Thursday, August 02, 2007

Et tu, Dick Cavett?

My evolution from wannabe-thin-person to fat activist has been a long time coming. And I've lost a fair number of friends along the way, mostly people who for one reason or another could not, cannot accept the fact that people come in all shapes and sizes. Call it fatphobia, call it thin entitlement, call it self-loathing, call it prejudice of the rankest sort. Whatever you call it, it all boils down to judgmentalism.

So I don't know why Dick Cavett's rant in his New York Times blog should feel so especially and particularly mean-spirited and judgmental, but it does. Maybe because I used to like Cavett's TV show. He was witty in a way few other TV hosts were back then. So to have him tell the world now that, 1) it's not OK to be fat, and 2) fat people are "heavily larded folks", and 3) obesity is a "national tragedy," well, it feels like a betrayal.

It's the same feeling you get when you meet one of your favorite writers and he turns out to be an asshat. A nasty asshat who snarls at you, or--and this has happened to me--a sexist asshat who pats you on the head, calls you "doll," and asks for a cup of coffee.

Either way, it's like peeling off the jovial mask and seeing the hard face underneath.

And that's pretty much what Dick Cavett has done. To himself.

Mr. Cavett, you want to see ugly? Take a long, hard look in the mirror. Being thin does not mean being healthy. Being thin doesn't mean being attractive. Especially when such mean-spirited ugliness comes out of a thin person's mouth.

4 comments:

Mariellen said...

For my part, having been fat to one degree or another all my life, I've never based my like or dislike of a person on their looks. For me, looks come in in about 4th or 5th place. If there's no personality, sense of humor, honesty, integrity, and self-respect, I'm not interested in being friends. I've dated fat men and men who my friends considered ugly, but they were such awesome people on the inside that their outer shell didn't matter a hill of beans to me. Too bad Dick Cavett can't see that. He's missing out on knowing a lot of fantastic people that way.

Harriet Brown said...

He sure is.

I feel sorry for him, actually. That a man so smart, so sharp, so witty and wise, should in his elder years be reduced to crap like this--well, it's rather sad.

Deja Pseu said...

Harriet, for kicking asshat butt so well, I've tagged you as one of my favorite five Rockin' Girl Bloggers. Go here to find out more:
http://unefemmeduncertainage.blogspot.com/2007/08/moi-really.html#links

Harriet Brown said...

Flame deleted from troll and/or Dick Cavett himself.