self-image literally fluctuates over time- from celebrating a portly
disposition as a sign of good health and wealth, to heralding fat as
an sign of slothfulness and lack of willpower.
Center for Disease Control, in a recent
study, found about 10% of all children and a third of all adults
are overweight. But if overweight was an aesthetic judgment, rather
than a indicator of good health, how might the future turn out? Perhaps
like the "Two
Fat Ladies" cooking show? Or the wonderful FATSO? site
using a web search engine to locate the CDC study above, the keyword
"obesity" not only triggered a few thousand matches, but also
told the banner engine to display an advertisement in the food category-
specifically hawking "300 delicious desert recipes". Artificial
intelligence still has a way to go....
is the Original Version submitted to WIRED:
Shape Of Things To Come
notice how movies about the future, from the classic silent film "Metropolis"
to the most recent SciFi noir, have one theme in common? They inevitably
star hard bodies clothed in identical spandex leotards - "Jack
LaLane Meets Outerspace". But this prediction is only half correct.
one eternal truth unites all prosperous societies, it is a headlong
rush towards ever expanding waistlines. Statistically speaking, we're
getting fatter; our children are getting fatter; and society after society
emerging from poverty soon discovers they're getting much too big for
their britches. In the future, when improved drugs and food technologies
sever the last connection between lifestyle and lifespan, overweight
will be as healthy as thin. The trend is clear- hard bodies are out,
and fat is in.
clothing will also be in, bucking a long predicted trend towards designing
and manufacturing products for a market of "one". We all claim
to worship individuality, but the need to belong to the tribe is even
stronger. Only the fringe of society embraces true individuality- even
Dennis Rodman might have trouble wearing gold lame on the court. So
instead of a billion different clothing styles, this year everyone wears
Nautica in the rain, GenXers wear goatees on their chins, and the finest
German-engineered Mercedes looks embarrassingly like a Toyota. To an
alien's eye, we must appear as identical as sheep.
here is our collective future -- enormous mounds of flesh covered by
acres of clinging spandex. Not a pretty picture, but diet, as they say,
now the version that appeared in WIRED
5.10 ( October 1997), edited to fit their space and style requirements:
one eternal truth unites all prosperous civilizations, it is the rapid
expansion of waistlines. Statistically speaking, we're getting fatter;
our children are getting fatter still. Indeed, society after society
emerging from lean times soon finds itself too big for its britches.
In the future, when engineered drugs and food technology sever the last
connection between lifestyle and life span, portly will be as healthy
clothing will also be in. Despite the increasing trend towards one-to-one
marketing, the need to belong to the tribe is even stronger. So instead
of several billion clothing styles, our collective destiny reveals indistinguishable
hordes of enormous mounds of flesh covered by acres of clinging spandex.
Not a pretty picture, but diet, as they say, is destiny.
Blonder watches his diet as VP of customer expectations research at