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Dear Obesity-Industrial Complex (the first in what will, no doubt, become a series)

25 August 2009

Dear Obesity-Industrial Complex:

It’s not that I don’t appreciate your efforts to save me from myself, but it occurs to me that all your proposed fat taxes might not be as wildly successful as you’d hoped.

I drink maybe two or three sodas a year — usually something exotic like the pink grapefruit-flavored Schweppe’s Agrume I can only get in Paris or the lurid, green tarragon soda they sell at the Armenian grocery stores in Watertown. So I can’t imagine that taxing soda will have that much of an impact on my lifestyle.

And, as for fast food, once you’ve counted the organic pork burritos at Chipotle or the whole-grain egg white flatbread sandwiches I buy at Dunkin’ Donuts or my yearly Lenten fish fillet sandwich at Wendy’s, it’s hard for me foresee fast food taxes causing more than a slight downward blip in my bottom line.

Given the rarity of these sorts of purchases in my life, it’s less likely that raising the price will dissuade me from junk food consumption and more likely I’ll start to think of these already sporadic treats as luxurious splurges, like the occasional glass of wine or box of fresh organic strawberries.

More than that, though, I know that your fat taxes won’t work because I’ve been paying even bigger levies than these for the last twenty years.

Every time I paid more for the larger version of an item of clothing from JJill, that was a fat tax of a sort. Every time I had to pay shipping and handling on a new pair of jeans from Old Navy because they refuse to carry plus sizes in their brick-and-mortar stores, fat tax. Every time I had to pay full price for a dress that my smaller-size friends could find deeply discounted on sale or at a thrift shop, you guessed it, fat tax.

And these are just the frivolous examples.

I’m sure there have been times when I’ve earned less money than my skinny co-workers who do the same job. That’s right, fat tax.

I know it’s a privilege to be able to pay for therapy to deal with the mental and emotional toll living as a fat person in the twenty-first century inflicts, but that’s yet another fat tax.

And I have to count my blessings that I’ve always had health insurance from my employer. Lots of my fellow fatties have to pay higher premiums or are denied coverage altogether.

I’ve already been taxed and taxed out my big, fat wazoo, and you know what, I’m still fat. So, before you go spouting off about how us fatties just need the right financial incentives to stop stuffing ourselves or start exercising or whatever your policy proposal du jour is, you might want to rethink your strategies.

Respectfully yours,

the pickyeater

One Comment leave one →
  1. 15 November 2009 23:34

    I send you punk rock belly love:

    Thank you for this, and the elephant in the room, and your general awesomeness.


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