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Popular Culture


The obese are commonly treated as a stock of ridicule. Selfishness and bullying are their characteristics in popular culture. These are shown with such traits in adults’ as well as children’s movies, books, cartoons and other art forms.

Mr FlintstonesThe character Dudley Dursley in British writer Joan Cathlene Rowling’s super hit book Harry Potter series is a selfish bully. The rock lifting overweight Mr. Flintstones in the cartoon The Flintstones is made fun of because of his dull head and weight. He is a fool and enjoys being a fool. We are given obesity related humor in Bustopher Jone’s fat cat in the musical Cats who rises to fame only because he is a regular visitor of well-known clubs where heavy dishes are served. And he, already 25-pound, is putting on weight everyday. Another obese comic cartoon character is Garfield, an idle fat cat, who enjoys eating lasagna and sleeping.

In Hollywood, an obese actor’s best choice is to play a clown like Drew Carey. He may also play a funny guy like Lou Costello or a gangster like Victor Buono with 400 pound or pure menace like Sidney Greenstreet with 357 pound in The Maltese Falcon. In the film Jurassic Park, the selfish man Denis Nerdy is an obese. He is portrayed as a thief.

In Bollywood, we also see people make fun out of the obesity of a person in hindi movies. Kumkum, an obese unmarried woman of yesteryears, was a comic female character, the only one in the hindi film history. She was always shown as a female pining for marriage and shunned by the man, she chose because of her obesity.

Famous hindi film actor Amjad Khan was a great hit since his debut film Sholay in 1975. But soon he fell victim of obesity by taking heavy doses of pain killers after suffering an accident. He lost all chances to act in films. He died at the tender age of 40.

Thus both in reel and real life the obese receive a shabby jests in popular culture. The old idea has been lost of being a stout and strong man. His or her obesity has made them a joker in popular art forms.

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