Body Shaming isn’t Just for Women Anymore, Just Ask Cory Booker

As a woman, I’m used to feeling insecure about my body. It really doesn’t matter what I weigh, there is always a little squishinesss here or there, and it’s hard to just accept myself for who I am. I’ve always been envious of men. How they can walk down the street and not feel like the whole world is judging them because of how their shirt hangs on their torso or how tight their jeans are?

But guys! Guess what! I have great news. We’re slowly working toward gender parity in this department. It looks like poking fun at a man’s weight is a thing!

Hmm… We might be moving in the wrong direction here.

Only those with the shortest of memories have forgotten that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s weight is fodder for late night talk show hosts, and his attempts to lose weight made international news. (Because, seriously, how could a fat person be president in the Internet Age?)

Now we can add Cory Booker to the list of men who have to deal with public fat-shaming, thanks to the New York Post:

Democrat Cory Booker, 44, is starting to resemble rotund Republican Gov. Chris Christie as he packs on the pounds while campaigning for the Senate seat vacated by the late Frank Lautenberg.

The formerly fit Newark mayor, who is leading his opponent in the race by 28 percentage points, has been chowing down on far too many funnel cakes at the Jersey Shore, where he waddled down the boardwalk last week with his shirt untucked and clinging to his chest.

Ugh. It’s an entire article about Booker’s weight. It not only offends me as someone who is struggling to be body-positive, but also as a consumer of news. Come on. What a snoozer of a story.

This is as gross and horrible as it would be if the article was written about a woman. It may even seem laughable to get up in arms about this kind of thing. It’s still true that women are more harshly judged on the basis of their appearance. Men have it easy. Right?

Not so fast. Men are subject to cultural forces, as well, even if those forces and how men are expected to deal with them manifest in different ways. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, of the 30 million Americans who will develop an eating disorder during their lifetime, 10 million of them will be men. Even though anorexia and bulimia are still thought of as only affecting women, it’s estimated that 10 to 15 percent of people with those disorders are men. The problem is even more pronounced in gay men. That rate is far less than women, it’s true, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. In addition, according to the American Psychological Association, binge eating disorder occurs almost equally in men and women and a quarter of preadolescent anorexia occur in boys. Women may be the primary suffers of eating disorders, but it is certainly prevalent among men and boys, as well.

I don’t mean to say that Cory Booker is going to develop an eating disorder because he’s getting fat-shamed by the press. It’s far more complicated than that. What I am saying is that this type of body-policing can’t be tolerated, regardless of whether the body in question is male, female or something in between.


Photo Credit: Bbsrock via Wikimedia Commons


Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 months ago

thanks for the article.

Kate S.
Kate S.2 years ago


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago

"this type of body-policing can’t be tolerated, regardless of whether the body in question is male, female or something in between." SO TRUE!

GGma Sheila D.
GGmaSheila D.3 years ago

If size made a difference in elections then Christie would never have been elected. If brains made a difference in elections, again, Christie would not have been elected - or Palin, Bachman....etc. The only thing that sems to matter is the size of your wallet or checkbook.

Size matters to the bullies of the world because it mkes them feel more powrful to pick on those who are bigger/smaller, smarter (most people), different color/sex/religion/age, even the make/model/color of your vehcle...In other words it makes no difference to a bully who you are, just that you're easy pickings to bullies and their toadies.

Bob Abell
Dr. Bob Abell3 years ago

Gee, and I thought spending taxpayer money to try to get re-elected was only something the Conservatives here in Canada did. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Cathleen K.
Cathleen K.3 years ago

Cyan D: Please, do yourself a favor and put down the crack pipe. Your monumental ignorance and complete disregard for reality are becoming shameful. "You cannot blame FoxNews or the GOP for what the New York Post writes, not w/any credibility or logic." Why would you make such a statement w/o bothering to check if it was a credible or logical claim? Here's a quarter - buy yourself a clue. Rupert Murdoch owns the Post, and it's every bit as partisan as Fixed Noise, and with a lot of crosspollination from the Cesspool on 6th (New Yorkers still call 'Avenue of the Americas' 6th Ave, and always will).

Chris Christy is so afraid of Cory Booker that he's spending at least $25 million of tax payer dollars to hold a special election a few weeks away from a regular election in which he will be appearing on the ballot, even though they're not running for the same office. How's that for fiscal responsibility? What hypocrisy for a "conservative" to flush all that money down the toilet so he can buy himself a better looking win.

rita b.
Rita B.3 years ago

We need to look beneath the surface on these body shaming or for that matter praising articles.
What is their real purpose? They want people to get caught up in these and other personal issues so that they ignore what is really important like who is financing this politician's bid for office? Will he or she really represent the people or the corporatocracy? What kind of stands and actions has this person taken in the past? Have they lived a life of service and integrity or one of greed and ignorance? If you want real news than I suggest reading Democracy Now or the Jim Hightower Report on line.

Lynn C.
Lynn C.3 years ago


Karen H.
Karen H.3 years ago

Interesting that a person’s weight is a reflection of his or her ability to run for political office. I know plenty of skinny folk who are totally unfit for office. Could it be the skinny guys are afraid the others will “throw their weight around” and be more powerful?
Robert V, it’s comments like “fat and disgusting” that hurt. When a person has a weight challenge, they need to be lifted up, not put down. When people get picked on for their weight, they feel that “comfort food” is their only friend. It’s not good for them, but it doesn’t judge them or put them down or call them “fat and disgusting”. Please don’t be so cruel; be more understanding and lend a helping hand rather than slapping people down. It’s a lot more productive.

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.3 years ago

Wait a moment: the story being referred to is in The New York Post?!
This is a RAG, owned by the Murdoch corporation. If Alexander Hamilton knew what has become of the paper he founded, he'd be turning over in his grave, as they used to say; or getting out and hunting down Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch!