If you speak to any man or woman alike and ask them what they think of their body I can guarantee you that almost every single person in the world will find fault with their appearance. It doesn’t matter if you are the most beautiful or handsome person on the planet, nor does it matter if ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ because as I’m sure you all know very well, once you have discovered your insecurity no matter what anyone tells you, you will always view yourself as flawed.
That brings me onto today’s piece, the internet has recently exploded with Nicole Arbour’s “Dear Fatties” video, if you haven’t yet seen it I’ll enlighten you. Within the video we are presented with a high pitched, rather obnoxious girl who rants for a good six minutes about “fatties”, how fat shaming should continue, how obese and plus sized people should be shamed and how people use labels to make excuses. Whether you’re “fat”, “gay” or of course persecuted for your race, apparently we all use these excuses to effectively sit on our over-sized bottoms and do nothing, so today I’m going to share with you my opinion.
As I started watching the video I instantly knew that this hyperactive girl who was playing it up for the cameras was going to irritate me. I can forgive people who have a lack of knowledge about certain things, nobody knows everything and anything, but one thing I really hate is ignorance, the unwillingness to educate yourself, get your facts straight and see outside of your self absorbed little bubble. I also hate bullies and will never understand why people feel the need to hurt other people. As soon as she launched into her tirade that she calls ‘comedy’ my stomach sank, my heart pounded and tears filled my eyes as I imagined the people who were targeted watching this video and beginning to hate themselves.
I’m going to start with the degrading comments, I’d like to point out that fat shaming is a thing and no it doesn’t mean “let’s shame fatties because they’re fat” it means that there are prejudiced people in this world who discriminate against those who may not fit the idyllic conventions of society. I’m sure that some of these ‘fatties’ would like to lose weight (and if they don’t want to that’s cool too, YOUR body YOUR rights) but impinging factors haven’t been considered.
What about slow metabolic rates? What about conditions causing people to gain weight or medications that cause people to gain weight? What about genetics, religion and intolerances to certain foods? Let’s be honest the weight piles on easily enough but it’s not easy to lose it and fake concern and the “I’m saying this to help” attitude is more likely to cause low self esteem than motivation.
For a vulnerable person who may comfort eat, losing weight might be quite challenging, if you’re obese and are struggling to walk how are you expected to swim and run? Yes these people may not be living your chosen lifestyle but we all have the right to free will and quite frankly it’s none of your business.
Let’s get onto the other cards, the “race card”, the “disability card” and the “homosexuality card”. There will always be people who play on things or use excuses but generalizing is not on. The majority of people who wrongly claim disability are actually perfectly well whereas those who are actually disabled want nothing more than to get on with their lives. As someone who is classed as ‘disabled’ I would much rather get on with life than be permanently perceived as a victim, and no I don’t use my disability as an excuse.
People wouldn’t need to worry about racism if so many people hadn’t been persecuted due to their race and skin color. Read a book, read about lynching and slave trade, read about white supremacists and racial attacks, I can guarantee you that there has been an abundance of abuse both physical and verbal directed at those with a different skin color. Only this week a darker skinned woman was arrested and forced into a mental institution where she was stripped and forcibly injected with sedatives and guess what? She hadn’t committed a crime and was completely innocent yet because she wasn’t ‘white’ she was persecuted. We all bleed red blood and we have the same insides- the same organs, so why does it matter what color our skin is?
For homosexuals I can’t possibly imagine the agonising decision of coming out, with religion being widely accepted and some families being less accepting than others I cannot even begin to perceive the pain and the torture of hiding your true self away for years before admitting you like members of the same sex, but let’s not forget they all “love pink and glitter” so it’s okay right?
That “fat kid” whose family (including himself) was shamelessly mocked in Arbour’s video wrote a response article, he was brave and kind and yet despite his positive efforts was the butt of jokes at his expense. He was judged without Arbour knowing his story, whatever happened to ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ and ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say it’?
As Tony Posnanski (the supposed ‘fat kid), said in response to Arbour’s ‘make better choices’ comment:
“There is so much more to losing weight. That is the simple answer for anyone who has no idea what being obese is. That would be like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking,. Or a cocaine addict to stop snorting. Or a gambler to just stop.”
I’ve been researching responses to the video and the articles are heartbreaking, a woman who has suffered her entire life sharing her lowest moments to show her pain, people having nervous breakdowns and those who look in the mirror and hate their very existence, simply because they’re body is not the ‘perfect shape’. For a vulnerable teenage girl who might stumble across that video, is it a message that should be widespread across the internet, lose weight or face hate?
Thankfully it seems that the world does have some sense, Pat Mills, director of the feature film “Don’t talk to Irene” has since refused to hire Arbour, plus sized people are uniting over shared insecurities and vlogger, Grace Helbig has spoken out about Arbour using her comedy in a negative way. By the way, can we all just raise a glass to Tess Holliday, a plus size model who is constantly supporting all shapes and sizes on her Twitter.
So here’s my message to everyone in the world who feels insecure, love yourself for who you are because no matter what any shallow person says, it’s what is on the inside that counts. Embrace your body and embrace your life and don’t let anybody tell you or make you feel like you don’t deserve to be a part of society or culture.
Also Nicole? Now that I’ve finished this article if you don’t mind I’m going to go and tuck into my microwave popcorn and have a glass of highly calorific soft drink? Because guess what? This is my body and I bloody love it.
I hope that you enjoyed this post, what do you think about fat shaming? Have you ever been fat shamed? Have you been bullied before?
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