Civil rights advocates still stung by the defeat of Prop. 8 in California have a damn good right to voice their displeasure over Barack Obama's selection of anti-gay Calif. pastor Rick Warren as the man who will deliver his inaugural invocation. But that's not the only pick that should have people up in arms. Specifically, what sort of public health message does picking Aretha Franklin to be part of the daytime festivities send to the American people?
I have no problems with full-figured people. I'm a full-figured person, and I'd be doing myself a big favor if I managed to drop 20 lbs. Recently, I won a prize at a couples baby shower wherein each guest was to try and guess the size of the eight-months-pregnant mom-to-be's stomach. I simply measured my own, and it was an exact match. So the admittedly politically incorrect criticism I'm about to offer comes not from a position of crab-abbed snobbery, but from a position of supreme personal doughiness.
Aretha Franklin is not full-figured, nor is she even fat. She's not even obese -- she's a whole 'nother classification of obese: Arethabese. The degree to which the Arethabeast let herself go is sad and disgraceful, and to prop her gargantuan ass in front of tens of millions of viewers sends a very loud message that it's a-okay to keep wolfing down dollar-menu items with impunity. Franklin might be a national treasure, but she's one treasure that should remain obscured from the public eye. A inaugural ball gig is perfect for the Queen of Soul -- let Alicia Keyes tickle her last name while the sun's out, Prez.