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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Romance with a little "Junk In The Trunk"!

Here is an interesting romance story from GREAT LOVER ROMANCES #3 in 1952
that looks at the touchy subject of love and looks, or more specifically, love and weight. It's called "TOO FAT FOR LOVE!" and features artwork by Myron Fass.

Over 60 years have passed since this story was first published, and since then some things have changed, while other things have not. People today, as then, still care how they are perceived and how they fit into the general society.Still the same, and probably even more so, is the prevailing trend of belittling or ostracizing anyone who doesn't meet our (or our peers) sense of what is acceptable. Someone who is overweight is considered to be "not as good" by those who do not suffer from such obvious physical  aberrations. Society at large has always held the overweight person in contempt, as an object of derisive humor, and ascribed the stigma of social outcast to such.

Conversely, the realist concludes that people come in all shapes and sizes, and as the old adage states, one "cannot judge a book by it's cover", and, again, "Beauty is only skin deep".These axioms remain with us throughout the generations because they hold true. 

How will this story deal with the issue?
Take a look and see for yourself...




Well, what do you think?

The story kind of "cops out", so to speak, by having our leading lady unable to find happiness while being overweight. No, instead she forces herself to fit into society's mold before she allows herself to realize any kind of romantic fulfillment. On the other hand, the character of Richard highlights the more welcoming understanding by professing his love for her even though she physically did not fit into the norm.

Surely today such a story could hardly be published, insofar as there is an acceptance in modern times that there exists a niche for practically any physicality or orientation imaginable...someone somewhere is going to desire you no matter how you look.

What did you make of the psychiatrist's prognosis, or his assertions? Did they hold any truth, or was it merely comic book psycho-babble?


  1. Ah, but society at large hasn't always held the overweight or obese person in contempt. Attitudes towards extra weight have varied greatly over time and across cultures. (The paintings of Reubens furnish a fairly well-known example of glorification of obesity.)

    We now live in an interesting time, as the various inclinations of the political left are pulling them in multiple directions when it comes to overweight. The desires to up-end conventional values and to offer inclusion to previously marginalized people pull them in one direction. The desire to attack material consumption, to regulate previously unregulated behavior, and to maintain and further develop a welfare state pull in the opposite direction.

    I loved and was in a long-term relationship with a woman who was obese. I didn't love her for the obesity any more than I would have loved her for some other sort of unhealthy consequence of substance abuse. But there were things about her that were more important to me that her weight problem. But make no mistake that it was a problem. She was (and probably still is) a case of type-2 diabetes or coronary failure waiting to happen. Her joints were strained as those of other women are not. Her chances of cancer are increased. Her chances of successful pregnancy were diminished. And sexual intimacy involved a greater logistic difficulty; some things were just impracticable. Fatness is often something to tolerate, but it's not really something to accept.

    Some people get fat as a result of equating food with love; other as a result of making a sad substitution without that equation. A significant share of women become overweight as a way of making themselves less attractive, exactly because they feel under sexual threat.

    But one point that needs to be driven home is that the laws of thermodynamics are no different for any human being. For any given pattern of food intake, any person can lose fat by increasing physical activity to some greater level. For any given level of physical activity, any person can lose fat given the same proportional composition of food intake by reduction of over-all intake below some level. Anyone who claims to have been “born to be fat” or to have a glandular problem needs to be told, forceful, that these truths remain. (I am not saying that people with weight problems should confront preaching; I am saying that people who make inappropriate excuses should have the inadequacy noted.) Beyond that, it's a d_mn'd good idea not to consume much in the way of simple carbohydrates, especially sugar.

    1. Daniel,
      Ah, yes, the Rubenesque woman! She is again esteemed in recent years, as she once was.

      I realized when I wrote these scan bookends that I had merely dipped an elbow into this deeper issue. Your point is well made, regarding the polarized and schizophrenic disunion in current culture regarding the overweight. As you allude, one faction rails against any unhealthy diet and promotes exercise while demonizing any who would not comply with their strict adjuring. The other extreme promotes unequivocal acceptance of all persons regardless of possibly perceived abnormalities. It seems the proper reaction in a given situation depends completely upon the leanings of those present (that is, if one were to base one's decisions solely upon peer approval). I, for one, have generally been able to look at individuals as the Bible says God might, looking at their heart, as it were, and not upon outward presentation or accoutrements. Your description of your relationship illustrates such a point of view.

      I also appreciate your concise summation concerning diet and weight loss. Though never extremely so, I have in the past needed to drop a few pounds and inches around the belt, and discovered, as you cited, that burning more calories than taken in will assuredly result in weight loss.It is reasonable logic, and you as an economist must find truth in the numbers (of calories in/out, that is). But, I still loves the junk food! Urg!

      Thanks for your insightful comment.