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WEIGHT discrimination in music world...

GUEST,soon to be a member... 24 Feb 03 - 06:00 PM
JedMarum 24 Feb 03 - 06:13 PM
Kudzuman 24 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM
SINSULL 24 Feb 03 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Shiny 24 Feb 03 - 07:09 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 24 Feb 03 - 07:43 PM
Forum Lurker 24 Feb 03 - 08:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,Les B. 24 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 24 Feb 03 - 09:11 PM
Ebbie 24 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM
Bill D 24 Feb 03 - 10:10 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Feb 03 - 10:42 PM
Amos 24 Feb 03 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Feb 03 - 10:52 PM
Maryrrf 24 Feb 03 - 10:53 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 24 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM
Forum Lurker 24 Feb 03 - 10:57 PM
Amos 24 Feb 03 - 11:08 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 24 Feb 03 - 11:15 PM
Bill D 24 Feb 03 - 11:20 PM
Bill D 24 Feb 03 - 11:22 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 03 - 11:28 PM
mack/misophist 24 Feb 03 - 11:30 PM
Bev and Jerry 24 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM
Ebbie 24 Feb 03 - 11:41 PM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 12:03 AM
Cluin 25 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM
mg 25 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM
Forum Lurker 25 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM
Bev and Jerry 25 Feb 03 - 01:01 AM
Neighmond 25 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM
Mark Cohen 25 Feb 03 - 03:03 AM
Lanfranc 25 Feb 03 - 04:05 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Feb 03 - 04:56 AM
Bat Goddess 25 Feb 03 - 07:40 AM
harvey andrews 25 Feb 03 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 25 Feb 03 - 09:14 AM
JennyO 25 Feb 03 - 09:17 AM
Deni-C 25 Feb 03 - 09:38 AM
Roger the Skiffler 25 Feb 03 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 25 Feb 03 - 10:17 AM
smallpiper 25 Feb 03 - 10:50 AM
mack/misophist 25 Feb 03 - 10:53 AM
wysiwyg 25 Feb 03 - 10:56 AM
Jim Colbert 25 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Feb 03 - 11:12 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Feb 03 - 11:34 AM
Abuwood 25 Feb 03 - 11:58 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 25 Feb 03 - 12:29 PM
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Subject: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,soon to be a member...
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:00 PM

Has anyone ever been regarded coldly or treated as though you couldn't possibly be any good musically because you are overweight? I have... and I hate it. I percieve myself as very talented and am saddened that people get judged by their appearances, even in such a supposedly liberal field like the performance biz...


Any thoughts?

JoiningSoon


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:13 PM

sorry to hear it, but some people look for any reason to disregard others, still others have expectations set by initial appearance.

The good news for you is, you can blow 'em away when you get out your instrument. If not; they ain;t worth it, anyway!

Welcome to Mcat!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Kudzuman
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM

Sure! I myself and my wife are both hefty individuals and we get this look occasionally until we start to play and then most folks seem to forget it. I remember quite a few years back when Peter,Paul and Mary got back together for the first time in many years and an acquaintance had been able to go see them. All they said was,"Wow! Mary was really Fat!" Small minds is all I can say. Joel Mabus who is a magnificent guitarist and songwriter is a bit hefty himself. Who cares? If its good music, it's good and I'm sorry for the thin snobs.

Kudzuman
Go ahead and join the Mudcat!! It's painless and can be a source of great JOY!!!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:46 PM

Not by Mudcatters. Never!
Please note: about 50% are well endowed. And most have a sense of humor about it. Hear RIB's "Built For Comfort Not For Speed" and Kendall's "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore" and you'll understand.

