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Melissa McEwan on Weight Evangelist Jamie Oliver and his new show

Check out this fantastic Shakesville post on the weight evangelist Jamie Oliver, who "ends the premiere episode [of his new show] by crying because those goddamn fat ingrates don't appreciate him."

Thanks Melissa, for watching this garbage, so I don't have to.

Melissa plays some fat hate bingo, and I'm pretty sure she gets BINGO! for days:'s a quick summary: Headless fatties? Check. Enormous food stock footage? Check. OHNOES Obesity CrisisTM? Check. Being fat is ugly? Check. Fat people are lazy? Check. Fat people are stupid? Check. Fat people are sick? Check. DEATHFAT? Check. Mother-blaming for fat kids? Check. Fat as a moral failure? Check. Religious shaming of fat? Check. Fat people don't have "the tools" to not be fat? Check. Fat people need a skinny savior? Checkity-check-check!

I remember when I liked Jamie Oliver, when my mom bought me his book....long before he fat-suited it up. Little did I know he would be a mortal enemy.

Jamie Oliver, sacrificing his life so we might be forgiven our fat sins and given life anew. McEwan hits the nail on the head. He really does think he's skinny Jesus chef delivering us from evil.

A Fatshion Scholarship? Brilliant!!! | More on School Lunches

richie79's picture
March 27th, 2010 | Link | Jamie Oliver is absolute and

Wonderful Shakesville post and the comments did much to restore my faith in common sense and human decency. As a Brit can I start by apologising for the reprehensible scumbag that is Jamie Oliver and the fact that some misguided soul must have sold him a plane ticket so he could export his brand of fat hate disguised as health concern to the US. As I mentioned on the Forums a while back he's opening a new branch of his chain of Italian restaurants in my city next month (I bet if we booked a table our fatty obese-infected money would be perfectly good enough for him and his company) and were I braver and didn't stand to lose a great deal immigration-wise by acquiring a police record I'd be temped to take his appearance as an opportunity to stage a John Prescott-style ovoid protest (translation - lobbing an egg or two at his smug little self-righteous dial).

I'm not sure whether he sees himself as a skinny Jesus as much as he knows a bandwagon when he sees one and jumped on it at just the right point in the obesity moral panic to refloat a career that was in the doldrums after people started seeing through his 'pukkah' Mockney I'm-everybody's-mate-honest persona. Whatever his motives, he has absolutely no right to talk to or treat ANYONE, fourth-class non-citizens of the Labour compliance state or otherwise, the way he does, and his repeated dehumanisation of fat children and disrespect for the dead body of a fat guy in particular makes me want to do rather more than punch him on the nose. Repulsive excuse for a human being.

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny; when government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

withoutscene's picture
March 28th, 2010 | Link | Richie, before your faith in

Richie, before your faith in humanity is restored, Melissa McEwan and others on Shakesville write about fat-acceptance quite frequently and so her readers have learned not to spew bullshit on her posts for the most part.

Also, I didn't know about that autopsy thing. After seeing this I'm not sure I'd ever donate my body to "science" now.

richie79's picture
March 28th, 2010 | Link | @withoutscene - that

@withoutscene - that explains a lot; still an excellent takedown though. I can't believe I've not come across Shakesville before, but if it gives column space to FA writers I might have to become a regular reader. As for the medical science thing, I had a pretty low opinion of the sort of 'researchers' whose pseudoscience by press release daily pollutes an eager media with badly-argued fatphobic assertions based on data dredges and studies on rats as they take advantage of the climate of obesity hysteria and the resultant grants being waved under their noses for 'tackling' this topic. I'm not so bothered about how they treat my mortal remains (being atheist, it's not like I'll have any further use for them) but I categorically DO NOT want them wheeled out as a TV freakshow or used to further or promote anything that will increase discrimination or hatred against other, living fat people.

@Blissing, unfortunately liberals (using the modern US definition of the term) *can be* some of the worst offenders where fatphobia is concerned, which is all the more disappointing because I always think they ought to know better. Unfortunately most still see 'obesity' as either a disease of medicine or society - a pathological state rather than a natural variation - and are yet to make the connections with size, discrimination, identity politics and human diversity. Conservatives tend to see us us as moral failures and our size as an issue of personal responsibility, libertarians (classical 'liberals') respect individual rights and freedoms to be or do whatever you want provided it doesn't affect the same freedoms in others. Many left-leaning liberals, on the other hand, want to deploy their usual tools (big government, 'awareness campaigns', generally throwing lots of misappropriated money at things) in order to 'fix' us like they think they can fix everything else they consider a social problem. The Guardian, Britain's main 'progressive' newspaper, is a catalogue of patronising assumptions about 'what should be done', and a good number of the job advertisments it carries are for 'healthy weight promotion co-ordinators', 'child growth deviance researchers' and other busibodies whose purpose is to find a way to force, coerce, bribe or shame us all thin whether we like it or not.

