State legislators in New Jersey are mulling legislation that would ban overweight people from the state’s beaches.
The bill, which forbids individuals designated as “morbidly obese” from accessing state beaches, is being touted by Governor Phil Murphy as an attempt to revitalize the state’s image.
“Television shows such as Jersey Shore have drawn worldwide attention to the state and its beaches,” said Murphy during a press conference. “They’ve given us an image to the rest of the world, one that’s not so good. This legislation will help undo that, and say to the rest of the world ‘Hey, we’re not a bunch of slobs. We have class, we have taste.'”
Murphy said that a personal experience inspired him to craft the bill.
“During my last visit to Wildwood, I looked around and was disgusted by what I saw. One gut after another, nonchalantly parading around the beach with no shame. Gelatinous masses pouring from bikinis. It was like looking at a bunch of beached whales. I said to myself, ‘This is what the rest of the world sees when they look at my state?’. I was appalled, I was offended. As governor, I knew that it was my responsibility to do something here.”
Critics contend that such measures would be draconian, and several beaches have already said that they will not enforce any law that restricts patrons based on weight. “The idea that we should ban people for being fat is just absurd,” a Barnegat Bay spokesperson said, “And the fact that Governor Murphy of all people is introducing this legislation makes us wonder if this is even for real.” A spokesperson for Seaside Heights had similar remarks. “Has Murphy looked in a mirror lately? He’s the last person who should be complaining about how people look.”
Among the legislation’s most ardent supporters are Jersey Shore cast members Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, and Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio. In an interview with AJnet, Sorrentino expressed sympathy for Murphy, saying that he could relate to the governor’s experience at Wildwood.
“I’ve seen a lot of people wearing stuff they shouldn’t wear,” Sorrentino said. “It’s tough on the eyes and really makes the beach look bad.”
He recounted an incident where overweight beach-goers hurled verbally abusive remarks about his body.
“I was tanning on the beach in Seaside Heights when these fat guys started yelling at me like ‘Hey meathead! Hey! You ain’t welcome here! You make us look bad!’ I tried to tell them that I didn’t want no trouble, I was only there to get my tan on, but it was like they didn’t care. They kicked sand at me and called me an ape. It wasn’t worth it, I left.”
DelVecchio expressed a similar sentiment.
“There ain’t nothing wrong with telling fat people they need to lose some weight. This law says no fat people, so hit the gym and lose the weight and you won’t be fat. It’s promoting being healthy.”
Other Jersey Shore cast members aren’t supportive of the legislation. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi feels the legislation is insensitive and demeaning, in particular to women.
“We’re all different, we’re not all beautiful people,” said Polizzi. “Weight’s a big problem with a lot of girls. You know how many girls cry because they’re fat? They go in the bathroom and make themselves puke because they think they’ve gotta to be skinny. They starve themselves trying to look good, and the governor wants to take away their rights now. That ain’t right. And who is he to judge how others look? He looks like a ferret!”
New Jersey lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill in early September, after Labor Day.
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