Today I needed something to make me laugh, so my youngest son and I watched “The Nutty Professor” starring Eddie Murphy. I had seen it years ago, but my son hadn’t, so we sat and watched it together.
I remembered the character of Sherman Klump, the overweight professor, as being a really sweet person. He carried around this extra weight that made people treat him differently. Even though he was predisposed to having a difficult time with weight, everyone judged him based on it. He became desperate enough to take an untested potion to try to become what people would judge to be a better person.
It reminded me of people in my life who are important to me, who get judged every day for being who they are. Maybe some of these people tried to be like Buddy Love and to fit into social norms better. Buddy Love wasn’t who they were, but it was what everyone expected and liked better. One could even say that Buddy Love was less of a sinner in the public eye because he didn’t seem to show signs of overeating or what the Bible calls gluttony. But Sherman knew he wasn’t Buddy, and Buddy wasn’t really a very nice or happy person.
I hope to convey the idea of thinking twice before judging people based on how they appear outwardly, rather than who they truly are on the inside. Sherman had lots of gifts to give, gifts of thoughtfulness and kindness. I see those gifts in the Shermans that I know, those loved ones who are struggling not only with weight issues, but depression, or negative social reactions to those who are transgender or of a different sexual orientation. While society still may prefer something closer to Buddy Love, my love is for the Shermans of this world. I’m loving them for who they are and into whatever wholeness they can have with how they need to be, in order to be themselves.