Old and Fat

oldnfatThe film, Twenty Feet from Stardom,  a documentary about back-up singers that I posted about on Tuesday, moved me in many ways.   The music stirred my soul.  The back-up singers it featured amazed me with their sheer talent, their love of music and their work ethic in the face of a sometimes unfair music industry.  I was saddened by how close some of them had come to stardom and that others had times when they could hardly support themselves with their art.   I imagined what it must be like to stand in the shadows of performers with far less talent.   And I was occasionally infuriated.   One of the singers featured was Tata Vega, a name you probably don’t know but should.  She has sung back-up to such acts as Ray Charles, Micheal Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Elton John and is a lead gospel singer in her own right.  In an interview in the film, she said that producers had begun telling her that she was too old and too fat for the acts they were producing.   Is this too Old and Fat?

Wednesday, I was looking for YouTube videos by Lisa Fischer, another singer featured in Twenty Steps.  Fischer has an amazing vocal range capable of most any genre and enough charisma to tour with the Rolling Stones and sing with Mick Jagger.

I found this amazing video of her singing The Look of Love with trumpeter Chris Botti.

Most of the comments raved about her voice but a clown by the name of Thomas de Lello simply said, She got fat…!

As an official member of the Old and Fat Club, I am really sick and tired of people who think that being young and thin (these days, even emaciated) are the crowning achievements of being human.   It infuriates me that producers tell a singer like Vega she’s too old and too fat while a thin, minimally talented (insert inappropriate politically incorrect epithet) like Mylie Cyrus headlines on Yahoo.  It frustrates me that an (insert inappropriate politically incorrect epithet) like Thomas de Lello can listen to a performance like Fischer’s then comment on her weight.  Believe me, if you have the metabolism and the discipline to be thin, more power to you.   It is a healthier way to be.  But it’s not that big a deal.  And if you are young, try not to value it too much … that will make you bitter when you get old, which you will before you know it.   And if you don’t have anything nice to say, shut the (insert inappropriate politically incorrect epithet) up.  Thank you and good night.

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3 Comments on “Old and Fat”

  1. Amen and Amen! I have always believed that way too much value is placed on a person’s looks, exterior beauty -be it slim and trim, or hair perfectly done, makeup just so, a beautiful face -all that is given way too much weight in the eyes of society and not enough value is placed then on what various people who maybe are not ever win any kind of beauty contest but are ultra smart, hard workers, talented in various areas beyond belief etc., etc.
    Thanks Bud for pointing this out in this post. And ya know too, some people maybe begin their lives in the working world with great beauty but things happen to all of us along the way, over the years, that change our physical appearance but that still doesn’t remove the talents the person had to begin with in the first place. If anything, often those talents become bigger, better, stronger for having had to work and push that much harder to get a little ahead in life. Age, weight, scars, various other ways people change, sometimes even get a bit incapacitated too as time does its thing to each of us, should not be something upon which we are judged. Look at some of the opera stars, especially the women, who frequently are very heavyset but are still the diva singers anyway. Maybe it is only those type of musicians that are accepted if they are a little on the larger side. I dunno but it definitely is quite unfair.

  2. Doug Says:

    Lisa is a couple months older than me, and heck yes – few of us stay “the same” over the decades.

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