In almost every zombie movie I have watched, and there has been many, the one and only fat person meets with an untimely and gruesome demise. Most movies and television shows treat being fat as an inevitable death sentence. Even zombie manuals (yes, they exist) purport that fat people will die first because they move slower.
While for the most part I think this is true, the "we move slower" part, at least a select few of us. My husband will tell you I can move pretty darn fast when a spider shows up so imagine how fast I could move if a zombie showed up. I do take offense to it though because it assumes that we are not smart enough to knock over a skinny person (or even another fat person – because the stats are out there – there are more of us) to save ourselves (not that I condone that kind of behavior). It also implies that all fat people are not healthy or athletic which is definitely not the case.
Huge generalizations aside, I have known fat people with a hundred pounds or more on an average BMI weight person who move pretty darn fast when the need calls for it and even when it does not.
And here is the thing, as slow fat people... we know we are slow don't we? And knowing that we are going to make allowances for it; like hanging out with a group, thinking ahead, and carrying a big weapon.
The majority of fat people are actually pretty active in their day to day lives. They go to school, they go to work, they socialize, they make money, they shop, they do yoga, and they run marathons. Are some of us going to huff and puff a lot? You betcha! But so are a lot of slender folks.
Here is my list of other reasons I think fat people have more of a chance of survival than most zombie writers think.
WARNING: I fall back on some fat stereotypes to make list longer but if other people can use them to plan our demise I can use them to suggest our survival. In no particular order:
Slow Zombies -- While I enjoy many of the new movies with speed racing zombies, I subscribe to old school science that they probably will not be moving that quickly and that an active fat person and even a moderately obese person could not only defend themselves but also survive.
Fat storage -- When food becomes scarce we can get by on less because our bodies can turn to their fat stores. We can survive on less because we have already stockpiled reserves.
We are Strong -- And we have the weight to back us up in a pinch; we can hold doors closed and can throw someone into the jaws of a zombie, if necessary.
Food Finders -- We know where it is hidden or we know how to get our hands on it. You better be nice if you want us to share.
Zombie Movie Digest -- Because most of us are couch potatoes, we have watched a lot of zombie movies and are therefore walking-talking zombie guides and handy to have around.
Disease has its Advantages -- Since the obese are now considered diseased (thank you, American Medical Association), zombies will not want to eat us. This makes us good barriers of protection to have around. Zombies will avoid us. Everyone else tastes like candy!
Sleep Deprived -- We can survive on little or no sleep because we snore so much. I did not say all my reasons would be good ones.
Natural Odors -- We smell, an excellent camouflage, so someone else is more likely to be bitten or eaten than we are.
And it Keeps Coming -- We have taken a lot of emotional abuse from family, friends, co-workers, and even strangers on the street. We will probably be blamed for the zombie apocalypse because being fat is a disease and all -- and I hear it is contagious.
My whole point, I guess, is I wish writers would stop killing off the fatties and give us an awesome zombie fighting priestess (how about Rebel Wilson) with the kind of flesh that would make a zombie drool. If all else fails I will meet you at the corner of Vine and Cedar and we can form our own fatty zombie fighting brigade.
Citation: image created using AMC's Dead Yourself App.