Thursday, September 29, 2011


Homer Simpson is, perhaps, the most beloved cartoon character of the last twenty two years. While the characters of the Simpsons began on The Trace Ullman show, the full-length sitcom debuted on Dec. 17 1989, approximately two weeks before I was born. Home Simpson is my favorite member of the Simpsons family. He is considered fat and, in fact, on the show has been called "tubby" on several occasions. He is perpetually 39-years old, and although his weight and height fluctuate dramatically during certain episodes, he is usually about 6 feet tall and weighs around 250 lbs. He has had several heart attacks, heart surgery (including a triple bypass and having a pace maker put in) and his weight is used to great humorous effect. Perhaps, not as funny is a cold hard fact about myself. I am just a little over 6 feet tall and have weight 250 lbs, since I graduated from high school.

Yet, unlike Homer Simpson I am only 21 and am not a cartoon character who can eat his weight in donuts in one sitting. I am, by the lax standards of a cartoon show, fat. Some people have tried to sugar coat my weight but the facts are facts. If I show a picture of myself and ask them to describe the person in the picture the word "fat" would probably not be used in front of my face. BUT if I show someone a picture of Homer Simpson and ask people to describe him, they would probably say he is "fat." Homer Simpson is fat. It is part of his persona. It is undeniable.

When I first discovered the fact that I have the exact same build as a 39 year old Homer Simpson, I probably chuckled to myself at the amusing coincidence and shrugged it off. I couldn't shrug off the weight so easily and, almost every time I read about Homer's body statistics, it becomes more difficult to ignore. If I wanted to know if I was obese, I didn't need to look at any silly chart. It took Homer Simpson's body to tell me that I was fat.

I guess I don't have much more to say about this subject. In a way, its more of a confession presented in a curious way. Partly, I hope that some women who are self-conscious about their own weight might read this and know that guys think about their weight too. I am reminded of my body's shape every time I buy clothes and every time I have to climb up stairs, feeling the full weight slam down on my flat feet. I never feel guilty about eating because, honestly, I don't eat much more than any other guy my height and age. I actually tend to eat with some conscious effort to watch my portions and nutritional values (unlike Homer). I do feel guilty every time I get winded running to class. I started gaining weight when I moved from a very active lifestyle in my pre-teen youth in the Australian Outback to the body boom of my teenage years. One's body is unavoidable.

Yet, do I hate my body? Its hard to say. On one hand, fat is funny (Homer is the star of the longest running sitcom) but on the other, its generally considered unattractive and is very unhealthy (Homer is joked to be so unhealthy that he is going to die at 42). If anything is going to make me lose weight, its going to be for my health.

At least I have a full head of hair...then again so did Homer at 21. D'oh!

And I'm not Banana Yellow. So that's cool.

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