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  Field Notes From
Heavy Cost of Fat

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From Photographer

Karen Kasmauski

Fat On Assignment

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From Author

Cathy Newman

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Karen Kasmauski (top) and Brian Strauss


Fat On Assignment Photographer Fat On Assignment Photographer
Heavy Cost of Fat

Field Notes From Photographer
Karen Kasmauski

Best Worst Quirkiest
    I was dealing with intense emotional issues and in some ways photographing people at their rawest. They have what society considers a major physical flaw. Although most people might look at someone who's handicapped with pity, fat people are often viewed with dislike. People think they're weak and they can't do anything. But I actually found the people I photographed to be just the opposite. They were very brave and willing to share their life stories with me in hopes of getting information out about the health issues associated with obesity.

    The obesity issue is not something that's going to change with one person deciding to exercise. There needs to be a complete change in our society's attitude, but I'm not sure that's ever going to happen. We work a lot, we're stressed out, and we're completely exhausted at the end of the day, all of which make it hard to want to eat or exercise properly.  We're also always in such a hurry that we've basically programmed any activity out of our lives. No one thinks about walking anywhere anymore because they're always in their cars, rushing from one thing to the next.

    No matter where I went, everyone always wanted to make me feel at home with these huge meals. So I ended up coming away from some of my shoots feeling stuffed. I was photographing a giant platter of food at a San Antonio restaurant, and the owner kept bringing out more food for me to try. I had to eat something because I didn't want to insult her. But then it tasted so good that I wanted to eat more. I guess you could say I ended up gaining a little weight. 


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