Thursday, January 14, 2010

Swedes – Hypocritical Fatties

I am not fat. I’m not big boned. I’m not even overweight. I’m actually quite normal weight-wise. And I consider myself very much an American. Basically I’m a stereotype buster spreading skinny Americanism throughout the world. An ambassador if you will.

That being said, I have sat in on the fatty American comments. In fact, I’ve made them myself, because who are we kidding, Americans tend to be bigger than Swedes. Especially at Chicago O’Hare Airport in case you were wondering.

Anyway, turns out Americans aren’t the only fatties. The Local, that beacon of journalistic integrity and ground breaking stories, brings all the English speakers out there a glorious article titled: “Floor collapses at Swedish Weight Watchers clinic.”

Just read that again. Let it sink in.

Ok, now I actually laughed out loud when I first read this. Which was kind of embarrassing because there were other people around at the time, and while it is hilarious, explaining that you take joy in the sad moments in other’s lives isn’t the easiest thing to do. But seriously. The floor collapsed. They were there to see how much weight they had lost and the floor collapsed.

Weight Watchers is an organization that preys on the waistlines of Americans everywhere. I did not know they were international. Their goal is to help people lose weight, all the while making money by selling those weight loss services. It’s genius really. Make money by focusing on the health and well-being of your customer and by praying on their insecurities.

Anyway, I know people who have been in Weight Watchers. They did so to better themselves. To lose weight. To cow to the norms of society. Some people lost weight. Some people didn’t. But they still went to weigh-ins.

In fact, if I remember correctly, they met at a local church. On the first floor. And that is key. I blame the influx of fat people to Sweden, they are still new to this whole thing, but as America has learned, you should never gather a large group of severely overweight people in any room above ground level. It’s just common sense really. That’s a heavy load to bear for any one building.

Considering the post I just wrote yesterday, this might be seen as somewhat hypocritical. Here I am making fun of people. Using stereotypes. But I think we all know the truth. Swedes are hypocritical fatties.

Welcome to Sweden. Where Weight Watchers will no longer meet on the first floor.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden


  1. Oh Hairy, you have me in tears yet again! But honey they (I used to say we) aren't all "severly overweight", trust me. Some just want to lose like 10 lbs.

    It makes you wonder Stockholm WW meet at floor 4 at one place, 5 at another. Will these buildings have to take out new insurance now?

    Either way, imagine what a blow this must've been to them all, eh? As if they don't have enough of a hard time as it is :(

  2. it's true, but 10 lbs isnt nearly as fun as severely overweight. but you are absolutely right.

    I cant even imagine, I hope they have a sense of humor with something like this, because if not, it would be hard to deal with.

  3. I love this post. its Severely awesome. hahahahaa

  4. Awww...sad. Funny, but sad. Your comments were even funnier than the irony of the situation. ;)

    I was at a Mexican restaurant not too long ago and a fat lady broke the bench at her booth. I didn't laugh. At all. I think the bench was going to break anyway and she wasn't terribly fat. Cruel of fate to let it break on her, I thought. :(

    P.S. I was the fat lady.

    P.P.S. Not really.

  5. Ohhh, I so want to post that article around the world but I won't for fear of offending friends, relatives, etc. But thank you for doing it! :)

  6. I DID laugh outloud when i read this. Good grief! I must agree with terander though, not all Weight Watcher members are hugely fat, i have been a member for years and never over 20 pounds over weight, but i agree it is much funnier to picture the real big ones. my Weight watcher meetings in the US are on the second floor and as far as i know we have never collapsed a floor!! Sad but so funny.
    Also have to point out your use of "pray" don't know if you really meant they are praying for thier weight loss, or if you really meant "prey"! kinda funny anyway.
    I also have to say being in Sweden recently that was one of the first things i noticed was that there really are not very many heavy people there, compared to here, hard to imagine that weight watchers can do a very good business there, Swedes are not very fat!
    Thanks for the good laugh today!!

  7. @Lost – severely.

    @E – You don’t need to lie. We all know the truth.

    @PiNG - It is borderline offensive, but seriously, it was just way too funy not too comment on.

    @mamma – yeah but youre one of those nut jobs that have cowed to societal norms and think youre fat despite running marathons. Which is ridiculous.

