What if liposuction was replaced with heavy Botox injections for the corporate elite?

Like fillyjonk over at Shapely Prose, I have some problems with Barbara Ehrenreich’s recent piece, “Liposuction: The Key to Energy Independence.”

To begin with, the insinuation that oil is mere “corpse juice” is erroneous. This claim and its attendant screech “the oil is running out, the oil is running out” of course keeps big oil in BIG, BIG money though. Hence, don’t expect to be hearing the truth about oil from the MSM anytime soon. Don’t expect to hear the real reasons oil is so costly or how alternative, sustainable energy has been squashed like an irritating bug by the corporatists. (Unless, perhaps you read/see this, this, or this.) Now, I am by no means an oil expert, but the media analyist and government skeptic in me knows that there is more to the whole oil story than meets the eye…

Oil misinformation aside, my other big problem with the piece is its anti-fat sentiment. Trading in tired misconceptions about the so-called “obesity epidemic” in the USA, Ehrenreich suggests liposuction would be a good a way to bring about energy independence. I am wondering: why not focus instead on the rich-get-richer epidemic? How about rather than noting “Thirty percent of Americans are obese” without even mentioning the medicalization of normal bodily variation (let alone that being what is called ‘overweight’ is no more dangerous (or safe) than being what is called ‘underweight’) Ehrenreich talked about the fact that class inequality in our nation is far more damaging to one’s health than adipose tissue?!?

Referring to “liposuctionable body fat,” Ehrenreich equates fatness with abnormality and over-consumption. Yes, she is trying to be funny, I get it. But her “patriotic rationale for packing on the pounds” reads like yet another diatribe by someone of body-normative privilege berating those who didn’t inherit the skinny gene. How would it sound if we flipped the script and Ehrenreich suggested liposuctioning the bank accounts of the global big wigs who control energy (and public perceptions about it) so their own billions keep accumulating? Better yet, how about instead of liposuction we gave these corporate elites heavy Botox injections – so heavy that the facial paralysis would lead to them being unable to spread lies that justify bleeding us dry at the pump? (For a reminder of the facial paralysis effects of Botox, see Sarah Haskins hilarious video “Target Women: Botox” here.)

While Ehrenreich claims her solution would bring about “fat pride,” her column trades in fat-phobia while failing to consider the real issues behind the so-called energy crisis. Maybe she should go back to her earlier, wonderful work in Nickel and Dimed and consider how poverty is far more unhealthy than fat…


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