I have three things to say about this photo. The first is about the original post. The second is about the person who posted it. And the third is about the comment itself.
JFK was wrong
I know a lot of people are fans of JFK, but in this case he was wrong. As a white cisgender heterosexual man born into a wealthy family in the 20th century, he was the very definition of privilige. The fact that he didn’t recognise this was not necessarily his fault. Very few people dared to question the social elite in those days, and we all know what happened to those that did. Not much has changed in that respect.
I am surprised, however, that we would have the audacity to imply that the physical fitness of a person somehow made them more or less able to contribute to the security of the country. I mean, strength of character and intergirty, maybe. But physical fitness?
Perhaps he had forgotten about his predecessor, Franklin D Roosevelt, who was disabled and a wheelchair user, but perhaps one of the most successful presidents of the USA at that time. Odd, that. Also interesting that he was more concerned about America’s physical strength than he was about the multiple civil rights violations that were going on in his country at the time.
No, “softness” and fatness doesn’t make a person weak. Strength has nothing to do with physical ability. It has to do with morality and character.
What would JFK think?
The person who posted this photo of JFK with the caption “If JFK were alive today, I wonder what he would think”, is a man called Shawn Baker. He is an Orthopedic Surgeon who was once in the Air Force, and is a “lifelong multi-sport elite level athlete”. He is also the author of a book called “the Carnivore Diet”.
I guess that makes him an expert on preventative medicine, right? WRONG! He is an orthopedic surgeon which makes him an expert on fixing bones. I know more about heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol than this doctor will ever know. Speaking of cholesterol, he makes his money selling a diet that is basically all about meat. Meat, meat and more meat. I imagine the planet is eternally grateful for that one.
[Aside: Have you ever known of a diet to reek of more toxic masculinity than this one?]
How much should we trust or care about Dr Shawn Baker’s opinion? Not a lot, if we’re honest. He isn’t knowledgeable or impartial enough for either of those things to be possible. But he has 192 thousand followers, a YouTube channel and a blue tick, which tells us quite a lot about the society we live in, don’t you think?
Anyway, let’s answer the question, shall we? How do you think JFK would feel about the fact that almost 60 years after his assassination, black people continue to be oppressed and we are nowadays using health and BMI as a means of doing this? What about the fact that Capitalism kinda got out of hand over the last few decades and now billionaires are sending dildo shaped rockets in to space just for the hell of it, whilst the rich poor divide continues to widen?
Do you think JFK would be on board with the fact that fatness is now routinely used to deny human beings their basic rights and nobody gives a rats ass? Or that competitive bodybuilders who sell diet fads and occasionally see patients on the side are the ones who still get to call the shots? How about the fact that said bodybuilder used the face of JFK to promote his meat-only diet? I guess we’ll never know.
The Army of the Weak
Finally, over to “Jernejja”, who has no issues trolling me on Instagram but keeps her profile private because trolls are almost always cowards like that. Not sure I agree with the way you put it but if you’re asking me whether I am joining together with my fellow fatties, queers, racial minorities and other marginalised folks to form an army hell bent on taking back the power from the social elite, then you bet your ass that’s what I am doing!
I may not be able to bench press my body weight (I weight a lot!) or run up a hill without getting short of breath, but you still ought to fear me. And that’s the crux of it all, isn’t it? The reason that you tagged me on your pathetic little comment and implied that only athletic people were strong and successful? Your scared!
Well you should be.
Because we’re not going anywhere. And once everyone realizes who the real enemy is and we stop fighting among ourselves and unite under one banner, we’re coming after you. And we’re gonna make one hell of an army.
The army of the weak. I think I like the sound of that.