Welcome.
Mary


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,Shiny
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:09 PM

I would say it's a bit presumptious of you to say that 50% of people are well endowed? I myself can't complain, but I don't like to boast... :)


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:43 PM

Chuckle! People will jump at the chance to be judgemental these days, and the more perfect you are, the more people go out of their way, when it suits them. Too this... too that, wish your dog was like my cat... Too smug for me to hug You're nothing but conceit... Don't shrug you little bug, you'll never be complete. ttr


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:10 PM

I'm probably going to get a lot of flack for this, and I might deserve some of it, but there's a very real difference between being "a bit hefty" and being obese. About 1 in 3 Americans is genuinely obese (I don't know the figures for other countries), and it poses serious health risks. It can, if fact, affect singing (lungpower) and instrumental music (manual dexterity). While it's certainly stupid for someone to assume you're a bad musician because you're overweight, I have little sympathy for people who have unhealthy eating and exercise habits, and don't take responsibility for their own physical condition.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:22 PM

Remember, it ain't over till the fat lady sings.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:53 PM

Just think of Mama Cass, Bessie Smith, Burl Ives, and all those opera singers. A bit of heft seems to help some people belt it out!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 09:11 PM

The only discrimination I'm ever subjected to is that of jealous people who won't associate with me because I'm perfect in every way. I'll tell ya, it's rough being Sean Connery, Albert Einstein and Tony Rice all rolled into one.

(INSERT BIG STUPID GRINNING GREEN SMILEY FACE HERE.)

Bruce


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM

Bee-dubya-ell, I'm overweight but perfect or not I would hesitate to say that I'm as big as THREE people. :)


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:10 PM

we take all sizes here at Mudcat...weight is a personal matter, as is whether YOU are concerned about it health-wise. Music is a different category.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:42 PM

It's true though.....EVEN in non-judgmental folk music.

Do you remember when Alison Krause was first discovered? Nice little Bluegrass band. Then came the extreme weight loss and bizarre make-up. But......that's when Nashville noticed her and she started getting all that high profile work. You barely see her anymore. And it's not because the Dixie Chicks are better....but they ARE more glamorous.

If there's money involved, there's weight (and any other kind) discrimination.

But.....some have toughed through it!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:51 PM

Actually I don't think I have ever read a fat post here, or heard a fat song from anyone on the 'Cat. Statistical anomaly? I don't _think_ so! :>)


A


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:52 PM

Since loosing 45 pounds...not only do I look and FEEL better...I now PERFORM better. (Not to mention the chicks now hit on me....not me on them.

Yes-...There is prejudice against weight...and IT IS Justified. Fat people lack stamina, patience, and self-discipline.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

I have 20 more pounds to go...and after 12 months they still remain...but spring is coming and it will happen.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Maryrrf
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:53 PM

But don't you think that there is less discrimination where appearance/age etc. is concerned in the folk/traditional music world? I mean, it would be very very difficult to break into pop music nowadays if you are not young, glamorous and attractive. It might make things a little more difficult in the folk world but it wouldn't be impossible, would it? That reminds me of an incident several years ago. I was living in New Jersey and went to a Latin music street festival in Newark. A woman stood up to sing and I have to say she was quite overweight, middle aged and not very attractive, and she was wearing a tight flouncy dress that wasn't very flattering. But she had a gorgeous voice, put so much feeling into the music, and my lord but she could dance! In about 30 seconds she had the audience in the palm of her hand!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM

Like a "recovered alchy" I have no patience with the excuses. You are FAT because you WANT to be fat.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:57 PM

Maryrrf, I think a fair amount of it is just that folk music, being less mainstream, tends to care less about image and more about substance. When folk musicians turn out music videos, appearance matters.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Amos
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:08 PM

Garg:

I am sure that was true for you. It is NOT true in all cases . There are several factors that can lead to obesity which have nothing to do with will power. It is also extremely uncompassionate to make such a bald and unscientific statement.

A


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:15 PM

"Uncompassionate"?????? Gargoyle?????? Naw!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:20 PM

I know people who could lose weight, and some who REALLY have a metabolism which makes it almost impossible. Surgery 'could' help in some cases, but that is expensive and not without risk. For centuries, fat was a survival factor...now that it is not, it will take awhile to be bred out of the species...like 10,000 years or so?


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:22 PM

(yes, I am aware that too much junk food and easy access to calories have pushed many individuals to levels that they would NOT have reached in days when exercise was how you GOT food!)


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:28 PM

Only in the later harvesting age has fat been "an advantage."

