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Grease Ball —

September 21, 2012

Trigger warning: Brief mention of weight loss, dieting and anorexia.

General warning: This post features Mitt Romney saying stupid shit. Yes, it’s relevant to Fierce Fatties, and yes, I will probably say uncomplimentary things about Mittens. Bear in mind, that I have also written about Michelle Obama in unflattering ways as well. However, Mitt Romney is a special animal and deserves extra special treatment, so if you hate reading liberals rant about rich guy conservatives, then this is not the post for you. This post reflects the opinions of Shannon/Atchka and not Fierce, Freethinking Fatties. Fair warning.

As a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and an ardent supporter of President Obama, I have been giddy with perverse delight at the spectacle of Mitt Romney’s slow-motion train wreck of a campaign.

Personally, I think Mitt Romney is an empty suit. I couldn’t agree more with JSmooth, who describes Romney as a Zelig-like candidate in this excellent video (for the life of me, I cannot find who originally shared this with me, but thank you again) on why a Romney presidency should scare the crap out of you, despite his milquetoast demeanor.

I couldn’t agree more. I think Mitt Romney will say and do anything to appeal to the broadest swath of his current target audience, even if it doesn’t correspond with previous comments he has made with previous audiences.

Add to this the fact the extreme stances he has taken both during the primary (in order to appeal to a skeptical base) and on his own terms with regards to immigrants, the GLBTQ community, the military, women, the elderly and just about any group that isn’t comprised of rich, white males, and I already find the guy utterly insufferable.

And as if I didn’t need any more convincing that Mitt Romney is a shallow, callow, selfish douchebag, I just heard a rather unimportant, yet telling, interview with him that makes me want to swap out his bottle of conditioner with a bottle of Nair.

Recently, Mitt and Ann Romney took part in a pre-recorded interview with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Live with Kelly and Michael. As Rachel Maddow pointed out two days ago, September 19, pre-recorded interviews are often softball interviews by necessity, since discussing timely issues (i.e., how 47% of the population are moochers) becomes impossible.

Eager to publish something unrelated to Mitt’s steady stream of unforced errors, Fox News published the most important question that Ripa and Strahan asked the presidential candidate: “Does Mitt Romney prefer Snooki, or Honey Boo Boo?”

For those blissful few who assume they must be talking about some new children’s cartoon, Snooki is the former star of the recently-canceled reality show Jersey Shore, a paean to self-absorption and ignorance. Snooki is also famous for her “weight battle” (aka weight cycling), and is frequently mocked for her weight, which has fluctuated between 90 and 110 pounds. Because she’s only 4’9″, the fluctuations are frequently commented on in our tabloid culture.

As a result, her loss and regain have been featured regularly in supermarket aisles, like the time she became the spokesperson for Dr. Siegal’s cookie diet in 2010 and Zantrex in 2012. Based on the timeline, Snooki was using Zantrex, a 320 mg caffeine weight loss supplement, when pictures of her weight loss spread just after Christmas 2011. On March 7, Snooki announced she was pregnant and had been for 15 weeks, which puts her conception around November 23. And in a March 25th tabloid story, Snooki was supposedly still dieting while pregnant. Whether it’s true or not is another story. But she was still using Zantrex throughout the first trimester.

Some experts claim that “moderate” amounts of caffeine (between 150 and 300 mg) will not harm the baby, but the March of Dimes recommends less than 200 mg per day. But taking a pill with 320 mg of caffeine simple starts your baseline consumption above the recommended levels so that any additional caffeine consumption may pose an even greater risk.

But even setting aside the health risks of taking diet supplements during pregnancy, Snooki has a history of eating disorders, telling OK! magazine in 2010 that her anorexia led to an unhealthy weight of 80 pounds in high school.

And yet, Snooki’s struggle to maintain a thin body has become a significant part of her public profile. When she’s thin, she gets lots of good press and magazine covers, and when she’s fat she gets mocked and humiliated in those same magazines. To be sure, she’s a willing participant in that exploitation, having made quite a bit of money from those endorsements. But hopefully with the cancellation of her reality show, she will begin fading away.

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, on the other hand, is a reality show that is just taking off. Originally featured on the child beauty pageant reality show Toddlers & Tiaras, seven-year-old Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and her family scored their own reality show for their tender and insightful glimpse into the lives of ordinary Americans who struggle nobly to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children.

Just kidding!

From the one clip I saw, which featured the Honey Boo Boo clan dumpster diving, it’s a voyeuristic opportunity to mock fat, stupid rednecks.

I don’t know much about the show except that the internet ‘sploded with fat jokes when this show launched. And as I learned from Wikipedia, the series also features the weight loss attempts of Alana’s 15-year-old sister, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon.

With these rudimentary facts about Snooki and Honey Boo Boo in mind, Mitt Romney had to answer the question of which reality show disaster he preferred. You can watch his answer below:

I’m kind of a Snooki fan. Look how tiny she’s gotten! She’s lost weight. She’s energetic. Just her spark plug personality is kind of fun.

It’s a ridiculous question to begin with, but ridiculous questions take attention off the serious questions Mitt doesn’t want to answer. But even so, Mitt’s answer makes me feel even more disgusted with him as a person.

