Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Vampire Theory

I've been completely traumatized by the Nightline debate, "Is it OK to be fat?" (it starts playing automatically, so be warned.) Yes, we had a nationally broadcast debate on whether or not it's OK that my body is the shape it is. Sometimes it's really embarrassing to be a human being.

The only reason I watched is that one of the participants was the awesome Marianne Kirby, who I've met at a book signing and have a mutual friend with. Since I couldn't make it in person, I figured I could at least watch it online. In pieces so I could only watch as much as I could handle throughout the day.

I still have post traumatic stress and start thinking of things I'd say to MeMe Roth if I were ever stuck in a room with her. MeMe, for those of you fortunate enough not to know, is a Manhattanite with fat parents and a fat grandmother. She has a certificate in nutrition from a diploma mill and has started her own organization (of one) to fight obesity. Sadly, this is enough for her to be treated as an expert in the media, even though she's been known to steal ice cream from the YMCA during an ice cream social and makes her children place all food they're given in school in a tupperware container to take home for her inspection. Her description of her diet and exercise regime suggest an eating disorder and in conversation, she comes across as crazy and irrational as she quotes studies that don't exist. I can't stand her, but I suspect her behavior is driven by a lot of emotional pain.

I think the politest thing I could manage to say to her would be a quote from a Republican ex-co-worker of mine. I told her about fundamentalist christians who picket new age bookstores and she said, "Some people need to go save a whale." Of course, MeMe would probably turn it into a fat joke, but that's her problem, not mine.

In the debate, MeMe did most of the talking and sounded irrational, the anti-fat author was clearly threatened by Fat Acceptance, which is understandable. Telling someone who's lost 200 pounds that diets don't work and there's a 95% chance that they won't be able to maintain their weight loss for 5 years is going to make them feel threatened and scared. I reacted the same way when I first heard about FA--I didn't want my hope taken away. Marianne and Crystal Renn came across as reasonable and intelligent and clearly won the debate.

Yet even though the only anti-fat debaters they could get didn't come across as reasonable, anti-fat sentiment and dieting culture is so pervasive that we're surrounded by people who foam at the mouth at the thought of a fat person spilling over into their space on airplanes or public transportation. People who talk about dieting constantly, or feel the need to comment on the caloric content of other people's meals. But these people don't see MeMe Roth talking crazy and start to rethink their views.

If crazy people agree with you, then maybe you're wrong.

Which leads me to my theory on the raging popularity of vampires, particularly vamps who don't kill people. There have been theories put forth that women and teen girls are attracted to the sexual restraint shown by these vamps. This makes sense since vampirism as a metaphor for sexuality. But...

I was watching Being Human and realized that Mitchell doesn't drink blood at all. He eats food, and probably meat, but no blood. And Angel only drinks pig blood, or human blood stolen from the hospital blood bank. The sparkly vamps only kill wild animals and go days if not weeks between eating.

Their self restraint is a turn on for some women because they're the ultimate dieters. See, we yo-yo diet because diets don't work, but we blame our failures on our own lack of self-restraint. And if Edward can keep from eating Bella even though she smells like a giant Twinkie to him, then we should be able to resist having a bite of our own birthday cake. These women don't want to have sex with abstinent vampires--they want to be them.

The sparkles and Angel and Spike all get by on animal blood, kind of like having a nutritious shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And even Spike can't take it without adding a little Wheetabix for texture.

In a season 2 episode of Being Human, Mitchell tries to make all the vamps stop killing since they need to be on the down low for a while. He actually tells them, "you will not feed," and holds up his own abstinence as an example that it's totally doable to unlive without nutrients.

I'm looking forward to the coming popularity of werewolves. Now those are some supernatural beings who know how to just dig in to a meal.

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