As far as Dr. Oz’ pathetic attempt to “understand what it is like to live as a fat person,” he’s surely no John Howard Griffin. Griffin literally risked his life (and eventually lost his life) because of his expose (which was eventually turned into the book Black Like Me) which revealed how difficult life was as a black person in America.
Griffin’s life was threatened more than once when he revealed these truths. In the end, the process he used to darken his skin irreparably damaged his liver.
I’m not saying that Dr. Oz has to go to the extremes that John Howard Griffin did. But it would be nice if he actually listened to the marginalized population that he was studying rather than simply continuing to make the same assumptions about them.
Dr. Oz (of “I was flabbergasted” by evidence that is clearly in the literature fame) has donned a fat suit. First I will say that I appreciate any goals he had around gaining empathy for what it’s like to be a fat person in the current culture. It can certainly be problematic to “dress up” like someone who is part of a marginalized population for a short time to try to understand what it’s like to be them, especially when there are many, many reports from actual fat people about what it’s like to be fat people. Even assuming that he went into it with good intentions , there are other issues that are very problematic.
“‘I’ve been in some difficult situations in my life, but this i think will be the most difficult. My arms are heavy, my legs are heavy.’
This is the same mistake…
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