You're Different, Be Yourself

Mr. Skinny - Roger Hargreaves

Well, here I was, about to sit down and read my second Mr Men book in donkey's years and what did I discover? That I actually cannot remember anything about them. So imagine my shock when I opened to the first page to discovered that it was about this really, really skinny person who lives in a place called Fatland. Well, I didn't think it was supposed to be politically correct to make fun of fat people (though as my Mum would always say people can go hell for leather against skinny people – but that is probably because they are jealous, especially with today's society promoting an unrealistically high expectation when it comes to skinny people – especially women).


Then I discovered that it was about how Mr Skinny wanted to be like everybody else – fat. So, what ever happened with the idea about being yourself and not confirming with other people? Okay, it may be the 70s, but then again I would hardly say that the 70s was an era of conformity (unlike the 50s). Okay, there is the idea of being unrealistically skinny, and also eating so little that you make yourself ill (and I also believe that there is a condition call Bilimia). However the thing with Mr Skinny is that this is what he was like. I ought to know, I actually had the nickname Mr Skinny for quite a while, and I can also appreciate his lack of appetite.


Still, with all of this 'be yourself' and 'be like Bob' rubbish floating around Facebook these days sometimes I wonder whether there is a war between being an individual and being like everybody else. Okay, 'Be Like Bob' has a lot more to do with etiquette than conformity, however there is still some bizarre idea that we have to like things everybody else likes – such as sport. Some people have even gone as far as to have surgery just so they look like everybody else. In the end God made you an individual for a reason: if everybody was the same then this would be a really boring world.