It was the lean, mean, who took down the gazzeleen

CARBO's are NOT your friend


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: mack/misophist
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:30 PM

A note to gargoyle: The combined Scandinavian Medical Associations did a study many years ago. At that time and place there was a large population of families that had lived in roughly the same area for centuries. They found that persistant obesity is hereditary, without doubt. Furthermore, recalcitrant obesity was most often found in the families that had always been subsistance farmers. In a very cold climate, it's a survival characteristic. Now go wash your mouth out with soap.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:34 PM

Bandwidth is not about fat musicians.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:41 PM

Ah ha! Now I know why gargoyle has a problem with empathy- he has never forgiven himself for being overweight. But never fear, when he has taken off those last 25 excess pounds, his whole persona will become very different. In fact, he will change his Mudcat name to 'Old Sweetness and Light'. I can hardly wait.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:03 AM

Now, I'm not a dietician or metabolic specialist, so if I'm wrong I apologize, but even if someone has glandular or other biochemical problems, shouldn't eating less drop their fat levels? If your metabolism is slow, that means you need fewer calories, but you can still cut your caloric intake under your usage, can't you? Basically what I'm asking is, while metabolic differences might make it harder to take off weight, is it really the case that one can be metabolically unable to reach a healthy weight without surgery?


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Cluin
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM

I've always found that good food and good music go together. There's usually an unmerciful fee-add at lots of jam sessions. Those who get invited to more of them will just naturally put on some pounds. And the Guinness (and other libations) doesn't exactly count as Slimfast.

Stick that in your bicycle shorts.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: mg
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:48 AM

I think it is almost impossible for people to reach a good weight without good information and without being told all sorts of scare stories about what will happen if they eat correctly for their metabolic type. I think that is the problem behind the obesity/diabetes epidemic..they are pretty much one and the same and the diabetic process is the weight gaining process. And insulin is now considered by many medical anthropologist types to be for the purpose of putting on fat, rather than regulating blood sugar. There are all sort s of evolutionary theories combining with good medical and biochemical research to at least have the information out there..read Dr. Schwarzbein, Dr. Mary Enig..and the metabolic body typing diet book. Some people, and I am surely one, have to eat what others would consider a sinfully high amount of protein and fats...and I am not eating enough of them..when I do I lose weight...I am pretty much breaking even..of course you can eat all the green vegetables (except peas) and some other fiber vegetables plus certain amounts of fruits, grains, legumes etc. If you are overweight, please read one of these books, plus Dr. Bernsteins Diabetes Solution...get a glucose meter and test yourself...listen to your body...not to the Family Circle nutritionists who want you to eat grapes and pretzels in great abundance. If you need more protein and more fats (good fats..which seem to be olive oil, coconut oil, dairy fats especially butter and some nut oils) and you don't give your body that, it will go into this insulin cycle where you produce too much insulin, turn your calories into fat and get immune type disease, plus of course diabetes. Read the books. The information is out there.

So forum lurker, it would be best if you read these books before giving any more advice.

mg


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:55 AM

I never intended to give advice. Like I said, I'm hardly an expert. I was inquiring, and I think you've given me all the information I needed. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 01:01 AM

Gargoyle:

The reason chicks are hitting on you has nothing to do with your weight. It's due to your sparkling personality and your uncanny ability to say the right thing at the right time.

Sincerely,

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Neighmond
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 01:30 AM

Look at my picture on the picture page-

Chaz


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 03:03 AM

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole certainly wasn't thought less of a musician because of his size. But tipping the scales at over 700 pounds certainly had much to do with his dying at age 38. Wish I'd taken the opportunity to see him when he gave a concert in Hilo in '96.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Lanfranc
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 04:05 AM

Having been referred to by my Doctor as being "morbidly obese", and being a type 2 diabetic as well, I felt that something had to be done. So far in the past 12 months I have shed 70 pounds, primarily by reducing my beer intake to negligible levels, eschewing all junk food, most desserts, anything that contains more than 15gm of sugars per 100gm and switching to cooking with olive oil. At 6'4" tall, I could carry the weight better than most, but...

