We’ve always known that human beings are superficial. In today’s photo-centric world, we value men who are cut, women who are svelte. Everyone else–the lumpy, chubby, tubby, saggy–just don’t fit into the frame.
But there’s an evolutionary fallacy in our love for all humans thin and tall. We might prefer for people to be skinny, but we love wild animals that are atrociously fat.
For example, everyone loves bears. Polar bears, panda bears, black bears, you name it. Bears have become so cuddly and lovable that if I were ever to encounter a bear, I’d half expect it to come bearing Coca-Cola and a good forest fire story. Same thing with penguins. While I generally hate all other birds, I love penguins: mainly because they’re fat and furry and they’re featured in almost every single animated movie out there (we even saw penguins in Madagascar… really?).
Honestly, our love for blimp-like animals doesn’t make sense. I could sit at the zoo for hours, watching hungry, hungry hippos chew on grass. Yet, if I were to see some obese human being sitting with a pile of ribs, I’d probably have a gag reflex. If I were to meet a furry, plump, waddling man, I would not wish to see him on the movie screen. And if a group of dancing, naked, fat guys tried to sell me Charmin toilet paper, I would almost prefer just to air dry. (Almost.)
Our human superficiality is counter-intuitive, especially when seen from a Darwinian lens. Why would we, as human beings, favor small people and big animals? It’s clearly easier for a giant bear to eat you when you’re a tiny person, versus when you’re the size of a tugboat.
So, I’d like to change the current paradigm of our superficial human nature. Instead of looking down on them, we should just start embracing fat people. The fatter, the better. Our fellow corpulent friends are just trying to correct for the thinness of our voluntarily-starved populace, where a strong wind in Hollywood could blow a starlet away, right into the open jaws of Smokey the Carnivorous Bear. Fat humans are doing us all a great service: intimidating animals to think that people, too, can be large and in charge.
Of course, if you can’t stomach the idea of fitting your arms around your neighborhood chub, then perhaps you could go the other way too… Start spreading the love to skinny animals.