Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Women's and Gender Studies



Publication Title

The Common Reader


That we obsess about fat is evident. We have only to note our $60.5 billion weight loss industry in the United States, the 179,000 weight loss surgeries performed every year, or the annual BMI (Body Mass Index) report cards that many states, including my own Pennsylvania, send home for all K-12 children. Or we could turn to our First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, launched in 2010 to “combat the epidemic of childhood obesity” because the “security of our nation is at stake.” She even appeared—twice!—on the long-running television show The Biggest Loser, working out with Bob Harper in the White House, demonstrating how to do jumping pushups. “Michelle Obama is what no excuses is all about” he intoned, suggesting that those participants who collapse, cry, or vomit in their failed attempts to lose weight are, indeed, losers.


For more information on the published version, visit The Common Reader's Website.