Rant…  April, 2012

I am amused by the handful who are loudly arguing pro Carnie Wilson and her second bariatric procedure. I do however, find the silence of the bariatric masses deafening.

While it is certainly her choice to do what she feels is right for her own life and body, I am somewhat embarrassed by her obvious publicity grab that centers on needing a second bariatric procedure. As the Wilson Phillips reality show airs, it becomes clear this was a planned attempt to make a few bucks using surgery as controversy. I don’t like being used.

Revision surgeries are controversial. Does the surgery fail, or does the patient create the failure and grab at a second surgery. Carnie has documented some terrible food habits on camera and admits to serious issues with eating, drugs and alcohol. Very few who have the loudest voices in our bariatric circles are getting real about Carnie. These are the same folks who spend a great deal of time raising money for obesity equality and advocacy lobbyist groups, yet they are defending Carnie vehemently in public forums as if we should be proud she has had a second bariatric surgery. I do not think her having a second procedure helps the profile of anything to do with bariatric surgery in any way, shape, or stretch of imagination. In my opinion, she has done more damage to our community with her publicity seeking than any ‘Save the Whales’ billboard could ever do.

The lack of calm dissent tells me that like I, not everyone is overjoyed by the light Ms. Wilson is once again shining on us. Not counting or anything, but isn’t this at least the fourth reality show cry for attention using obesity as disposable controversy? Many have worked hard for many years to overcome the public scrutiny, employment bias, discrimination, and insurance company exclusions that have made it difficult for some and impossible for others to have access to even one bariatric surgery.

It was not so long ago the reason for widespread denial of coverage was due to the surgery being perceived as not being effective when we could just ‘put down the fork’ or ‘push away from the table’. It has taken many years to show that surgery does work and in fact saves lives. There is as much coverage of ‘Carnie Wilson Surgery 2 After Weight Gain’ than the truly newsworthy and world changing ‘Gastric Bypass Curing Diabetes’ medical headline of a few weeks ago.

In closed conversations I have had with post ops, it is not her choice that people take issue with, but her use of media without regard to those who will be denied insurance coverage today with a renewed position and resolve.

I wish Ms. Wilson well with her Lap Band over Gastric Bypass, but am saddened she has decided to climb over us… again. I wish she would just sing.