On Fat-Shaming Wentworth Miller and Taylor Lautner in the Gay Community

I was inspired by a post I read by out gay actor Wentworth Miller last month, in which he broke down the things that were going on in his personal life at the time a photo was snapped of him that showed some weight gain. The photo was later turned into a cruel meme. He revealed in his powerful letter that he had been suicidal at the time the photo was taken. It is a visceral, emotionally raw piece of writing, and it is well worth a read.

A few weeks later, I saw another fat-shaming meme, but this time aimed specifically at the gay community. It featured young heartthrob Taylor Lautner from the Twilight Series. It shows a young and very fit Taylor on one side under the heading “Single Gay”, then the post-weight-gain Taylor on the right under the heading “Taken Gay”. The implication, of course, is that people take care of themselves and look “good” when they are looking for a mate, but once they pair off, they let themselves go.

Taylor Lautner Fat Shaming Meme Single vs Taken Gay

I reacted negatively to this meme, but I dismissed it as silly, and I saw it only in passing–none of my friends had posted it or shared it. Today, however, I ran into an updated version that an actual friend had shared on Facebook. The “Single Vs Taken” heading was gone, this time replaced by “When Twilight is finally over and so is your career”. In addition to the change in heading, an additional visual pun was added in the form of a fierce looking CGI wolf, compared to a very fat dog.

Taylor Lautner Fat Shaming Twilight Meme

This led to an exchange where I expressed surprise that my friend was stooping to fat-shaming, and a discussion that led me to understand that my friend thought my objection was because I didn’t know that the guy in the pic was Taylor Lautner from Twilight. I had actually been sort of puzzling this over in my mind, but the discussion clarified it for me: Is it possible that some people understand why fat-shaming someone like Wentworth Miller is wrong (because he is a well-respected actor and writer/director, and a valued member of the gay community), but they dismiss it when it is someone like Taylor Lautner because he is less respected, due to his stature as an actor and/or his association with the much-scorned Twilight series? Perhaps because he is young? Twink-ish?

In the case of Wentworth Miller, he spoke up for himself. The Lad Bible, the website that actually produced the cruel meme, took it down and issued a formal apology to Mr. Miller. I was not able to find any reaction from Mr. Lautner regarding the meme in which he is featured. The second meme, which hinges on his career being “over”, is also inaccurate: Mr. Lautner reportedly gained the extra weight that is revealed in his recent photos for a role in a movie. Extreme weight gain and loss in the service of a role is the province of serious actors (see Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, Tom Hanks in Castaway, or Christian Bale in The Machinist). Perhaps the weight gained by Mr. Lautner is his stab at being considered a serious actor. Yet, due to his association with something frivolous and even girly like Twilight, many of his fans (and detractors), assume that the fact that he has gained some weight means that he must now be unemployable.

My take on the whole thing is this: It is not OK to fat-shame someone, no matter who they are. Whether they are young or old, serious or goofy, Well-respected or maligned, fat-shaming is wrong. In every case.

The Best Dishwasher for a Small Apartment–I Love this Thing!

When I was looking for a new apartment in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, I saw many options at many different price points, based primarily on size and amenities. I consider a dishwasher a non-negotiable, must-have item, though, because I absolutely hate to do the dishes, and I hate having them clutter up the sink or counter. I had previously rented a beautiful vintage apartment that came without a dishwasher, and on that occasion, I solved the problem by purchasing a full-size roll-away dishwasher. I later sold it on Craiglist for almost what I had paid for it, when I moved to an apartment that came with a built-in dishwasher.

My favorite . . . → Read More: The Best Dishwasher for a Small Apartment–I Love this Thing!

BASIS by Elysium Health (including coupon code)

EDIT: If you are only looking for the working discount code, use this to save $10: Y8LQ0L

I recently saw an article about BASIS by Elysium Health. The gist of the article is that one of the world’s leading experts on aging, MIT biology professor Lenny Guarente, has banded together with some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to bring to market a product that he believes has a great deal of potential to slow the process of aging in the human body. The process of taking his drug through human trials as part of the FDA approval would take years and be very expensive, so he has chosen to get it to market by . . . → Read More: BASIS by Elysium Health (including coupon code)

The Time I Wrote to Jack T. Chick Publications to Ask Their Opinion of Men Wearing Hairspray

Years ago, around 1991-92, religious crazies used to stand on Broadway on Seattle’s Capitol Hill (usually near the corner of Broadway and Olive) and hand out religious tracts. But not the normal, boring religious tracts—these people handed out the mini religious comic books from Jack T. Chick publications. You may be familiar with these little booklets, since people have been leaving them in public restrooms for years. I was always excited to find these people there because these comics were so ridiculous and over-the-top that I wanted to collect them all, despite the fact that I disagreed with them completely and am basically allergic to religion, so much so that I . . . → Read More: The Time I Wrote to Jack T. Chick Publications to Ask Their Opinion of Men Wearing Hairspray

Time for an Update…I Lost Over 40 Pounds in the Last Year!

