I realize that the point of the bear movement is to recognize that men who may not be conventionally attractive can still have appeal to many. But doesn't the bear movement also encourage an unhealthy lifestyle? I see all these very fat guys and can't imagine that being so overweight is good for them. What do you think?
I think you have a point. Of course we have to remember that there are out of shape people who live till 90 and 45-year-olds who stay fit and trim yet still drop dead of a heart attack on the tennis court. So much of it has to do with genes and other aspects of one's lifestyle.
The stereotypical bear is basically a big, jolly, fat guy [without getting into Santa Claus]. But there are many types of bears -- muscle bears, bear cubs, otters [thinner bears -- my classification but I have to watch the calories to stay within it], and so on. A bear is simply a gay guy with hair on his face and body. Many bears do go to the gym.
But I do think the -- for lack of a better word -- obsession some men have over very large men has its downside. As men grow older it is still important to stay in shape. If a fat bear loses weight he may lose some admirers -- the chubby chasers, for instance -- but hopefully he will gain a whole lot more.