    Ive got the pray changed to prey. Although, some might meet and pray for the weight to vanish.

  8. I almost spit out of my coffee reading this one you genius you. It never fails. Every time I travel from Europe back "home", I can't get over how heavy people are. It's scary how much you notice it. And how skinny you feel, even if by Swedish standards, you could stand to lose a few kilos.

  9. I don't believe in Weightwatchers at all. According to their tables I was on the verge of actually needing weight watchers a few years ago, before I gained a few kg:s. Now I would according to their tables probably really need them. Except all I hear from people is how skinny I am...
    But the story is never the less an interesting one...

  10. @SwedishJen - its true, we are bigger

    @Ann-Katrin - well thats about the same as the BMI charts. There was a study done in 2005 that nearly half of the professional basketball players in the NBA were classified as overweight. Not exactly accurate.

  11. oh i laughed out loud when i read that story too... was dying to post it up on facebook or something, needed someone to share it with... but was hesitant to offend.

  12. @'Drea - sometimes its just too easy.

    @*corinne - Im just glad Im not the only one.

  13. yeah that story made my day too. You just don't know what to say. But I will say that after hearing my bf constantly tell me how much better quality European (Swedish) stuff is compared to American, I was glad to say that whatever floor those fatties were standing on could not have been quality. Bc there are numerous obese people standing on every level of every building in the US at any given time without collapse.

  14. speaking of floor numbers. i don't understand the way floors are numbered in Sweden. i mean we all know there's a difference between America and Britain in calling the first floor the first floor or the ground floor but it seems it's unlike both of them here in Sweden, can someone tell how they number it here, please?

  15. Hello, I am a Brazilian woman who used to be married to a Swede (it is always funny when I hear myself say this, I always imagine that British people will think I was married to, what do you call it, a rutabaga?). I came across your blog the other night and was pleased to read your experiences. Because they were so similar to what I always perceived about Sweden, Swedes and Swedish things and they are fun to read. I never lived in Sweden though, but have been there many times, for longer each time.
    Will keep coming back (to the blog, I mean; Sweden is not really in my plans anymore. Which is sad because I LOVE THE FOOD and do not think they are strange at all!!! And mind you, in my country people are very "food aware" if I may call it that.
    Okay, time to go. Good night and good blogging.

  16. I also laughed out loud when I read the story.

  17. Haha well spotted, I actually flew through Chicago O'Hare Airport yesterday! The service of the staff there is just a joke..

    Perhaps bigger hearts need bigger bodies ;)

  18. @m8 - oh I didn't even think about the shody construction. well played.

    @Tod - the ground floor is usually referred to as BV, from there on up they number them. So once you've walked up the first flight of stairs you are on the first floor.

    @Alessandra - Sweden is a special place, glad youve been enjoying the blog!

    @Sandra - yes!

    @gucci - agreed.

    @Michelle - O'Hare does struggle. A lot. I was once accused of lying about the duration of my flight from Stockholm and my subsequent delay in Chicago by a friendly staff member there.

  19. This is going to sound unbelievably mature, but i have to do it. i cant hold it back

    _____---Hairy Swede said...

    @SwedishJen - its true, we are bigger______

    ... That's what she said!

    :( I'msorry. ><

  20. I remember thinking I was pretty skinny in Louisiana only to come to Stockholm and wander how fat I probably was. I bought a pair of H&M pants and I could barely fit into them. My junk was proudly in display :P Must be fashion to wear the tight pants but I can never get a reason as to why.

    I believe every 50th or 100th woman I saw in Stockholm was obsese but quite many more were chunky. I'd imagine very hard growing up there if you are like 20kg overweight. Must be tough as a kid.

  21. swedish fashion still eludes me. I just dont get it.

  22. I think this post might be how I found your blog. I loved Conan Obrien's take on it:

    Still makes me laugh. And if you think that O'Hare is a chubby airport, go through the St. Louis Airport sometime. I have never felt skinnier in my life. It's an airport of people who look like large blonde campbells soup kids.

  23. Conan does good work, never been to St. Louis but I was also impressed by the fattiness of Newark the last time I flew through.