The Whale: A Deep Dive into the Film’s Portrayal of Morbid Obesity and Self-Acceptance

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Patrick Wang

Expert of Peptides | Ask me anything about Peptides | Sales Manager at AHB Lab

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Last night, I had the opportunity to watch “The Whale”, a film that left a profound impact on me. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the movie features Brendan Fraser and Sadie Sink in the lead roles. Fraser’s portrayal of a man with morbid obesity named Charlie is both heart-wrenching and thought-provoking.

“The Whale”, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is a film that appears to be a harsh critique masked as a tough-love narrative. Brendan Fraser’s performance is commendable and deserving of accolades, but the movie itself seems to be a harsh critique disguised as a tough-love narrative.

Originally premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, “The Whale” is now available for theatrical release. The film, produced by A24, is a challenging watch, potentially harmful to some viewers, and seems to reinforce the status quo, which can be quite dull for a movie.


The Painful Stories Behind the Bodies

The film, at its most generous interpretation, urges viewers to think about the painful stories behind bodies they deem “disgusting”. However, if an extraterrestrial being were to land on Earth and question whether humans find their largest members attractive or repulsive, “The Whale” would suggest the latter.

The narrative of “The Whale” is equally harsh. Aronofsky and writer Samuel D. Hunter, who adapted his own stage play, reveal in the second half of the movie that Charlie, the main character, is a saint-like figure. He allows people in his life to treat him poorly to absolve them of their hatred and himself of his sins. A subplot involving Charlie’s past life in Iowa suggests that unkind treatment can be helpful, which only holds true if the recipient of the hostility is unaware of what’s good for them.

One of the most frustrating aspects of “The Whale” is that Brendan Fraser, who plays Charlie, is a significant asset. He portrays Charlie as an intelligent, humorous, and thoughtful man who loves language and creativity, and refuses to let the tragic circumstances of his life turn him cynical. However, the film seems content with his surface-level assertions that he’s fine and happy, showing a lack of interest in exploring Charlie’s inner emotional life.

Morbid Obesity


Understanding Morbid Obesity

In the film ‘The Whale’, the protagonist’s physical size is a metaphor for the emotional burdens he carries. This metaphor finds a parallel in the real world, where morbid obesity is not just a physical condition but a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Morbid obesity, a term now being replaced with ‘Class III Obesity’ or ‘Severe Obesity’, is a serious health condition characterized by an abnormally high body mass. It is diagnosed when a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) exceeds 40 kg/m², or when the BMI is greater than 35 kg/m² accompanied by at least one serious obesity-related condition. The condition can also be diagnosed when a person is more than 100 pounds over their ideal body weight.


The Causes of Morbid Obesity

The causes of morbid obesity are multifaceted and often interconnected. They include genetic predisposition, environmental factors, and psychological issues.

Genetic Predisposition

Genetic factors play a significant role in determining a person’s susceptibility to obesity. Certain genetic mutations can affect the regulation of appetite and metabolism, leading to excessive weight gain.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a person lives can significantly influence their eating habits and physical activity levels. Easy access to high-calorie foods, sedentary lifestyles, and lack of safe spaces for physical activity can contribute to weight gain.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors are often overlooked but are crucial in understanding obesity. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are common among people with obesity. Traumatic stress, such as child abuse or rape, greatly increases a person’s likelihood of becoming overweight or obese. People may turn to food to cope with their pain, self-loathing, or feelings of hopelessness.


The Consequences of Morbid Obesity

Morbid obesity is associated with a range of serious health complications. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and certain types of cancer. It can also lead to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety, largely due to societal discrimination and bias against individuals with obesity.


The Treatments of Morbid Obesity

Treating morbid obesity involves a comprehensive approach. Lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet and regular physical activity, are often the first steps. Behavioral changes, such as managing eating patterns and stress, are also crucial.

In some cases, weight-loss medications may be prescribed to help reduce hunger or increase feelings of fullness. Endoscopic procedures, which are less invasive, can assist in weight loss by reducing the size of the stomach.

For severe obesity, bariatric surgery may be an option. This includes procedures like gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy, which alter the gastrointestinal tract to change energy balance and fat metabolism.

Regardless of the treatment approach, ongoing support and follow-up are essential for long-term success.


Introducing SASMP®: A Potential Ally in Morbid Obesity Management

SASMP®, a decapeptide developed by AHB Lab, offers a novel approach to stress relief and mental health support. While not specifically designed to treat morbid obesity, its stress-relieving properties could indirectly support weight management efforts.

SASMP® works by inhibiting the secretion of hormones in the brain’s hypothalamus, reducing the adrenal secretion of cortisone. This mechanism allows SASMP® to achieve anti-stress, anti-depression, and sleep disorder management effects, and even an increase in the brain’s memory.

In conclusion, SASMP® represents a promising advancement in the field of therapeutic peptides. Its potential applications in stress relief, mental health support, and possibly, morbid obesity management, make it a valuable tool in the journey towards optimal health.


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