Meet 2 real-life guys behind Donald Trump's "400 pound hacker" stereotype

At the first presidential debate this week, GOP nominee Donald Trump fat-shamed a fictional IT character he made up. Speaking about a series of hacks on Democratic National Committee organizations, Trump said, “I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don’t know who broke in to DNC.”

Trump's mean trope of a hacker “sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds” is nothing new to “XXL and greater” sized information security professionals.

At this year's Derbycon in Louisville, KY, there were two really interesting talks about the phenomenon of obesity in the security community.

A word to the fat-shamey: While both talks focus on weight loss, it's good to remember that large people are human beings with thoughts, feelings, and the right to not be hassled about their bodies. That is shitty and cruel, just like Donald Trump.

Hackers and otherwise, bigger human beings deserve respect and courtesy, just exactly as they are right now.

Full stop.

So if you're reading this and you are a heavy hacker, we at Boing Boing are here to say that you do not have to lose weight to be a worthy human being.

Anyway. These talks are cool.

“I was the 340 lb. hacker!” says Michael Schearer. He lost a bunch of weight, and shared how that happened in a talk. From “Confronting Obesity in Infosec,”

Our industry has an obesity problem. The numbers back it up, too: those who work in office environments (as many of us do) are more obese, exercise less, and suffer pay discrimination. Many travel a lot and live out of a suitcase. Our meals come from airports and fast-food restaurants. Who has time left over for the gym? Add to that the hidden health dangers of obesity and you have a recipe for disaster. Whether you're obese (like I was) or not, you can learn something from this rant: our community is the biggest support group you'll ever have to get yourself on the right track. I'll share my personal story as an example of what you can do. It's time we come together as a community to help fight this problem. Won't you join us?

Nathan Magniez gave a related talk, “Body Hacking 101 (or a Healthy Lifestyle for Security Pros).”

Security consulting is a beast of a lifestyle. Travel, airport food, late night report writing...It leads to accumulating a spare tire and unhealthy habits. If you have wondered how to overcome this unspoken issue in our community then this talk is for you. I was there. Flying. Eating. Ignoring my health. If you are wondering how to get started in a healthier lifestyle without the inundation of pseudo/false information from fitness magazines then this workshop is for you. Every attendee will walk away with the knowledge and ability to control their own body weight and shape their own health goals. This will be a no non-sense, no body shaming, no bullshit approach to helping people achieve what they want out of themselves. We all have root level privileges of ourselves...controlling that absolute power is half the battle.

[via @irongeek_adc]

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