Morbidly Obtuse


Last night

Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge on RTÉ One.

In the first show of a new series, columnist Brenda Power shares her robust views on plus sized models….while fellow panelist Jason Byrne extols meditation here.

*munches glazed raspberry Krispy Kreme*

Brendan O’Connor’s Cutting Edge

42 thoughts on “Morbidly Obtuse

    1. Rob Gale

      She’s not. Using plus size models doesn’t promote obesity. The models in that shot are not obese anyway. She says using these models says “it’s ok to look like this” and it is ok. No one is ignoring medical advice or doesn’t know the health implications because they see people of their build in magazines etc

      1. Bort

        Yea I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Byrne on this one. If there’s any danger to teens out there it’s the muscle bound lads and super butt girls on instragram. WTF are all these kids doing in the gym *when I go? Same 2 teenage girls been kicked out twice for taking videos in the gym and trying to video themselves doing squats.


        1. Rob_G

          If there’s any danger to teens out there it’s the muscle bound lads and super butt girls on instragram.”

          While you and I might find their antics tiresome, they are promoting a healthy lifestyle should at the very least be tolerated, if not encouraged.

      2. Nilbert

        They are definitely obese and if they don’t address it, they will inevitably incure serious health issues in the future. Kids are constantly presented with advertisements for horresndously unhealty foods, eating rubbish is an integral part of their social lives. I have an 8 year old, this saturday he’ll go to 2 birthday parties – at both he’ll be presetned with a box filled with chips, sausages, and chicken nuggets… before the cake. I’ll make sure this is balanced out with a heap of excercise and healthy eating for the rest of the week. I hate to be a killjoy, but its awful to see every happy childhood event punctuated by the administration of a snackbox. Its marketing heavan for the fast food industry. The future for comfort eating is glorious!

        thankfully, in my day we had snouts and flagons of Special VAT

      3. Dr_Chimp

        I’m not sure I’d call them obese but they’re well and truly overweight. In any event, why is it necessary for people to see themselves represented in magazines? It’s pathetic. What man cries himself to sleep because the latest issue of men’s health has a ripped athlete on the cover whose body is unattainable? Or should we now be putting Johnny Vegas on the cover so we can all feel good about ourselves?

        1. postmanpat

          Men slag each other off about gaining weight. Its a form of kindness. But a woman cant call another woman fat , they can criticize a girlfriend whos looking a bit “too” skinny , but if the same friend is gaining weight at a noticeable rate they keep there mouths shut. Isn’t it less sexist to call out a female relation or colleague as a fatso? The media put the fear in everyone back in the nineties that doing so could cause bulimia and anorexia in young women. So you had to just watch and say nothing.

      4. Jeffrey

        I disagree, not so much the “inspiration” to become big is the problem of normalisation. Have you seen the teenage girls lately? There is an epidemic of obesity among them for sure, not sure if it is genetic or diet related but I would say that this promotes the normalisation of being over weight and while it might help some people mental health in the short term it is not what we should be aiming for long term.

        1. Nigel

          The inherent creepiness of this. When girls were getting anorexic and bulimic trying to force themselves to conform to idealised images of male beauty it was sad but hardly a cause to object to good-lookin’ women on the screen. But now you’re feckin’ worried that the sight of a few women of a non-standard (for media) body size might make girls think they don’t have to starve themselves you’re concerned about it. Lots of people are overweight. Overweight covers a huge spectrum, because very few people are their medically recommended ideal weight. The amount of times I’ve seen pictures of perfectly normal and healthy teenage girls posted here attract comments that they’re fat and obese suggests male notions of what makes girls and women fat or obese are largely incompatible with what is actually healthy.

        2. Rep

          70% of Irish male adults are overweight but your issue seems to be that you can’t leer at teenage girls so much as some of them are bit tubby.

    2. small ads

      She’s dead right.

      Irish people are not in danger of becoming morbidly musclebound. But obesity is a huge (ahem) problem in Ireland – we’re in line to be the fattest country in Europe, according to the World Health Organisation

      It’s amazing the way people wobbling with fat are now part of every second film. It’s being normalised. All very well that a girl should be a good hoult, but there’s a limit.

      Nice headline, by the way.

      1. Nigel

        It’s already normal. Everybody around you is of different sizes and weights and body shapes. Their absence is abnormal. What is this fanatical terror of seeing non-thin people in media? Everybody’s been ignoring the negative effects of thinness as an almost unoversal beauty standard in media on young girls in particular (but not alone) for a long time to suddenly start getting concerned about it now that a few plus-size models are turning up here and there.

  1. Dub Spot

    She just did this subject in her “column” in the Irish Mail on Sunday last Sunday…. Jesus Wept.
    I’d rather watch a Krispy Kreme cardboard box.

    “I read that book Fat is a Feminist issue, got a bit desperate halfway through and ate it.” – Jo Brand.

  2. Nilbert

    Jason should stick to his outrageous and hilarious expositions about leaving the immersion on or Irish mammies/wifies.

    ‘Oh my God, I’m so Irish!!…. Irish people are soooo irish though, aren’t they Ryan?’

    *Tubridy’s eyebrow looks at the camera in amused exasperation*

  3. Starina

    ok so I didn’t watch the whole thing cos I would like it if my heart didn’t pop from stress, but FIRST of all, the models shown at the start of this video are not caucasian. They’re obviously Afro-Caribbean. The body type is completely different, the distribution of body fat is different. Yes they’re a little overweight on the BMI scale but they’re not obese.

        1. Dr_Chimp

          What has that got to do with anything? If I’m grossly overweight, I can still call someone else overweight. If I’m lean with 13% body fat, I still get to make the same comment.

      1. Nigel

        Leading a nasty backlash against non-standard-sized models is going to do feck-all about heart disease.

        1. Rob_G

          Who is leading a nasty backlash? Power is suggesting that these type of photoshoots are normalising our society’s overweight/obesity problem; I am agreeing with her. I would have similar issues if there magazine covers promoting smoking as a positive lifestyle choice, as I imagine that you might, too.

          1. Nigel

            Yes, that backlash. I think a media that depicts a range of body sizes that is more reflective of reality is healthier overall in terms of body-imagery. This obsessive policing is creepy. We have an obesity problem because we live in a society that glorifies consumption and where a lot of unhealthy food is cheap and easily available and private automobile transportation is prioritised over other modes and achieving a healthy physical condition is fetishised and commodified as requiring massive amounts of time, effort, determination and money, and fears of obesity provoke this weirdly hysterical reaction which honestly can;t be helping.

          2. Dr_Chimp

            Have you seen the price of fruit and vegetables lately? They’re practically giving them away. It’s laziness and convenience that results in the obesity epidemic. And it’s not the media either. The media show the world the image that will sell the most….so the people want it.

    1. AL Jeers

      Like this exchange with Ricard Pryor when the Guardian asked comedians to submit questions to him?

      Jason Byrne: You talk about Muhammad Ali in your latest DVD and how frightening it was to be in the ring with him. But do you reckon you could beat him now that the two of you shake like maracas?

      RP: That’s your ****in’ question?

          1. bertie blenkinsop

            In hindsight, I’d imagine he’s sick about it.
            Pryor was one of the all time greats, imagine having the chance and asking him that.
            I almost cried when I met Jackie Mason but at least I didn’t SAY anything as thick as that.

    1. Rob_G

      The issue is not so much overweight, as the idea of photoshoots of people with unhealthy BMI as being somehow empowering or ‘body-positive’. I don’t think I have seen any of such photoshoots featuring overweight men.

      1. Rep

        And yet, far more men are overweight so maybe, just maybe, the photo-shoots have no bearing other making some people feel even more terrible about themselves than they already possibly do?

        1. Rob_G

          I’m not sure I understand your comment; but perhaps there are more overweight men because there is more societal pressure on women to be in good shape(?) If this is is the case, I would fully support having more photos of men with athletic physiques in newspapers and magazines; if a generation of kids may not outlive their parents, as some health authorities are suggesting, I would fully endorse increases societal pressure being brought to bear on the problem.

          1. Nigel

            I would find this slightly more compelling if there wasn’t an underlying assumption that the idealised physiques that conform to modern ideas of male and female beauty are synonymous with ‘healthy.’

  4. Dub Spot

    It’s not. RTE’s Operation Transformation. Seems fairly balanced (post-Gerry Ryan).

    The real problem is when health and societal issues are turned into identity politics and normalised by language.
    “Binge watch Netflix”
    “All you eat data” from smartphone providers, etc

    Correlate the number of “body postives” articles and programmes in the media that are produced “body positive” journalists, bloggers, etc.

    Tattoo away. You’re fat.

    How much Irish obesity is due to alcohol consumption might always be worth considering. Of course that cannot be touched politically.

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