Weighing the Mayor

The town of High Wycombe in England has an ancient custom of weighing their mayors, first upon taking office and again at the end of their term. To have gained weight is taken as evidence that they've grown wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. It's like an ancient form of fat-shaming.

In the 1950s, the mayor of Minneapolis, Eric Hoyer, decided to adopt this custom. He even arranged to have the official scales flown in from High Wycombe. He apparently was pretty confident that he'd lost weight, but according to the scales he had gained some. He blamed the extra weight on the ceremonial costume he was wearing for the occasion.

It's an interesting custom. Perhaps we should weigh more politicians periodically. Such as an annual weighing of senators and the president.

Pleasant Grove Review - Jan 4, 1952

Cincinnati Enquirer - Dec 1, 1951

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 16, 2017
     Category: Politics | 1950s | Dieting and Weight Loss

Having originated at a time when food equaled wealth and when most people were malnourished, checking to see if a public official was growing "fat and happy" through corruption or largesse made quite a bit of sense.
Posted by Brian on 10/16/17 at 07:56 AM
We'll need cargo scales to take this to the Federal level.
Posted by Virtual on 10/16/17 at 07:58 AM
Good call, Brian. That was the first thing that came to mind. A college class mate educated me to that during an art class while perusing some Medieval period paintings of upper class women - the semi-nudes. Her words were, "Wow. That girl has some serious thighs!"
Posted by KDP on 10/16/17 at 10:43 AM
They should also be weighed against a duck before they can begin their term.
Posted by BMN on 10/16/17 at 01:42 PM
Nowadays, with Coca-Cola and McDonald's being cheaper than health food, you could steal lots of taxpayer's money and still lose weight. In fact, you could be losing weight at the taxpayer's expense. I know at least one politician who paid himself a stomach bypass with taxpayer's money and lost so much weight that he had to have his extra skin removed, again at taxpayer's expenses. What we need to weight is the politician's bank account.
Posted by Yudith on 10/17/17 at 05:58 AM
I suspect the model in a swimsuit and high heels was an American innovation.
Posted by ges on 10/18/17 at 12:12 AM
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