Believe it or not, I also follow blogs outside of the fatosphere (god, I still loathe that term), and have been following Sundry Mourning since we were both blogging over on Diaryland. I’m still a DINK (for the moment, anyway) while she’s had two very adorable boys, which I guess makes her a DITK. I guess you could call her a Mommyblogger (but I wouldn’t do that to her face, as she might just kick your ass for it. I’ve met her. She’s nimble) but apparently that’s not the only thing that sets us apart. Recently, she received an email from someone identifying themselves as a professor at the Xi’an University of Science and Technology in the Shaanxi province of China. The teacher explains in the e-mail that:
My students’ perception of the American family can be quite extreme and I am planning a lesson to introduce them to the many varieties of families that can be found in the US. I’ve been looking through 30+ pages of your blog on suggest from a friend, and I would love to feature your family as one that: is not obese or otherwise unhealthy, partially relies on childcare outside of the home, actively chooses to keep a family size that is manageable without government assistance, is without religious fervor and is centered around a healthy marriage.
While the author of the e-mail doesn’t specifically state this, it seems as though they are trying to counter specific concerns that his/her students have brought up in class. Some of the issues are obviously cultural differences between China and the US that would be interesting to the students of a Western Studies class, but the ordering of the concerns really stood out for me, especially considering that China bans adoptions to non-Chinese if they have a BMI above 40 and is one of two countries that I know of to have instituted official bans there are stories of people being denied adoptions in England and Australia for high BMIs, but I’m not finding any official decrees about BMI limits for either country).
I’m fine with having Sundry represent a typical American family (mostly because I enjoy imagining their reaction to her wicked bicep tat), but I’m very perplexed by the idea that fat people are singled out as being outside of the norm, meanwhile an entire country is convinced that we are an entire nation of fat families. Who is in denial there?
Meanwhile, the Chinese are fighting (or enjoying) the reverse stereotype.
Posted by Weetabix