When asked to pick which disturbingly popular reality star he prefers, the first answer out of his mouth is “The skinny one!”

Given Snooki’s repeated weight loss attempts, her eating disorder, her potential dieting-while-pregnant, Mitt’s superficial answer seems even more disturbing.

Then again, even presidential candidates are swimming in this toxic culture that teaches weight loss surpasses anything else as our guiding health ambition.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    September 21, 2012 2:33 pm

    Does he even know anything more about Snooki than what he’s read in the tabloids? Has he ever watched her show? I’m betting he doesn’t know anything about her, other than what he’s seen in the “news” (or what he was briefed on before this show was taped). And really, who gives a rat’s ass whether he prefers Snooki or Honey Boo Boo? If those are the only 2 people he has to choose from, then Ripa and Strahan don’t deserve to have a show on television (not that I watch it anyway, it was vapid and boring when it was Regis and Kelly, and it’s vapid and boring now).

  2. The Real Cie permalink
    September 21, 2012 3:40 pm

    Romney is an asshat of the first order. But these questions about reality stars that he was asked show just what a crap hole our society’s collective consciousness has fallen into.
    Snooki, at least, is ostensibly an adult, which is why, if forced at gunpoint, I would watch Jersey Shore before I would ever watch Toddlers and Tiaras or “Honey Boo Boo.” Shows like Toddlers and Tiaras are nothing but sanctioned child abuse. I have always hated child beauty pageants. Talk about getting little girls off on the wrong foot.
    I see what you mean though–the fat hate just keeps a-comin’. It isn’t the stupid that people are mocking, it’s the fat. Sometimes I really hate the human race.

  3. September 21, 2012 4:32 pm

    See…being Canadian, I pay a lot of attention to American politics, partly because who you have can affect or predict who we seems that normally when you have a Dem we have a Lib (our Dems for those who don’t know)…when you have a Rep we have a Con (Conservative or the New Nazi Party, but I digress). The other reason is that it’s important to pay attention to who your neighbours are and who their leader is, because he sets policy with regards to borders, trade and so on. So far, Obama is okay, except for the whole Alberta oil sands thing. But Mittens scares the ever loving crap out of me. If he gets in, Canada is in for a world of “slushies to the face”….and lots and lots of bullying with a smile on his face. We don’t want you to elect RomCom any more than any sane American wants him. So, please, Democrats and those who are on the fence. Please vote Obama in the next election. Give him another term and you will have your Canadian neighbours to the north very grateful!

    As for Honey Boo Boo and Snooki…I know who they are and happily have not seen either one except when they appear on my tv screen on some commercial or something. I think Jersey Shore looks inane and T&T is flat out child abuse!

  4. lifeonfats permalink
    September 21, 2012 7:26 pm

    Toddlers and Tiaras is an awful show and child beauty pageants are creepy to begin with. And some of June Thompson’s choices to keep her daughter competitive (go-go juice) are questionable. But instead, all people can focus on is the fat. Joy Behar has publicly shamed Honey on The View and we have nutritionists making drive-by comments on their diet. Their weight and what they choose to eat are really none of our business, and considering their economic situation is pretty well-documented, this is a perfect example of how poverty and fatness meet each other.

    Yet, all fatphobes can see is a family, specifically Honey and her mom, not be ashamed for their size. It’s the self-confidence of fatties that really scare people. Because we’re supposed to be crying in our salads and not ever having a moment of happiness (as well as demanding that new moms, famous or not, immediately shed their pregnancy weight gain).

  5. September 21, 2012 8:05 pm

    Good lord, I hate that I know of all the players in this stupid question. I’m rooting for June (Honey Boo Boo’s mom) versus Snooki because I read that she’s not spending any of the money from the tv series, but dividing it up into 4 separate trusts for her children. I hope that’s true and 10 years from now (or however long it is, because I don’t know the age of Honey) Honey Boo Boo will be the fourth child in her family graduating from college and Snooki and all the Jersey Shore actors are flat broke whining about how fame ruined them. But I’m kind of a bitch that way.

    This is not to say I’m advocate of child beauty pageants because I find them appalling nor do I approve of the “go-go juice”, a mix of Red Bull and Mt. Dew, but I do believe that June and her husband really love their kids and that goes a long way with me.

  6. violetyoshi permalink
    September 23, 2012 1:52 am

    I stopped watching Kathie Lee and Hoda, when they started playing a game in front of thousands of people, of would you rather x happen than be fat. They said on TV that it would be better to be dead than fat, blind than fat, ect. Particularly coming from Hoda, who I’m sure understands what it likes to face discrimination being a person of color, and knowing in the past people would have said exactly the same thing about being like her, this was shocking.

    My mom says she still listens to the show while cleaning, and I think she stops now, because every time she brings it up I remind her of this, and say that is why I boycott the Today show. I really did think Al Roker was funny too, but that was live broadcast open hate speech against fat people. If they said the same thing about any other group of people, they would be condemned for it.

    So yeah, doesn’t surprise me they’re having Matt gush about how much weight Snooki has lost. They really are shallow and pathetic people.

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