My problems could well be hereditary in nature, my mother, father, both grandfathers and one grandmother were similarly afflicted by both obesity and diabetes (and all but my mother and grandmother were dead before they were the age I am now!). Nonetheless, diet and exercise can help to mitigate them.

However, I have never been particularly aware that my size affected my reception as a singer and musician. I long ago accepted that the skinny, undernourished look was not achievable, and took heart from Burl Ives, Hamish Imlach, Luciano Pavarotti, Barry White et al.

I seldom had "chicks" falling at my feet, but I still get a good number of embraces from middle-aged ladies, which, at my time of life, is probably a more realistic expectation!

It is really all down to self image. Even now, I look at many of my contemporary friends who were lean and fit in their youth, played sport seriously and are now into hip replacements, knee operations and other painful procedures. We are all mortal, it's just the form that our mortality takes that differs.

"There are few pleasures in this life that it is worth forgoing for the sake of an extra six months in a nursing home!" (John Mortimer - "Rumpole of the Bailey")

Carpe diem

Alan


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 04:56 AM

Blame television! I don't think weight is a negative issue on UK tv today; inded, there have been some drama series where the good guys are all b-i-g. But I picked up on the US body semiology in tv and movies a long time ago. If there's a fat guy, he's thick: he's comic relief. If he's fat with a beard, he's a greedy bad guy. If he wears glasses he's a nerd (or an accountant) (If he's thin with a beard, he's a smart bad guy.) Remember the villain in "Jurassic Park"? A fat guy with a beard and glasses. Remember "Goonies"? The fat kid was greedy, cowardly, unreliable, treacherous; the fat bad guy let the other bad guys down.

Teevision influences attitudes: kids see the way people behave and start to belive that's "normal".

Steve


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 07:40 AM

I've never found a community as accepting of size as the folk community.

I'm truly a goddess-shaped woman and have found that size just doesn't seem to register on anyone's consciousness.

Linn


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: harvey andrews
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:54 AM

A most politically incorrect point no doubt but certainly pertinent to the "metabolism" arguement to which I don't subscribe. I agree with the arguement that eating less leads to losing weight. It's simple, as my uncle once pointed out to me "There were no overweight prisoners in Buchenwald" In prisoner of war camps those prisoners who came in overweight soon lost it when placed on the same diet as others. My uncle was on the notorious Burma Railway project of the Japanese. Those who survived were all skeletons.He had no time for the "I can't lose weight because.." apologists.
We can all lose weight if we wish by cutting our calorie intake. This is the only thing you need to know.Some of us may have a hereditary predisposition to store fat more easily than others. Therefore we should watch our intake even more closely.We can still be a healthy weight even though envying our friends who can eat the odd ice-cream and cake with no obvious problems.
It should have no effect on how your music is perceived, but unfortunately it does. I know a great female performer whose backside is unfortunately massive. If she looked like the usual idea of feminine pulchritude she'd be a major name. It's not fair, but it's life as we know it Jim.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 09:14 AM

Why is it politically incorrect to kill yourself with tobacco and it's ok to kill your yourself with a fork. I don't get the double standard here.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 09:17 AM

We'd better stay away from the "Fry me to the moon" thread! I could feel the pounds piling on just from reading it.

I agree with Batgoddess. I find the folk community as a whole very accepting of all shapes and sizes. A number of our well-known and loved local performers and occasional singers are of rather large proportions, myself included. I have never noticed it affecting anyone's performance. That is just ridiculous.

I know somebody who is obsessed with her weight and appearance, who worries that she will be finished as a performer soon through being seen as middle-aged and fat. She is not even overweight! She blames this if she is not accepted for a festival, or uses it as an excuse for just about anything that goes wrong. It's pathetic to watch, and says more about her own insecurity than anything else. When she starts to complain to big ole me about it, that's when I draw the line.

