It truly is a testament to our culture when we become so desensitized to diet commercials and weight loss advertisements that we stop questioning the effect they are having on our minds and souls in the long run. And when I picture the stereotypical “Lose Weight FAST” ad, I see an attractive, slim, neurotically happy man or woman standing next to a old picture of themselves when they were once overweight. The transformation of the internal self is just as enticing as a transformation of the external self, and just look at how these people’s lives have changed in every way for the better now that they aren’t fat.

Which is why Le’a Kent’s quote “The self is never fat,” stuck with me. We never view our inner selves as fat, because who wants to be fat if they have the choice to be skinny? Being fat is merely a transitionary period, where you may have been fat once and maybe you are now, but it’s not something that is a truly a part of who you are.

The idea that the fat body is a cage trapping the skinny body inside also fits well with the idea of transformation, a coming into (or out of) your own. It’s also a very American ideal, it fits nicely with the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” and classic American dream scenario, where anyone can change themselves if they take the right steps. And who doesn’t love a good makeover story? We love them because we think the people going through makeovers will be happy when its over. Look at them, all thin and beautiful, now their real life can begin. Because a makeover story would never end with someone staying overweight, it would go against everything we want for ourselves (if the makeover story should be us some day) and for others.

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