Many of the causes of obesity are accidental and unintentional. Manufacturers of Sweetsy-Sodsy™, Calo-Pops™, and Super-Sugary-Pastry™ don’t sit in their top-secret labs plotting to make you fat. They may or may not be culpable of negligence and lack of conscience, but they don’t particularly want to make you fat—as long as you buy their products and fatten their wallets, they don’t care what you do.
In marked contrast, there is one organized group specifically dedicated to expanding our waistlines: The Society for a Fat America. This society, founded by Michael M. Finnie in 1988, actively and deliberately encourages all Americans to become fatter.
Finnie argues that the sphere is the most perfect human shape:
Every geometer knows that the sphere is the perfect shape. Every other shape desires and longs for the perfection of the sphere. The human form is no different. This has been recognized in every culture and in every time. Look, for example at Aristophanes’ story in Plato’s Symposium.1 The original human state, where we rivaled the gods in power, beauty, and wisdom, was the sphere. Our present, sadly diminished form, is a punishment from the jealous gods.
Furthermore, if the soul is in every part of the body,2 then to have a larger body is to have a larger soul. By becoming ever fatter and fatter, we increase in perfection, making our souls ever greater.3
While largely unknown, The Society for a Fat America seeks to advance its goals by a series of youtube™ videos “extolling the many benefits of weight gain.” They also have worked with television producers to encourage them to produce shows featuring fat Americans, or, in Finnie’s words: “celebrating those who have already advanced far towards bodily perfection.”4
Public domain image, “Die dick seyllerin,” available at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Die_dick_seyllerin.jpeg.
- 189c-189d. ↩
- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1, q. 76, a. 8. ↩
- John G. Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks: , (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2008): “You have noticed that everything an Indian does in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything and everything tries to be round” (155). ↩
- See also the following quatrain from Edward Lear’s “How pleasant to know Mr. Lear,” in The Complete Nonsense Book (1912):
“He has many friends,↩
lay men and clerical,
Old Foss is the name of his cat;
His body is perfectly spherical,
He weareth a runcible hat.”