I would like to lose some weight, though, and when I do, it will be a personal decision for the sake of my health, not in order to feel more accepted. I already have that acceptance in my community, I think, and I am very happy with it.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Deni-C
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 09:38 AM

There's weight descrimination and just about every other sort of discrimination everywhere. Don't let it get to you.

wE had a lady at our club who wouldn't stand at the front becuase of her weight. She sang from the back of the room, and none of the people could see her without twisting round. But when she opened her mouth, this gorgeous, full voice came out. I'm glad she didn't let her worries about weight stop her singing....

Radio is comfortable....no worries about appearance there....


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 09:44 AM

I'm too fat to be a pop star and too thin to be a folkie (but time is on my side)just old and decrepit enough for blues and jazz!

RtS


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:17 AM

SURVIVAL??? You are delusional!!!

The FACTS are clear -

Being overweight has significant implications for your health.

Obesity is asociated with the development of:

diabetis
high blood pressure (hypertension)
coronary heart disease
congestive heart failure
lung conditions

54 percent of all U.S. adults and 25 percent of the children are overweight.

Research has shown that even a modest reduction in weight 5 percent to 10 percent also can reduce other cardiovascular risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol.

Although medical conditions may play arole in obesity, for the majority of us obesity is the result of:

sedentary physical exercise
excess intake of calories

Obesity can be treated through:

lifestyle strategies
calorie restriction
increased physical activity

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: smallpiper
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:50 AM

I am overweight but am working on it. In order to loose the pounds I am actually having to eat more than normal - that is more in quantity and more of the right stuff - eating less is not necessarily the right solution.

I have never been discriminated against in the world of folk music.

Technically Gargoyle you are right but there is no need to be so smug about it - Plenty of people want to loose weight and telling them that they are lazy gits dosn't help them.

I'm glad that you have lost so much and best of luck with the remaining excess baggage - just don't contribute to anyone elses eh!

sincerely
A fat Bastard :-)


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:53 AM

I often assume too much background imformation and good will on the part of the people I'm writing to. It seems I've done it again. For centuries, peasants in cold climates starved through the winter, then did the heavy work of spring plowing and planting on an even skimpier diet than the one that got them through the winter. Under such conditions, a very slow metabolism is a strong survival factor. Get fat during the Spring and Fall and then starve it off.

When I was younger and stronger, I did heavy labour loading and unloading vans of magazines. For over 2 years I fasted 2 days a week, being careful not to over eat on the other days. When I quit, I had lost......0 pounds. That's the kind of metabolism I'm talking about. It's quite common. Now that obesity is a health hazard, induced arthritis has made exercize problematic. A 400-500 calory per day liquid diet might take off the extra pounds in a year or so; I know from past experience I can't do that. The point is that some of us are DESIGNED to be fat. And there are no simple alternatives.

PS My brother-in-law can't GAIN weight, unless it's muscle mass.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: wysiwyg
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:56 AM

As a perfomer, you have to take responsibility for yourself and to put forward the best impression you can. Hold the phone-- I am not syaing, "Get skinny." What I AM saying is that you need to project self-confidence, even in the face of what may be true discrimination, and not victimhood. And if weight affects your needs as a performer (amounting to a disability), you just calmly say what you need. A lot of these issues are coming into visibility becuase our baby boomers are aging-- all of a suddent here is a need for mobility accommodation because there are quite a few creaky people around-- notice all the benches appearing in WalMart and more chairs in the department stores? Well, then, maybe you want to sit to perform, a lot of people do.

As for the rest that seems discriminatory, deal with it. There will still be more opportunities than obstacles, and your job as a folkie is not to educate/blame/shame people with weight discrimination issues. There is at least one discrimination being practiced against every human being on the planet, but it doesn't have to govern our lives. Just get gigs and play them and let reality stand with those people, for itself.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:57 AM

When ya stick to the facts like you've just listed, youre right on the money. But making a statement like "Fat people lack stamina, patience, and self-discipline." only pisses people off. I too worked hard and lost 45 pounds, but to say i was lacking patience or self-discipline when I was larger is simply not true. Maybe in your case it was, but don't make it a blanket statement. I don't agree at all that weight-related prejudice is justified. You're talking about a decision made for your health's sake, and that's great, but how does that make someone a better person as far as, say, interpersonal or business relationships or the ability to perform music well? If someone I love and care about has poor dietary habits I want them to take care of themselves, but in the end it's their decision, and it doesn't flavor my opinion of them one way or another.

