Thursday, 10 September 2015

Fat-shaming And Why It's NOT Okay.

There was a video doing the social media rounds this week of a vile rant against fat people by a woman calling herself a comedian.  Now, in my book, a comedian is a title reserved for someone who is funny and makes people laugh by telling jokes or funny stories.  There was nothing remotely funny about this woman and what she had to say.  After having her video pulled by youtube and google, she then tried to claim it was because these companies didn't understand satire.  Satire requires a certain level of intelligence to carry it off and again this was something that was not evident in this woman's video, which, no matter what way she wanted to tag it, was simply a rant outlining her own personal views.

To be fair, the video  had a lot of shares and there were those who even applauded what this woman had to say.  Thankfully, there were a lot more people who thought what she had to say was disgusting and there were even a number of response videos.

I'm not naming the woman here and neither am I featuring the video as I don't want to give her even two more seconds of "fame" than she deserves and I also don't want to be responsible for sharing what I consider to be "hate speech".

It's alarming enough to me that "fat-shaming" has become a thing - like it's okay.  It is NOT okay!

It is not okay to make anybody feel of any less worth than you.  If you feel the need to do this then this means there is something wrong with YOU not the person you are attacking.

If you choose to spend your days counting every calorie that passes your lips and validate your self-worth via how many hours you spend in the gym, then good for you.  If that's what you need to feel like you count, then go for it.  However, DO NOT make the mistake of thinking that everybody else should judge themselves by the same things that you have chosen to build your self-worth upon and DO NOT JUDGE THEM BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T CHOSEN THE SAME THINGS AS YOU.

People derive their self-worth from a whole host of things other than their physical appearance.  For many it is how many times they made someone smile in a day, how they could be of help to others, showing kindness and consideration, being brave in the face of adversity, their honesty, kindness and compassion. The list goes on......  

Sadly, the obsession with physical appearance has somehow translated into a general belief that people must be thin to value themselves or to be valued by others.  This bullshit needs to STOP!

We need to start accepting that there are all different shapes and sizes in the world.  We need to stop defining our self-worth and that of others by some media-defined look.  

I'm all for healthy eating and regular exercise but that will translate into different shapes and sizes for different people - we need to understand this and to accept it.

Judging and shaming people based solely on their physical appearance is simply unacceptable.

As an overweight woman, I am subjected to other peoples' negative beliefs about me all the time and they couldn't be further from the truth.  Thankfully, I base my self-worth on much more than what I look like but it still pisses me off when people assume I never exercise and spend my days stuffing my face.  

I really don't know where one person gets off making assumptions and judgements about another.  To do this about a whole sector of society, to make a video of it and to then share it across social media is, in my opinion, not remotely funny.  To purposely make another human being feel they count less in this world through ridicule or shame is more of a reflection on the person doing the ridiculing and shaming than the person who is their target.

Below, is a video that I much prefer to share with you about a woman who struggles with her self-esteem because of the way she looks.  She very bravely "put herself out there" and the result is wonderful.

Today is International Suicide Prevention Day (Sept 10th) and this blog post is in memory of someone who felt the weight of others' and her own shame so much in relation to her physical appearance that she decided to end her own life.  She was someone who shared her kindness, compassion and wonderful smile with me until a time when she could smile no more.