonist in an artist’s narrative. You might be mad at her if this song were about something going on between some friends of yours… but these people are not your friends. Who cares?