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Hippocritic Oath —

January 11, 2012

Warning: Please skip this post if you have a serious allergy to hypocrisy or irony.

This morning, I received a curious message from Strong4Life’s Twitter account:

First of all, am I the only one who finds it ironic that a group that has financed billboards insulting fat children got their pwecious wittle fee fees hurt?

But what struck me as odd is that for someone with a short fuse and a sharp tongue, I’ve remained remarkably civil toward Strong4Life. Those who have seen me fly off the handle may find it hard to believe, so I invite you to scour my Twitter for offending passages. I have, and I haven’t found anything even remotely resembling a personal attack.

Then it struck me: I joined Strong4Life’s Facebook page yesterday and posted two items. As it happens, I screen capped both of them in anticipation of censorship and I think you may find this interesting. The first one was concerned the “research” that I tore into yesterday.

Pretty straightforward, not a single insult. But it’s the second post that cut them soooo deeply that they kicked me out of their group with the following explanation:

Okay, so they will not tolerate swearing, threats, harassment, vulgarity, or anything else that debases the purpose of their community or staff, the purpose of which is to debase fat children. Got it.

So, what did I say that violated these terms? Well, a young woman posted on Strong4Life’s page that her sister had experienced an increase in bullying since Strong4Life began, and that her sister had recently attempted suicide. Pay particular attention to the compassion Strong4Life exhibits toward the girl, then see if you can spot the offending section from my response.

Brace yourself for a torrent of profanity!

Not since Andrew Dice Clay has such vulgarity been uttered! Not since the Lenny Bruce trials have the limits of free speech been strained by the fowl and detestable language of the common man! Hide your kids, hide your wife, for the language contained is not suitable for the faint-hearted among us! Oh the humanity!

So, here’s the takeaway from Strong4Life:

  • Shaming Fat Kids = Good
  • Shaming Strong4Life = Bad

That’s it.

That’s when you know you’ve crossed the line.

I am now friends with the young woman in the post and I’m trying to find out if everything is okay. I’m not certain that her first comment is 100% accurate, but neither is Strong4Life, and rather than expressing concern for the young girl’s sister, they warn her that they “take reports of this nature very seriously.”

Well, I should fucking hope so, since you’re a hospital. (Oh no, actual, written profanity! My ears, they are melting!)

Finding out whether her sister is really experience this severe of a trauma is important, but even more important is supporting this girl, especially if you may be the one contributing to her torment. Would it have killed the Strong4Life Facebook moderator to maybe say “I’m sorry” or “Is there anything we can do?” or “How about we take down these horrible billboards already?”

Speaking of billboards, Ragen Chastain (aka Dances with Fat) contacted me with an idea that she and several others were brainstorming: our own billboard placed as near to the Strong4Life billboards that will encourage and uplift fat kids as a way to counteract the damage already done.

We’re still in the planning stages and looking for prices, but once we are ready we will be requesting donations to pay for the billboard.

Also, Ragen, Marilyn Wann and I have gathered together to create a website dedicated to this campaign at Stop Strong4Life. It is still in its foetal stage, so give us some time to flesh it out, but we will be requesting copies of your letters to Strong4Life, as well as asking to repost any and all articles on this subject.

In the meantime, please continue calling and writing Strong4Life, every day, and ask yet another person to join our campaign. You can also join our Facebook page, as we continue to build up pressure against this horrible campaign.

Linda Matzigkeit (doing interviews in defense of the billboards)
Vice President of CHOA
404 785 7824 (her admin’s number, so please be polite)

Stephanie Walsh (doing interviews in defense of the billboards)
Medical Director of CHOA
404 785 6104 (her admin’s number, so please be polite)

Kevin McClelland (who they direct you to for complaints about the billboards)
Public Relations Director for CHOA
404 785 7600

Children’s Foundation


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