Chris Christie plans to lose weight, the New Jersey governor says, after a week of distractions related to his size in the media have eclipsed the more relevant news from his state. So can we please leave the man alone already when it comes to weight loss? Jeez!
Chris Christie is often the punchline of fat jokes, with web jokesters and late night comedians dubbing him “Chris Crispy,” “Christie Cream,” or “Governor Fat Fatty,” and it’s oft been speculated that sizeism stands between the popular and outspoken GOP star and a White House bid.
And whatever political issue you take with Chris Christie, picking on his weight in any meaningful way (we’ve been guilty of it in the past) is not a fair critique, as it’s clear Christie’s work stands on its own as a strong show of his ability. Christie, love him or hate him, is not afraid to put people ahead of party and call out shameful behavior in a bipartisan fashion.
Chris Christie’s weight issue became a headline again this week when a doctor (with whom Christie is not a patient) somewhat inappropriately commented on his health absent of an examination of the portly politico, going so far as to speculate his life was in danger and upsetting the governor’s young son. It’s sad that such an incident seems to have sparked Christie’s commitment to change his eating habits, but it has also often been said that America would “never elect a fat president.”
Bill Palatucci is a Christie adviser, and Detroit News quotes the governor’s friend as saying that Christie’s weight and Christie’s fitness to serve are two different things:
“I refuse to put it in political terms … He’s my friend first and foremost. I want to see him lose weight for himself and his family.”
Palatucci says that Christie’s struggle with the issue of obesity is one to which many constituents can relate and adds:
“In many ways to most New Jersyans, it’s an endearing quality. It’s why this guy is genuine … He readily admits he has a problem that he’s been struggling with for 30 years.”
But the furor over Christie’s weight is kind of an encapsulation of the paternalistic attitude America has about weight loss and health, and the institutionalized stigma against fat people as a whole. No one but Chris himself and his personal doctors know in actuality how healthy he is, and far more pressing issues should be at the fore when conversation is held back by this distracting “issue.”