A person can be skinny and still be quite an asshole, in my book.

Jim


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:12 AM

The only reason I don't get on with anyone is because of their attitiude. If I take a dislike for no obvious reason (and it happens sometimes) I make the effort to overcome it: it usually works.

Steve


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:34 AM

"FOLK MUSIC IS THE CLUB THAT ADMITS EVERYBODY" *

I have seen less blatant discrimination among the folk community than any group I've either been part of, or observed.

It's obviously reflected (to some folks' great consternation) in the make-up and editorial content of the The Mudcat Forum.

I could NEVER have been part of the "Rock community" when I was 15. Despite being a whizz-bang guitarist and decent singer, I simply wasn't "COOL". I was somewhat homely, about ten pounds overweight, and simply too shy to dance or move on stage at ALL! I WAS amazed that Roy Orbison had broken through, cuz he wuz REALLY dorky, but as we found out, the guy had ASTONISHING drive, and more weird talent to connect with lonely teen-agers that you could imagine.

I sure couldn't have become part of the COUNTRY MUSIC SCENE, 'cause next to THEIR politics, I was a rootin' tootin' COMMIE! These were the "Post McCarthy" times remember. I could play well enough to have Merle Travis say "nice job", but when I was around Country artists I kept my politics to myself.

There WAS a jazz scene in Montreal, but I was too young to get into bars, besides to this day my 'harmonic loves' tend to see anything 'post Bix' as "that weird new stuff". I LOVED listening to Bill Evans, Tristano, and Coltrane, but never on my best day did I have the chops to play it with skill. Besides....when I did ANY kind of dope, I'd just fall asleep.

BUT THE FOLK MUSIC COMMUNITY? I was welcomed, and felt part of something for the first time in my life! Nobody cared if I was shy, was still learning social skills, and WASN'T MAINSTREAM. Tons of overweight folks in folk music.....and ya know what? It must be nice to get together with that "song-circle" once a week and not get dumped on, like the person has, during the week. (a close relative has fought a weight battle all her life, and her stories are very sad, even if you take a hard line like Greg is doing)

Nope, all you need to belong to "The Folk Music Club" is A GOOD HEART. You can even be a Conservative (expect to be in the minority) like Jed and Doug, and .....YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO PLAY OR SING!! You can still be part of the scene by promoting shows running folk-clubs etc, or like my Gal Heather, being an "audience".

The weight discrinination may begin again when someone LEAVES the folk community, for a "Mainstream Music" career, but "THE MAINSTREAM" is another issue entirely. It's fuelled strictly by profits....as folkies we don't have much control over that. But.......some folk like Rita MacNeil, Cass Elliot and a few others have broken through....guess it takes a lotta guts and a lotta talent as well as blind luck.


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Abuwood
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:58 AM

I am a large lady, most UK clothes shops don't sell my size. I used to be really shy when singing, always stood at the back of the choir or behind the PA speakers. I recently learned a couple of bold songs about fat ladies, (16 stone & Every Inch a Lady) and these usually go down very well which has vastly improved my personal confidence. So I think a lot of it is in your head. When you look around there are always people bigger and smaller than you - God made us all different it would be boring if we were all the same!


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Subject: RE: WEIGHT discrimination in music world...
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:29 PM

Self confidence is the key to charisma, and there is no weight disqualification for charisma... unless you (the performer) have already disqualified yourself... by being susceptible, and weight is just one of the easy targets that the mean and agressive will zero in on... just look at the tabloids. The 'stars' are 'perfect' in many ways, that's why they are there... and yet smut and attempted invective follows them everywhere, just a few steps behind the ardent admirers...

My point is, that tho the folk community is only slightly more judgemental than church in sunday's finest, There are still some stupid, snipy, competitive types... who will try to manipulate and castigate in order to 'remain on top'... actually that should read 'merely imagine the top', because there is no top... just us plains folk... ttr


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