In the article “Fat and Happy?”, Hillel Schwartz questions why society views fat people as pathetic and unacceptable. He argues that if it were not for “fellow citizens” (179) mocking and scorning them for being fat, they would be perfectly content with themselves. As well as stating that many people discriminate toward fat people, Schwartz also points out that physicians are giving facts about obesity that are deceptive. Although Schwartz has a strong claim regarding acceptance of the overweight, the absence of support and the lack of writing techniques used in his article defeat the purpose of his argument.
Schwartz goes in depth with how society remains unpleased with the obese and will not tolerate them any longer. Society’s judgment then pressures the obese to make their bodies satisfactory. They try to lose weight, only to gain the weight back, known as failed dieting (180). Schwartz not only disagrees with dieting, but he refers to those who diet as “cannibals”, because they starve themselves and burn their own body fat (185). This effects confidence as well, with the only thought that they are failures. Society is not the only attacker; Schwartz writes that doctors, whom have little knowledge on nutrition, inform patients that being fat leads to diseases. Schwartz states that professionals are intolerant with the obese, and that physicians act as if “examining fat people is challenging” (181). Schwartz concludes by stating that the world will turn into a better, judgment-free place if everyone is fat (183).
Initially, Schwartz writes this article to inform society that bullying fat people about their weight affects them physically and emotionally. For example; a stewardess was fired for barely exceeding the weight limit of her profession (181). Schwartz sees the discernment about the employee as unfair (181). Schwartz’s solution to end the discrimination is make everyone fat, allowing everyone to unite and not judge one another (183). If everyone were overweight, then society would pick a different trait to judge others on. Therefore, this argument is unrealistic and does not break the cycle unless society stops judging altogether.
Schwartz proceeds to write an argument about the habit of dieting and how it can affect one’s body. He states that losing and gaining weight repeatedly can make people become fatter than they originally were (180). Since Schwartz does not have reasonable evidence and fails to include a necessary amount of quotes or statistics on the rate of failed diets, his argument cannot be considered reasonable. Schwarts also claims that dieting resembles a form of cannibalism as a result of eating your own body fat (185). Dieting restricts oneself to eat a certain kind or amount of food. Dieting is not equivalent to starving oneself, or as Schwartz refers to as “eating your own body fat” (185), thus, this statement is illogical.
Along with Schwartz frowning upon dieting, he also believes the world should be a fat place. He believes children will be fed well, not one person will feel self-conscious, and children will not struggle with eating disorders (183). Although Schwartz makes some valid points, Schwartz becomes stereotypical with his “fantasy”. “People will wear horizontal stripes and bold colors” is one of the examples of being stereotypical. Fat people do not retain themselves from wearing a design just because it makes them look more wide, but because they simply do not like the pattern (184). When describing the society, he takes advantage of the concept of pathos, trying to get readers to agree with him by expressing his opinion, rather than stating facts. Making the society fat would leave those who struggle with gaining weight a minority, causing the roles to be reversed, a never ending discrimination.
Meanwhile, Schwartz encounters a few errors in the grammatical portion of his article. Some readers may have difficulty understanding the concept of Schwartz’s arguments for various reasons. For instance, the absence of organization makes it difficult for readers to figure out his follow along with his arguments. Schwartz should keep certain information in the same paragraphs, rather than jumping back and forth between topics. Another weakness Schwartz has contains his lack of vocabulary. For example, he uses the word fat regularly throughout his article that causes readers to assume Schwartz does not have empathy on overweight people. An additional problem in Schwartz article includes forcing his opinion to the readers. Having said that, this blocks readers to form their own opinion.
Schwarts has many credible points, including that society should not be rude to those that are a minority. He also has invalid reasoning, such as making everybody fat to end society’s criticism. His lack of support makes the argument seem unreasonable, as if he’s gathering this information out of nowhere. No organization, repetitiveness, and weaving opinions in cause confusion and a loss of comprehension while reading an article. Overall, Schwartz has strong arguments, but he needs additional support and should utilize more writing techniques in order to successfully write an article.
Schwartz, Hillel. “Fat and Happy?”. Writing and Reading for ACP Composition, Second Edition. Compiled by Christine R. Farris and Deanna M. Jessup. MA: Pearson, 2013. 179-186. Print
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