Crimes of Fat and Fashion

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The U.K.'s Daily Mail has been running a must-read, hard-hitting series on well-fed men who bare their ample, pasty British torsos in the summer heat, prompting a "wave of revulsion" in the sea power that was. Now the paper is taking credit for a local movement to have all topless men labeled "anti-social" and forced to cover up. The justification? Slow-moving, bubble-and-squeak-scarfing, male breast-baring Brits "look aggressive and occasionally behave aggressively."

It's a mystery to me how anyone who eats and drinks in the U.K. can avoid being as fat as, say, the scale-tippers in our own fattest state. But the big men of Britain can keep this in mind as they sadly layer up: Britain, like the rest of the developed world, is getting fatter by the minute, and the shrill skinny will be overrun soon enough.

The Daily Mail's "gallery of topless men" is here.

NEXT: Attn, DC Reasonoids: Happy Hour, Thurs., 7/27 at 6:30PM

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  1. They’re going about it the wrong way. If a dude has furniture disease, he should not be adding more layers of clothing. He needs to be exposed to more cold, which burns calories. Perhaps they should mandate an air conditioner in the offender’s house with the setting at about 59 degrees. The fat just melts away!

  2. They’re going about it the wrong way. If a dude has furniture disease, he should not be adding more layers of clothing. He needs to be exposed to more cold, which burns calories. Perhaps they should mandate an air conditioner in the offender’s house with the setting at about 59 degrees. The fat just melts away!

  3. They’re going about it the wrong way. If a dude has furniture disease, he should not be adding more layers of clothing. He needs to be exposed to more cold, which burns calories. Perhaps they should mandate an air conditioner in the offender’s house with the setting at about 59 degrees. The fat just melts away!

  4. We should also make it illegal for teenagers with bad acne to show their faces in public.

  5. I’ve been fighting for a maximum BMI limit in order to purchase spandex for years. At least this is a step in the right direction. Baby steps, baby steps. We will win this insidous battle against ugly if we stick together.

  6. I think you should use that last topless picture for your Valentines subscription ad. It would make a good bookend with the carpet humper.

  7. Sooooo…if we put SHIRTS on aggressive people, they’ll calm down. Why didn’t we think of this before!? Shirts!!! I guess that’s why they make me put one on when I go into the 7-11.

    See? Yet again, convenience stores are way ahead of their time. First with the surveillance cameras, now this.

    “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Freedom”

  8. It turns out that a grossly fat world population led to world peace and total enlightenment in 2417. It would’ve happened hundreds of years earlier but for all the people trying to prevent obesity. This movement reached its nadir in 2080 with the Fat Farm Death Camps.

    Just thought you should know.

  9. I think those guys are all pretty damn hot, extra fat or no.

  10. According to the expert quoted in the “fattest state” article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4436638.stm) linked to above, slavery is to blame for Mississippi kicking ass in the obesity olympics. If reparations do ever get off the ground, they probably should include free gym memberships.

  11. Hay lance, how you doin?

  12. It turns out that a grossly fat world population led to world peace and total enlightenment in 2417. It would’ve happened hundreds of years earlier but for all the people trying to prevent obesity. This movement reached its nadir in 2080 with the Fat Farm Death Camps.

    Just thought you should know.

  13. A couple of years ago my city was declared the fattest metropolitan city in the U.S. Coincidentally, that same year my county was declared the fattest county in the state. My sister and I were joking back then that any day they would declare our street the fattest street in the U.S., and before we knew it, ours the fattest house on the fattest street, etc. etc.

    …At the same time I think we were both secretly frightened by the possibility.

  14. In all seriousness, wouldn’t a fat, out-of-shape guy be LESS threatening than a buff man in good shape? Who would you rather have threatening to kick your ass: Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1984, or Walter Hudson of the same era?

  15. Pro Libertate of A.D. 2838, give a shoutout to John Titor for me.

    😀

  16. I spent a summer in London a few years ago, and I was unpleasantly surprised by the large number of shirtless, pasty, beerbellied men that appeared every time the temperature reached moderately warm. I’m from the South, and even down in Dixie the men have the decency to at least wear their skivvy shirts on the hottest days. That said, I wouldn’t support a prohibition for England.

  17. OK, I’e spent the last three weeks here in England and I can say two things: First, Sage, they haven’t invented air conditioning here yet. Second, the incidence of unaceptably fat people here is clearly a fraction of what it is back home.

  18. Apparently the server squirels at Reason de-Central (Libertarians are opposed to central control 🙂) must also be fighting lard but syndrome, considering what they did to Sage + P and the future rendition of Pro Libertate (or his flux capacitor is out of alignment). Having visited family in Cambridge, England a few years ago, I can attest to the lack of AC, though thier May/June weather is more like our (Texas) Late February/March/Early April weather.

    I noticed that last week Gatwick outside London posted an all-time record high temperature, and they were closing schools & businesses due to the heat: 92 F. This at a time that Texas and the rest of the SW US was crowding 110 F. 92’s like a winter day in Houston.

  19. Britain, like the rest of the developed world, is getting fatter by the minute, and the shrill skinny will be overrun soon enough.

    It’s not the skinny that are disappearing, it’s the average. When I walk around New York on a hot, summer day, I see just as many hardbodies as lardasses. There’s a sports club every couple blocks. Many of my tubbiest coworkers are slimming down at an alarming rate, and are making a habit of pointing out the bad choices I make for lunch. One half of my fellow New Yorkers walk around clutching a donut at all times; the other half don’t leave home without their gym bag.

  20. Sorry, mediageek, but John Titor was a little before my time. Though I respect his pioneering efforts with what we like to call “stone knives and bearskins”. No offense.

  21. It’s not the skinny that are disappearing, it’s the average. When I walk around New York on a hot, summer day, I see just as many hardbodies as lardasses. There’s a sports club every couple blocks. Many of my tubbiest coworkers are slimming down at an alarming rate, and are making a habit of pointing out the bad choices I make for lunch. One half of my fellow New Yorkers walk around clutching a donut at all times; the other half don’t leave home without their gym bag.

    Rhywun,

    My take: it’s because exercise and eating are habit-forming behaviors. (Some may call them “addictions”.) Having been on either side at different times in my life, I can say that when I worked out, I worked out religiously. It’s generally a lot harder (and not as worthwhile) to exercise infrequently and irregularly than it is to exercise with regularity and routine. Likewise, I’m sure a lot of people have trouble having just one little chocolate donut, because “once you pop, you can’t stop”, and so forth. It takes an uncommon amount of thoughtful control to say, “yes, I will have one cupcake” rather than “bring on teh snax”, as is likewise required to say, “I will work out to stay healthy” rather than “OMG I spent a grand on this gym membership, I have to look like a hot GQ guy now”. My best guess is that it is a combination of people being creatures of habit (which leads to excess), and also not wanting to be average but to stand out in some way (and, ironically, fitting a common stereotype at either end of the spectrum).

  22. Wouldn’t sequestering all that extra carbon as human fat help reduce global warming?

  23. Al Gore, that’s a great idea. Then we could use all of those fat people to address the rest of the world’s malnutrition.

    I’m going home.

  24. smacky,

    As one who finds exercise ranking on the “fun scale” at somewhere around having my teeth pulled, I’ll just have to take your word for it.

  25. Next on the Discovery Channel: “England: From Ruling Half the World to Covering Up Moobs.”

  26. one culture one pursuit . one pursuit one habit . one habit one life.

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