ask not (is John Green fat)

There’s a lot going on behind this song. John Green is a young adult author who, with his brother Hank, is half of the VlogBrothers YouTube channel (definitely worth checking out, if you haven’t seen them). John and Hank have fostered an ever-growing community of young, geeky individuals who they refer to as “nerdfighters” (people who fight for nerds, kind of like “freedom fighters”). I love these guys’ videos and their sense of humor. However, they seem to be a little obsessive about food. Actually that’s not really fair, although food does play a major role in a lot of John’s videos (whether he’s eating, talking about eating, spreading it on his body, or purging it from his system).

Running completely in parallel to this… there is a history of eating disorders in my extended family, and I’d thought about writing a song about it for sometime. I didn’t want to write a song that was too bombastic and preachy, so I ended up with something that isn’t sure whether it thinks it’s funny or sad.

Speaking demographically she’d make a perfect Nerdfighter
She is young, she is female, she is clever, she’s creative
She’s fascinated with the hidden dark side of society
She has the depth of Margo, and all the insecurities related
Oh no

Not usually an advocate for ignorance, but this is good for her
Unaware of the meme that your community’s created
Her paper towns constructed by the media are going up in flames
Fanned on by the discourse perpetrated, perpetuated, unabated
Oh no (2x)

She is looking for assurances
She is looking for control
And the last thing that she needs to see
…is this mustachioed man subsisting on pizza dough

Ask not, “Is John Green fat?”
Ask rather, “Is he healthy?”

The chorus may be tongue in cheek, but this was deadly serious to her
Locked away so she could not kill her self through depravation
She painted all the mirrors in her house so that she would not have to see
A body image leading to her strategy of personal salvation
Oh no (2x)

I’m not asking you to put away that Happy Meal smoothie
I’m not asking you to spit out all your peeps
I’m just hoping that you’d reconsider the language you’re using
…when talking about your insecurities hinged on middle-aged waste line creep, yeah

Ask not, “Is John Green fat?”
Ask rather, “Is he healthy?”

I know you’ve got the best intentions
…and your made-of-awesome style will pull you through
I know it isn’t fair, but we’ve all got our blind spots
…and that’s really why I’m sharing this with you

Ask not, “Is John Green fat?”
Ask rather, “Is he healthy?”


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