That’s right. I really should update this thing more regularly! I began about a year ago, and my plan was to be in good enough shape that I would feel comfortable walking around shirtless at Southern Decadence this weekend. Did I reach my goal? Not exactly, but that has more to do with my body image issues than my size. I weighed myself shortly after starting on this journey, and I have lost 43 pounds so far. I still have another 15 or 20 to go before I’m totally happy.

So how did I do it? Well, I did not follow the Primal Method precisely. I walked more than before, but not . . . → Read More: Time for an Update…I Lost Over 40 Pounds in the Last Year!

The Most Obvious News Story of the Year: American Idol Looking to Replace Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, Who Have Rightly Abandoned the Ship They Helped to Sink

I saw a news story today under the headline “American Idol Seeks Replacements for Departing Judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler,” and I immediately thought: duh.  The most popular show in America, which has always had three or four judges (remember that ill-advised Ellen Degeneres season?), announces the departure of two of its judges, so of course they are going to ‘seek to replace’ them. Nobody wants to watch Randy Jackson as the solo judge of any competition.

The next news stories will be feelers for different potential judges. They will be leaked carefully to the press in order to judge public opinion. Two years ago, Jennifer Lopez was their apparent dream . . . → Read More: The Most Obvious News Story of the Year: American Idol Looking to Replace Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, Who Have Rightly Abandoned the Ship They Helped to Sink

Primal Chili Pork Verde: Mexican Pork Stew with Green Chiles

This is one of my favorite Primal Recipes, one which is very simple to make. It is easy to assemble and cook, requiring nothing more difficult than chopping some vegetables and meat. It does require a pressure cooker for the method I recommend, but you can do the same thing with long, slow simmering, but plan on the recipe taking about four hours rather than the one hour required in a pressure cooker. Also please note that the heat factor of this recipe is pretty mild despite the presence of several kinds of chile peppers, but I offer some ways you can boost the heat at the end of the recipe . . . → Read More: Primal Chili Pork Verde: Mexican Pork Stew with Green Chiles

Double Cream Recipe: How to Make Double Cream…or Can You Just Substitute Heavy Cream?

The British love cream in all its varieties, from clotted cream to double cream to Devonshire cream (or Devon cream), to Cornish clotted cream and many other varieties. It’s enough to make your head spin, and it’s particularly confusing if you’re an American trying to follow a British recipe. I recently ran into this problem when I was trying to make a delicious-looking and –sounding lemon tart that was featured on an episode of “How to Cook Like Heston” with Heston Blumenthal. It called for double cream, which sent me on a quest to figure out: can I just substitute heavy whipping cream for double cream? The answer is no. But . . . → Read More: Double Cream Recipe: How to Make Double Cream…or Can You Just Substitute Heavy Cream?

Washington State Voters Pass a Law that Ends State-Run Liquor Stores, Allows for Private Liquor Shops

I used to manage a tavern in Washington state.  A tavern is a specific designation that means a bar that serves only beer and wine—no hard alcohol.  In order to serve the hard stuff, you had to be a restaurant, meaning that all real bars served food, although you might never know it.  They were required to keep stock and a menu of about 10 entrees on hand at all times, and offer food during most of the hours they were open.  The laws in Washington were old and antiquated, and I think it’s a good thing for the state’s residents that this law was passed.

The state liquor control board had . . . → Read More: Washington State Voters Pass a Law that Ends State-Run Liquor Stores, Allows for Private Liquor Shops

My Favorite Recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Cabbage and Sausage!

It may strike you as funny or a bit odd that I would say this was my favorite recipe from the excellent The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier.  It would have struck me as pretty funny about nine months ago, too.  I grew up in a family that simply didn’t eat cabbage.  I knew people who did, and I remember jokes from my childhood about how boiled cabbage smells (it can smell sulphurous, a bit like a rotten egg), but nobody in my family ever cooked it, on either side, from my great grandparents on down.  It just wasn’t part of our diet.

I’d always assumed that my . . . → Read More: My Favorite Recipe from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Cabbage and Sausage!

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