Jessica Mondillo’s Blog

Santa: A bad role model? Yes, according to US Surgeon General Galson

08 December 2007 

At the beginning of the month Acting US Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven K Galson, came to Boston.  In his speech, Galson calls Santa Clause a bad role model because he is too fat and should exercise.

Santa Clause has been a symbol of Christmas for years but now he is a bad role model because children are obese?  Are we proposing that jolly old Santa should become a body builder?  I don’t think that will be cheerful but instead scary to a young child.

Yes, children are becoming more obese but I don’t blame Santa, the person who is highly visible for only 1 month of the year.  If we want to stop children becoming overweight lets not target Santa but instead the sedentary lifestyle that they live.

Now if it because Santa is a role model for children, that seems weird to me because I never remember thinking “I want to be just like Santa!”  Maybe Santa is a good role model though.  He is always happy, he is not concerned with fitting a stereotype of how a person should look and he gives to everyone.  These are not things that we see often in life.  If more people were generous and happy, would that be a bad thing?  If people didn’t fall into a stereotype and everyone was unique and thus happy just being them, is that bad?

And just say every boy in the country is using Santa as their role model and now wants to be fat like him.  Is it really better to have him be the perfect male, with a perfect body?  No.  We are just promoting that every boy should use steroids and work out every day so that they can have a perfect body.  Girls are already pressured to look perfect and fit a stereotype, so why don’t we make boys have peer pressure and fit a stereotype?

Maybe I’m crazy, but when I have children, I don’t want to change Santa for them.  I don’t see him as a negative role model, but instead that Santa has some of the most important values a person can have.  If I have to keep my child from being overweight, I’d encourage a healthy lifestyle instead of making tolerance of everyone, regardless of the way they look, taboo.


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