On Fat Shaming
There has been a lot of discussion on the issue of fat shaming lately, with stars from Kelly Clarkson to Pink being targeted by ‘fat shamers’. What’s that you asked? Well Fat Shaming is basically the act of poking fun of someone who you think is overweight. Noticed I wrote ‘think’ in italics? It’s because it is usually the opinion of the shamer.
Last week, Canadian nice guy Michael Buble got the social media world in a frenzy when he posted a selfie of himself. Nothing wrong that except the photo had a woman in the background wearing short shorts. Buble posted the photo on the Instagram with hashtags, #babygotback, #myhumps and #hungryshorts. Adjectives you can hear any time and any day on your local radio station. Maybe it’s me as I’m a bit slow on the uptake sometimes but I fail to see where that could be fat shaming. The woman in the photo had nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe mad as hell that someone she didn’t give permission to posted a photo of her on social media. Did I mention that he also had the hashtag #beautifulbum? Not #fatbum.
Fat shaming is a form of bullying and so can be very traumatic, especially when the victim is vulnerable. Although some of us could do with a wake-up call or a gentle nudge that we need to smarten up and go easy on the coke and chips, no one has that right to try to shame us into it. if we are the architect of our own fatness by the way we live, we might need our friends to step up and tell us exactly what they think in a constructive criticism kind of way. The last thing we need is a fake friend to tell us how great we look while we put on the Macdonald’s pounds. There are diplomatic ways of saying things. I once thought I was at an ideal weight until my Wii Fit Fat Shamed me by announcing that I was overweight! The nerve! I wasn’t mad though, I took the constructive criticism in a positive light and shaped up.
There are a couple lessons to be learned here. Do not post people photos without their permission and do not take everything so personal. Growing up in the Caribbean, it was considered healthy to have some meat on your bones. I was skinny shamed, called names that made me feel I was starving Ethiopian kid. So know yourself, love yourself. If someone try to fat shame you, look in the mirror and see if you like what you see. If you do, shame on them. If you don’t, fix it. Remember, people will talk about you no matter what you look like. So it’s up to you to like how you look. If you are unsure, see Pink’s response to fat shamers. Here.
My rant: We created this stupid vicious cycle with our ill-placed obsession with physical appearance then get offended when the very weapon we create is used against us. We feast on shows and songs that promote certain body types and looks, yet act shocked when it comes home to roost. Tut tut! Until we can evolve into a better race of people with a grasp on how to co-exist, fat shaming, bullying, racism etc., will be forever with us.
Buble, although in my opinion you did nothing to suggest you were fat shaming the cheeky damsel, your irresponsible actions, especially given your position, left a lot to be desired.
But relax man, it’s just my take!