Back in the day, heft was associated with gravitas and power, leadership, and trust. Fat blokes, by their very physiques, projected monumental indestructability. Even when they were rotting with syphilis (Henry VIII) or prone to decapitating their spouses (Henry VIII, again) they were somehow preferable to those malevolent skinny fellows (Richard III). Obese monarchs and porky politicos loomed large on any podium or battlefield, and one imagines that when they delivered speeches their words boomed and reverberated to tremendous effect. Enough to make your jewelry rattle.
It’s hard to imagine a scrawny geezer having the same kind of impact. Imagine if Winston Churchill, instead of looking like Falstaff, were to have resembled Igor Stravinsky, or a Giacometti sculpture. I cannot help feeling his we-will-fight-on-the-beaches addresses to the nation would have been much less comforting.