Newsletter #161: The War on Fat People


Hello Highlighters! Thank you for taking the plunge and opening this week’s issue. Today’s lead article, which focuses on our fat-shaming culture, explores how the worldwide obesity epidemic is not going to disappear by wishing fat people would go away. If that doesn’t interest you, I recommend Elizabeth Bruenig’s disturbing article about a young woman who bravely reports that she was raped — and about her friends and the authorities, who turn their backs on her.

I would love to hear from you! Say hello and let me know what you think. All you need to do is hit reply.

Everything We Know About Obesity Is Wrong

Kids as young as 3 describe their larger classmates as “lazy” and “stupid.” Nearly half of 5-year-old girls worry about being fat. Doctors cut their appointments short for their obese patients, telling them to eat less and go on a diet. But diets don’t work. For too long, the medical community has ignored mountains of evidence and has instead waged a futile war on fat people, poisoning public perception and ruining millions of lives. (30 min)

Michael Hobbes knows how to write: also see #83 and #124.

+ For more on our obsession with dieting, see #104#105, and #125.

I’m a Teacher in America

We know that teachers don’t make much. But they shouldn’t have to skip work because they don’t have enough gas to get to school. And they shouldn’t have to donate their blood plasma to make ends meet. This Time cover story explains the economic challenges teachers face. (10 min)

Teachers: Which of these 13 stories do you identify with the most? Hit reply and let me know!

A Girl Is Raped. Nobody Cares, Again.

When Amber Wyatt was a 16-year-old cheerleader in Arlington, Texas, she attended a party one Friday night and was raped. Despite significant physical evidence, her attackers said they didn’t do it. Her classmates turned against her. Authorities didn’t prosecute. This is normal, Elizabeth Bruenig reports. This is who we are. (36 min)

Jet Lag Doesn’t Have to Be a Drag

I’ve long argued that jet lag doesn’t exist, though my friends (and science) don’t agree. This article dispels some jet lag myths (for instance: staying awake doesn’t work) and confirms some jet lag truths (traveling East is way worse). But its biggest message: If there’s no way to beat jet lag, we might as well embrace it. (14 min)

Reader Responses: “Rich Teachers” (#159) has definitely struck a chord! It continues to elicit strong feedback. Loyal reader Denisewrites:

I love that Erin voiced that she hates Teachers Pay Teachersfor the SAME EXACT REASON I do!! I refuse to get on that website. Teachers, REGULAR TEACHERS should not ever HAVE to pay to get good content. I’m a fan of stealing. It’s no secret. I tell all teachers that the best teacher move is to steal steal, STEAL. Steal everything and anything. Get it off of Pinterest. Google it. Ask other teachers that teach the same content you do. However, the people with the money should ALWAYS pay the teachers.

Loyal reader Katherine offers an astute opposing view:

I LOVE Teachers Pay Teachers and follow a handful of my favorite “Teacher-authors” on Instagram. Two thoughts I have about this are: I love TpT because I’ll trust a teacher over a textbook company any day, and most teachers probably make a small sum from this work, and that probably makes all the difference for them in places where pay is atrocious. While that’s cool, what does it say about the value of our work? The age-old question.

Thank you for these responses, and thank you for reading this week’s issue of The Highlighter! Please tell me what you thought by using the thumbs below. Let’s welcome new subscribers Hansaand Courtney! If you value this newsletter, forward this issue (or all issues) to a friend. I would really appreciate it. On the other hand, if you’re not opening up this email too often, please unsubscribe. I’ll see you back here next Thursday at 9:10 am. Have a great week!