Time & Newsweek Need Fat Kids, But What Do Fat Kids Need?


Michael McGough at the LA Times whoops up on Time and Newsweek for featuring fat kids on their covers:

Sure, Time and Newsweek come across as desperate smack fiends looking to score when they plaster obese children on their covers instead of facing facts, but I disagree with Michael McGough, whose argument says a lot about his childhood years:

Asking a fat boy to pose with a gargantuan ice cream cone is demeaning to him and to other chubby kids who might see the magazine — or have it brandished at them in the schoolyard. At least they didn't show him patting his belly or slobbering.

McGough seems to be saying that the best an overweight kid can hope for—that is, if he can't lose weight—is to be ignored. But why not give a fat kid his chance to shine? Slim kids get to do clothing ads for K-Mart catalogs, athletic kids get to star on the Disney Channel. Let the fat kid do his thing for the dying newsweeklies, but for Christ's sake—I'm talking to you here, Meacham and Stengel—put something slightly less filling on the cover.

Especially since the childhood obesity epidemic turned out to be something less than, er, an epidemic.

Tim Cavanaugh chews the fat here, in what may be Senior Editor Kerry Howley's favorite blog post of all time.