Obese Men And Ethnic Groups

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate March 2001

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Whether obese males are considered a cultural or ethnic group cannot be determined without understanding what these terms, and the term obesity, mean. Obesity is the politically correct term for a person who is, "fat."� To be considered obese you must have over 30% body fat in your total body weight compared to your height. A cultural group is, a group of people who have learned to behave in similar ways. There are numerous definitions for what an ethnic group is, including: have a common biological descent; have shared cultural values; share a common language; and have a group identity, either identified by themselves or by others.

The constitution of the United States, gives people the right to freedom of speech, as guaranteed by the first amendment. Being an obese person myself, I understand what it is to be made fun of, or to have my feelings hurt with "fat-jokes."�

The majority of obese men, who could be considered a cultural or ethnic group, believe so, because they are persecuted verbally.

I believe that obese males are not a cultural group or ethnic group, but that they are only a persecuted minority. To be considered a cultural group, by definition, obese males would have to have learned to behave in similar ways, and the individuals in that group would be powerless to satisfy their needs and wants. I don't believe that obese males would agree in any way that they have learned to behave in similar ways. Being an obese male, I did not learn how to behave as an obese male in life. I don't think anyone who is obese behave the same way. If people think obese men behave the same then they are most acting using stereotypes, like: obese men always eat, obese men are lazy, obese men smell, etc. These are all stereotypes; no obese man behaves the same way as another obese man.

For obese men to be considered an ethnic group they must meet the perimeters that were mentioned above. First, obese men do not have a common biological gene pool. Obese men can have thin children, and thin men can have obese children. One child in a family can be obese while another doesn't have to be. There is no medical evidence that obese men have a common gene pool. As mentioned above obese men do not share common cultural values, since they are not a cultural group themselves. Obese men do not shave a common language. I would argue that most obese men do not consider themselves part of a group; they would not give themselves a group-identity. Most "outsiders,"� also do not consider obese men members of some type of group. Just because obese men sometimes spend time together, or "hang-out,"� doesn't mean they are a group. They are friends; they have thin friends, short friends, etc. I would argue that most obese men, including myself, would not consider themselves part of a group or identify with a group of obese men.

Are obese men, a cultural group? No. Are obese men, an ethnic group? No. Are obese men, a persecuted minority? Yes. Just because there are stereotypes of obese men, doesn't make them a cultural or ethnic group. Being an obese male, I firmly believe that obese me are solely a persecuted minority.