ed disappoints me
December 11, 2002 09:15 PM

Tonight on one of my favorite television shows, Ed, the formerly smart and generally fabulous Mark decides to get gastric bypass surgery.

Agh. Of course, as angry as I was with the show, it's actually the actor himself who instigated the plot - after he had the surgery himself. But still. The actor is 24; I don't think my buddy Mark is even supposed to be 18. Bad form - Mark's fictional doctor doesn't manage to mention the huge potential side effects, the unknown possible impact to a young person's growth, metabolism, etc; though Mark sticks up against the surgery initially (citing the usual arguments), ultimately his concerned friends help him see the light.

The surgery discussion isn't the worst of the episode - honestly, that part is reasonably balanced. What's upsetting is that Mark, who is generally a together kid, is portrayed throughout the episode as the sort of uncontrollable overeater who downs a hot dog as an appetizer. As is his heart-attack-having father. And there's a subtle (or not so) undercurrent of "this is how fat people are".

Is starving yourself for the rest of your life the new, reasonable, price of cool? Of course, no one ever seems to mention the social downside - he may be more acceptably sized, but he'll never be able to even drink a whole beer at a time. Surely not being able to ingest much of anything is also a frustrating downside. I mean, what are the chances that a kid with a mini stomache will still be just as much of a freak as ever? Pretty high, I'd guess.

Take that and the comments on Paul's Emme doll article follow up, and this should be a bad day in fat town. A bad April day.

But it's temporary. I mean, it's still attention paid to the size acceptance movement, right?

I just can't help thinking gastric bypass is the next Phen-Fen. A flash in the proverbial pan. Of course, like every other failed weight loss technique, gastric bypass will succeed for a few people, kill a few others, and mostly just leave a bunch of fatter people in its wake.

Come to think of it, that sucks.

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