President Donald Trump received an “excellent” bill of health by the White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson. We couldn’t have expected anything less than excellent because it’s become common to use superlatives when describing 45 — at least and especially by 45 himself. Before we go questioning Dr. Jackson, it’s important to note that this doc isn’t new to Presidential check-ups — he’s been around during President George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s time as Commander in Chief. Still, “excellent” health doesn’t seem to fit here — Trump is one pound away from being obese and his penchant for fast food isn’t hidden. You’ve all seen Super Size Me, right?
Trump is, of course, in excellent health because he is a very stable genius. Naturally.
It’s not that I want him to be unhealthy, but something seems excessive here. Dr. Jackson attributed Trump’s excellent health to genetics. Jackson said. “Some people just have great genes. I told the president if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to be 200.” Now, this is just getting ridiculous. He may have good genes, but he has just been lucky so far.
Let’s remember that Trump was excused from Vietnam due to his health — bone spurs to be exact. Though it was also said that he was the healthiest person ever elected to President. (The laughter turns to tears here.) This, about a now 71-year-old man who doesn’t exercise. Sure, he plays golf … but he’s not walking the course. Do you think he can touch his toes with those big hands of his? These statements regarding Trump’s health are just making a mockery of what it means to be healthy.
Due to this proclamation by Dr. Jackson, a circle of my female friends began to question if this doctor got a talking to before announcing the results. And did this “excellent” health statement come because Trump is a man? Is this what happens at yearly exams for guys? Is it all a high five moment of stroking egos after a prostate exam? Because it’s not that way for women.
When I go to the doctor, it’s always something. My BMI is within that chart’s range for my age. I exercise. Eat kale. Drink water. And yet my doctor is always finding something to prevent a diagnosis of excellent health. I accept this. This feels real and truthful. I’m not 25 anymore. I know I have arthritis in my back. My vitamin D is often low. I’ve had to have moles that needed to be removed immediately. My breast tissue is dense, so a mammogram isn’t enough and I now need an ultrasound every six months. My uterus makes cysts that are benign but need to be monitored.
“Do you feel depressed?” my doctor asks.
“You have an undiagnosed heart condition.”
“How much coffee do you drink?”
“Now that you’re over 40 ….”
“We need to monitor your thyroid.”
When I was pregnant, I had one doctor tell me it was unnatural that I was pregnant with twins and that I should have a c-section at 32 weeks because I was of advanced maternal age. (I didn’t listen and changed doctors.)
I’m not pleased in doing this, but if I had to compare myself to Trump in the health department, I would say with complete confidence that I was the healthier one. And yet, I’ve never been put into the excellent health category. It should be a medical embarrassment to even suggest that Trump is in excellent health.
My friend, Ginger Gorrell, is under 40 and has never gotten an excellent bill of health either. She admits that her doctor’s criticism was often warranted. She needed to lose weight and stop drinking diet soda. (Sounds familiar.)
But when she was 16, playing tennis, and running five miles a day, her doctor told her she was borderline obese and was advised to go on a diet and exercise more. She did and lost 85 pounds, only to be told by the doctor that her blood pressure was too low and given eating disorder brochures.
Ginger said that the only time a doctor had ever insisted she was fine was when she went in for crippling fatigue, loss of appetite, hair loss, easy bruising, and untreatable depression. Her doctor told her she just needed to lose 40 pounds and insisted nothing was wrong with her.
Women everywhere have had similar experiences. And that’s because women’s bodies seem to always be subjected to questionable practices — by medical practitioners and by President Donald Trump himself. That’s why we are laughing that a man, who so conveniently is just one pound away from obesity, is considered a model for excellent health. For men only, though. Women … need to be 10, according to Trump. Weight and BMI measures are a red flag for females. For men, it’s just fine whatever it is. You need a pill sexual dysfunction, guys? Here’s a ‘script.
Conversely, women’s health care is under attack by this administration — from every angle. Our reproductive health care options have been cut while Trump pops Propecia for his male pattern baldness. Think that’s covered under his insurance?
This injustice and sexism is seen on every front. We cannot forget the constant questioning of Hillary Clinton’s health leading up to the election. According to Trump, Hil wasn’t fit to serve and was essentially on death’s door, while he was looking at life like a thriving newborn. He was also sure to point out his stamina, time and time again, perhaps thanks to his diligence of washing down his daily multivitamin with one of those 12 cans of diet Coke he drinks every day.
Remember “blood coming out of her wherever”? Trump couldn’t even say the word vagina. He sure knows the word “pussy” though.
The discrepancies when it comes to men and women are painfully clear. Misogyny doesn’t just live in Trump’s world, but it thrives in our healthcare system. This excellent bill of health from 45 is just one more thing he sees as putting him in the very stable genius category, placing him on a patriarchal pedestal. Women are supposed to be 10s. Maintain. We have to try harder. We don’t get excellent bills of health. Something is always wrong with us. We have to satiate the objectification. But it’s excellent for men to be one pound away from being classified as having too much body fat, which can cause a slew of health issues.
The truth — or rather, Trump’s truth — is hidden behind the word excellent. We all know that. It needs to be exposed. This isn’t about fat shaming, either. It’s about health — real health care, real issues Americans face that not even Trump is exempt from. It would be so much more inspiring if he just talked about it, helped to create real change to get America healthy. Maybe tried to quit the fast food habit. Barack Obama admitted his cigarette smoking problem, and was able to quit. Trump couldn’t do that, though. He can’t seem … human. He needs to be seen as above all. Most excellent.
What kind of example is he setting? He’s popping Crestor to lower his cholesterol, but loading up on French fries and Big Macs. He’s clearly not getting his veggies from the garden Michelle Obama planted on the South Lawn. Not even Melania is consuming the garbage Trump is putting in his body. Though she’s clearly consumed by it.
We are force fed the lie that Trump is the picture of physical and mental well being. Here we have our current President, a man of uber privilege who should be an example on so many levels, failing us repeatedly and making a mockery of health, specifically women’s health. This is just one more way to let women know that we aren’t held to the same standards as men. This issue of equality in women’s health care is a systemic one — it isn’t just Trump’s diagnosis, though he certainly perpetuates it.
Women may be laughing now, but our issue with women’s health care is serious. It’s something that needs to change now.