Delta Winds cover 2008Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College



Steven Stewart

From mini skirts and jumbo sunglasses to belts and overalls, our American society is on a huge rollercoaster of different personal appearances. The causes range from age to a variety of vibrant cultures displaying their unique style. It is a definite that in a lifetime one will encounter apparel that may seem attractive and bizarre. Through different regions of this nation, people explode with colorful clothing, or maybe no clothing at all. Aside from clothing, some people come as tall as a tree, while some are no taller than a smurf. But no matter where one may trek, there seems to be a common factor in America: to be so fat as to be morbidly obese or to be so skinny as to be labeled skeletal is taboo. Life on the extremes is no-man's land.

Who knows how one may travel down the road to obesity? The possibilities are endless! It could be genetics involving appetite and metabolism; the person could be a "binge eater;" or he could just be extremely sedentary as he sits and watches TV (which is found to lower metabolism unlike other unenergetic activities such as reading). People give many explanations for their obesity, such as "I eat food when I'm depressed" or "because it tastes good!" I'm not pointing the finger of blame at anyone and presuming that being fat is a "bad" thing. If people are comfortable with the way they look, that's fine. I'm just saying people in the "In" crowd may find it a little shocking to see fat rolls cascading down a massive thigh like the waters of the mighty Niagara Falls.

It is also a mystery why some people happen to come to resemble a mummified corpse found buried under the vast sand dunes of Egypt. I'd say that unless you're lost starving in some God-forsaken desolate land, the easiest way of getting to that point is through Anorexia nervosa or Bulimia nervosa. The people affected by Anorexia are around 1% and by Bulimia around 3%. People may have come upon eating disorders by a desire to become skinny, to resemble someone, to attract someone, to perform better in sports, or they may be scared of the idea of fatness, or maybe they see themselves as fat when they are indeed skinny. I wouldn't be surprised in the near future to see a guitarist carrying around these afflicted people, gently strumming their prominent bones as the tone is magnified in the hollows of their chest cavities.

Both skinny and heavy people make their own personal statement with their bodies, not with their clothes. It is what makes them stand out in the crowd. Unfortunately their fashion sense puts them in great danger. The gentle gargantuan may become diabetic, have a stroke, acquire blood clots, go blind, have a heart attack, have increased chances for certain cancers, and may become bed-ridden due to immense weight, all of which may lead to death. The frail figure may experience an eroded esophagus, decadence of the teeth, stunted growth, and have missed periods. She may become infertile, become malnourished, have a weak heart, suffer osteoporosis, and become bloated. The worst one is going through the process of starvation. In the end, it may lead to a sudden death. Both outcomes, being obese or malnourished, don't seem to be very favorable.

The beautified eyes of America constantly lay scrutiny upon a weary, unsuspecting public. Ironically, the ones who most often cast judgment seem best fit to be judged themselves. But we all have our endeavors, our chains, and our mountains. Situations pertaining to the extremes of weight are very serious, even life threatening. If given the proper help, all people big or small can recover and fit nicely into the assembly line of the other freak shows and blonde Barbies that walk the streets of America.