@Bree - dead on as usual. I for one would still say 'thanks but no thanks, I'll eat what I like' in response to a similar campaign focused on promoting 'healthy diet', but at least I'd know it wasn't just us being singled out for the lifestyle lecture. We all know examples of thin people who have far 'worse' lifestyles than those several times their size, as after all should be their right in a free country, but then we also know that very few aspects of the obesity crusade, not least the 'belly telly' shows and 'reality' media element, have anything whatsoever to do with genuine concern about our health.

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny; when government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

blissing's picture
March 27th, 2010 | Link | I hate it when liberals buy

I hate it when liberals buy into this BS! Here's a thread on DailyKos that's ALL positive. I've posted a blurb from the Shakesville post to counteract, but I always feel like I'm fighting off 1,000 people.

Bree's picture
March 27th, 2010 | Link | I would bet you dollars to

I would bet you dollars to donuts that if Oliver was not so focused on fat, his show and his crusade would not get the press or the support. Good nutrition and overall health for everyone should be the main focus, but I sincerely doubt nobody would give a rat's behind if fat people were not being public targets for shame and scorn. Nobody seems to really give a damn about food unless we add fatties to the mix. Then it becomes the moral outrage of the world. Enough is enough.

pani113's picture
March 27th, 2010 | Link | Alternet had an equally

Alternet had an equally disgusting article as well. I really wonder if it isn't part of a PR campaign to get people to watch the garbage. Stories are planted all the time as a matter of course. But I went over and posted something at that pathetic Kos article about Oliver, the dingbat dieting demagogue! Some day, their karma will catch up with them. On the other hand, if his cooking is as bad as his critical thinking skills, no one would want to eat at all.

"Fat can be beautiful. Intolerance is ALWAYS ugly!"

Viola's picture
March 27th, 2010 | Link | I watched the show. I

I watched the show. I couldn't believe the crying and the poor me, I left my family to help these people and they don't appreciate me crap.

wednes March 28th, 2010 | Link | Really?

I've not checked out the show yet, but I did think it would be a great opportunity to bring a HAES mindset to the public at large. I'm sad to hear that he cried like Glenn Beck. Crocodile tears are the lowest weapon in the arsenal of a sideshow shill.

Alyssa March 30th, 2010 | Link | Fat Hatred Sells

Thanks for sharing this clip. Although I hate watching this stuff, it is important to know the thinking of the enemy in order to defend oneself. Fat hatred sells, at least, in the U.S. As some above mentioned, Oliver's career was on the skids,and he needed a new gimmick. I also forced myself to watch "The Biggest Loser" once. The fat hatred and shaming are criminal. The self-loathing of the fat participants is almost unbearable. Livestock are treated better than these people. These shows indicate what a significant portion of the U.S. population think about fat people whether these shows play upon previous prejudices or create nw ones. I was teased for being fat in school, and it was very hurtful, but think about how children and young people in the U.S. are now being persecuted in the name of the so-called "obesity crisis." This is shameful in an "enlightened" society. As mentioned above, even so-called liberals and progressives promote fat hatred. This should come as no surprise. In the 1960s and later, many so-called liberal groups that espoused equal rights for minorities and women were headed by---white men. It has taken decades in the U.S. for this to begin to change.

Kunoichi April 2nd, 2010 | Link | Sociological Images has

Sociological Images has featured this as a guest post.

The comments are... not as bad as they could be. Some FA and HAAS commenters are on there, but there's a few that will dip into one's store of sanity saver points.

CarrieP's picture
April 5th, 2010 | Link | Well I finally watched the

Well I finally watched the show and I have to say that it wasn't really that bad. Yes, there are headless fattie shots at the beginning, yes, there is some talk of obesity automatically equaling ill health, but by and large the show was really about the benefits of whole, real, actual food over the processed crap that many people eat now. I fully support the idea of choosing whole foods over processed foods, and if Jamie Oliver can make that work in an institutional setting like that elementary school, all the better. Just because this is the way we're doing things now and it works (though whether it's really working is an arguable point), doesn't mean there isn't a better way.

The one big problem I see with the project is that Jamie is setting himself up to be the outsider coming in and telling everyone what they're doing wrong. Change is so much easier if you can get everyone on your side and moving in the same direction, and the way he is going about it is like fighting an uphill battle. I get how it must be frustrating to encounter so much resistance and animosity from the people he is working with, but he really has no one but himself to blame for that one.

