The Santa Factor

Santa Claus is a beloved figure — literally. He is a large, round, right jolly old elf. People the world over love this fat guy. Is it any wonder then that overweight men are accepted more readily in our society than are overweight women?

The guys have a champion in old St. Nick. Who do we gals have — the prehistoric Goddess of Willendorf? When we see Santa we think: Time for fun. When we see the goddess we think: Time for liposuction. I call this acceptance of fat men “The Santa Factor”; it is a holiday double standard for the double-chinned.

Holidays are a tough time for the Willendorf women. All eyes turn toward big-boned folks when they belly up to the buffet during seasonal soirees; but it is usually the women — not the men — who receive disapproving stares from other guests when they reach for high-calorie collateral.

If the guy’s waist measurement adds up to more inches than his height, we shrug it off because that’s just the way he’s built. The Santa-factor phenomenon occurs because even the biggest of big guys appears to radiate confidence. Confidence is something many big women sadly lack. In this society we prey on the weak and helpless no matter what their size. Thus, big girls are easy, slow-moving targets for our disdain.

I don’t begrudge our big boys their approval rating. What does pinch my inch, though, is how they denounce the fat sisterhood. The large lads are some of the worst when it comes to lobbing pejoratives in the direction of fleshy femmes. There’s nothing worse than a fat fatist.

This holiday season remember to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. You have as much right to be at the party — and to have a plateful or two of hors d’oeuvres — as any of the smaller people in the room.

If you walk up to the buffet with confidence and take what you want and not what you think others want you to choose, you will probably end up consuming less of what’s on your plate, and be more satisfied and happier for it.

Update: I haven’t lost or gained any weight since last week, but I have attended several holiday parties.

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