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Monday, May 12, 2014

What Do You Think About Fat Shaming?

For those who don’t know what ‘fat shaming’ is:
Explanation 1
A bullying tactic, singling out, or making fun of a fat person, under the guise of helping them realise they need to lose 50 pounds pronto or they’re going to become ill, die prematurely, or be a major burden on the health system, when in actual fact it’s an individual’s bias against people they consider to be unattractive in their immediate social or professional circle.
1.You’re a plus size female out dancing at a club with friends. You notice a small group of guys at the bar staring at you and laughing. Eventually one of them comes over and starts trying to dance behind you, rubbing against your ass, while his friends laugh uncontrollably. When you turn around and tell him to piss off, he laughs in your face and says, “Nah, girl, I’d totally fuck you if I thought I could find your pussy in all that blubber!”
2. You’re a fat person using the elliptical trainer at the gym. A man walks by and gives you an encouraging pat on the shoulder. “GOOD FOR YOU!” he says loudly, a little patronizingly. He has pointed out that seeing people who look like you exercising in public is a strange and unfamiliar occurrance, an idea rooted in the assumption that fat people are uniformly lazy and unhealthy, and you, as an exception, therefore deserve to be recognized and lauded. You feel singled out, othered, and very uncomfortable.
3. A fat guy in a cafeteria is loading his plate with vegetables. The chef gives him a smile, makes a fat shaming comment, “I spose all that green stuff means room for more pudding eh?” as he sniggers expecting him to enjoy the joke that is essentially on him.
The fat guy finishes his meal and goes to leave the cafeteria. Just then a work colleague passes and grabs his male breast. “Caw get a load of these moobs! You lactatin’ or what son?” jests the work colleague with a gaggle of sycophant friends with a collective IQ of 81.
Explanation 2
A term made by obese people to avoid the responsibility to actually take proper care of their body and instead victimize themself by pretending they’re discriminated like an ethnic group. When confronted with someone like that they will ignore all the facts about obesity being unhealthy and pretend it’s some sort of evil socially constructed conspiracy by teh patriarchy
Peter: “You’ve started gaining weight at a worrying level, maybe we could exercise together and take up a sport since you’re always at home”Bianca: “omg stop disciminating me you’re just fat shaming, all my fat is genetics and exercising is just a social construct made by our sexist society, i’m not being brainwashed into ur shauvinistic world”*Bianca then proceeds to eat burgers and refuses to better herself*
So as you can see, both of these comments have a different undertone to them, although they can both be considered funny. The first one comes more from the perspective of an overweight person, where fat shaming is seen as a crime against the persons well being. The second explanation is someone who would call out overweight folks for their obesity, and the implications it can have on their health.
Both of them can be right and both of them can be wrong.
First of all, we humans have different shapes and sizes. Someone who is thinner is not necessarily more healthy than someone who is heavier. However, their comes a point when you are too thin or too heavy to be healthy.
Obesity can cause serious health complaints. As your body mass index rises, so does your risk for coronary heat disease.  It can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, cancers, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, metabolic syndrome, sleep apnea, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, gallstones, reproductive problems etc… All of these things have a great impact on the person’s and his/her families well being, as well as on the health care system. But, it depends on how big a person is, and someone health status can easily be assessed by a professional.
Because some have taken this way too far, where even normal sized girls are considered to be “fat” or “plus size”, when they can in fact be perfectly healthy with their weight.

Look at the picture on the right for example. What do you think about this girl? Does she look like an overweight or plus size person? She looks pretty normal to me, yet she is a plus size model. Plus size has to be distinguised from obese, since the two are clearly not the same!
The standards being placed on the human body are sometimes insane. Mango has a new plus size line and it starts with the medium size, means if you aren’t stick thin you are a plus size now. and if plus size means obese then obesity starts now with a few pounds more.
So what is the reaction to all this? Obese Barbie. That’s right. It can be considered as a direct consequence of this weight battle.
Obese Barbie is clearly not just a plus size, she is obese with a double chin.
Obesity is not just linked to bad health for fun, it is something that is a proven fact.

Is this allright? Some people have given this doll massive amounts of “likes”, yet what she is supporting is not something that is actually good for the common good. Neither is anorexia Barbie who is unrealistically thin. So if they have anorexic barbie, why not obese barbie? They could have simply created normal Barbie, but dolls often have a tendency of being unrealistic. So within that we can see the responsibility of the parents, the media, family and educational system to teach children to be self-honest towards themselves, and to deal with the images being thrown at them. To become stable human beings not influenced by for example the media to look a certain way, and to not base their well being on the way they look. But that doesn’t make much profit does it? I don’t know, maybe it will!  But currently money is being made from insecurity, and that is something that has to be turned around.
Promoting anorexia is unhealthy, and so is promoting obesity. Obesity is a clear problem, A quarter of adults in England are classed as obese, and a further 41 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women are overweight. Britain is in the middle of an obesity crisis. And so are many other countries. Having supermarkets and streets stashed with junkfood isn’t the smartest option either if you want a healthy population without  thousands of temptations around them. Humans crave sugar and fat, and are often tempted when it is around them. We have a global responsibility within this, for what we allow our society to be and create.
Earlier this month I was taken aback by the women’s minister Jo Swinson saying she wanted to ban the words ‘muffin top’, ‘thunder thighs’ or ‘cankles’She wants to eradicate so-called ‘fat talk’ by banning the teasing terms women can use against each other, and themselves.
But banning is not the answer. Apart from being wildly impractical – kids will only come up with a new range of terms for fat talking – it doesn’t get to the heart of the problem. Talking and educating, harder though that might be, does.
Fill kids with self esteem and inner confidence to know who they are and to accept that. Don’t fill their bedrooms with fat toys in the hope that message will come through. We’ve got to talk to our kids, rather than ignore the issue.

Fat shaming in itself, is also NEVER acceptable. To degrade a human being, call them names etc… tells more about who you allow yourself to be, than about the other person. It is never acceptable to do such things to another human being, no matter their size. You still have the responsibility towards yourself, and which person you allow yourself to be.  You also do not know what someone is going through, what happened in their life, what their inner struggle may be.

manda Sidwell Smith spent years of her life being insulted about her weight. The words were so harsh and so consistent that she internalized them and felt “less than human.” The pain was so great that she decided to change her body through cosmetic surgery, which created a domino effect with disastrous results.

Instead of shaming and name calling, we should empower and support each other to do what is best for ourselves and the common good, together with taking responsibility for the system we allow to exist around us.

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