Junkfood Science: Revulsion theatre: using horror to “make you” change your ways

January 16, 2008

Revulsion theatre: using horror to “make you” change your ways

Trying to gross you out or terrorize you about fat are the latest side show efforts to make people feel disgusted by fat people and for their own bodies, and to scare them about "bad" foods. Crudeness is not how trusted medical providers care for people, but it does create attention for “celebrity” chefs. The same young chef who electrocuted a chicken to scare people about eating things he doesn’t believe are good for children is now behind televising an autopsy — the distasteful content reportedly to “make people change their eating habits.”

Teaming up with the anatomist who invented plastination and behind those cadaveur exhibits called BodyWorlds, Jamie Oliver is now claiming that a fat man “ate himself to death” and, using a live dissection, will “demonstrate how bad the average British diet is.”

Ninemsn reported this morning:

Oliver to show obese man's autopsy on television

...The documentary, Eat To Save Your Life, features controversial German anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens, who performs a dissection of the 159kg man to determine the exact cause of his death. The man, who suffered diabetes and high blood pressure in the lead-up to his death, died from heart failure.

"This man was a victim of his own terrible diet — he literally ate himself to death," Dr von Hagens said. The celebrity chef said he hoped the distasteful content “might make people change their eating habits. Some parts of the programme will be gross," he said. “[But] we’re looking at the effects a lifetime of junk has on your body."

“This all stems from shoving s*** in your mouth."...

No, this is not science or a documentary. This is theatre. There is no evidence that shock theatre and repulsing people by cutting up dead bodies will in any way send a “positive message,” not to mention a credible one. It will, however, pile on to the discriminatory beliefs about fat people and add to the fears and angst people already feel about their food and bodies.

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