CarrieP's picture
April 6th, 2010 | Link | Then again, episode 2 has a

Then again, episode 2 has a sequence where he takes a fat family to the hospital and gets a kid tested for diabetes and then unleashes the dad on the kid and the dad is all "we're gonna get you to lose a lot of weight, and you're gonna have to have a lot of willpower and we're gonna be strict on you" and ooooohh boy does that make me want to go postal on somebody...

Come the fuck on Jamie Oliver. Don't let your stupidity about weight get in the way of the promising goal of healthy food in schools. That part was a *good* idea.

MReap April 15th, 2010 | Link | An update on Oliver's

An update on Oliver's crusade

Jamie Oliver

The whole article is a bit hit and miss but does cover the Oliver debacle well.

vesta44's picture
April 15th, 2010 | Link | Here is Melissa McEwan's

Here is Melissa McEwan's take on how well JO has succeeded with his revamp of the school lunch program (can we say "not at all" and may well end up costing the school district their federal funding because he can't meet the program requirements). Yeah, he's doing a bang-up job all right (/sarcasm).

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

richie79's picture
April 16th, 2010 | Link | I'm not particularly

I'm not particularly surprised, since it hasn't exactly been a roaring success here in the UK either, and that's in a country and within an administrative and political system JO was familiar with. As his reforms began to bite and a lack of options and inflated prices for smaller portions became the norm, many kids switched to packed lunches brought from home. Of course, the food police responded to that with the lunchbox contraband searches I mentioned earlier, in order to reinforce their authority and ensure these were every bit as bland and unappealing as the school food had become, but it still doesn't exactly indicate that the program has been a roaring success, and he remains a very divisive figure here because of it.

"When people fear the government, there is tyranny; when government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

Kunoichi April 17th, 2010 | Link | Just found this article

Just found this article (dated March 25) that I found quite interesting.

Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food Control

wriggle99 April 17th, 2010 | Link | I think the point possibly

I think the point possibly being missed is that this whole debacle is just as much-if not more IMHO- of healthism, and the idea that the children of those of low income are fatter because they don't understand how to cook. Jamie Oliver, a skilled cook can't operate in these types of guidelines either.

Individualising his failure, serves as a way of keeping up those pretentions, which are shared let's face it by many in FA.

I have to disagree with what you said Richie about inflated costs, for that read, true costs of food that isn't the byproduct of the industrial food machine. The reason why the children of the poor are fed crap is because we as socities choose not to make the investment in better food. That's another thing that is never acknowledged.

Above all, what we have here is an experienced and skilled cook who cannot create school lunches that follow modish dietary guidelines, that suggests at least the probability that very few if anyone is, so that rather undermines the pretence that we know how to feed to prevent obesity.

To me things like this are more important that what an ass/fatphobe Jamie Oliver may or may not be.

Tobysgirl April 18th, 2010 | Link | I just read that the New

I just read that the New York City Board of Education has listed 27 acceptable snacks, and homemade goods at bake sales are out. The acceptable snacks include Pop-Tarts and Doritos. Unbelievable.

I am a product of Calvinistic healthism (and undiagnosed hypothyroidism). I think what we need to teach children is how to appreciate good food, to distinguish it from crap, and not be food police. When you forbid cookies, candy, etc, you give them a shining glamour that they never possessed on their own. My sister stole a loaf of white bread from the neighbors!

Since we cannot expect that all parents enjoy cooking and will teach their children about good food, this is a role that schools can serve. Adelle Davis wrote decades ago about schools that served whole foods to students who gobbled them up. In my own experience, my nephew drink raw milk at my house, having always insisted on chocolate milk previously. Children do not particularly like the taste of cooked (pasteurized) milk. He also asked for more scrambled eggs, another food he would not eat at home, because our eggs were from our own hens and tasted delicious instead of weird like factory eggs do. Eggs and milk are fine foods for children who tolerate them; people have been eating eggs and dairy for millennia. They have NOT been eating Doritos and Pop-Tarts for millennia.

This is what gets me about the low-fat arguments. Fat, as long as it is not rancid or trans (another factory phenomenon), is something humans have eaten for our entire evolution. It gives us a feeling of satiety, which we do not get when we eat Snackwells and low-fat Doritos. It is the industrial creations of the past 150 years that have gotten us into trouble, not fundamental, basic foods. And by the way, I was watching Globe Trekker today, and a lot of those women in Senegal and Cape Verde are kinda chunky. Do you think they make themselves silly over their weight?

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