Thursday, 8 January 2015

Can we stop fat shaming, plz.

'The problem with today's world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion and have others listen to it.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of if it is demonstrably nonsense'
- Brian Cox

Everywhere I look just recently there's stuff about 'fat' people and it's really starting to get on my last nerve. I know what it's like to be 'fat' and I know that some of the quite frankly disgusting generalisations are totally unfair and untrue so I wanted to write a little post to air my views on the whole thing because I see so much being said on Twitter/Facebook which I largely ignore because I don't want to get into a massive debate; it's much easier to write a post about it. At the risk of waffling on a little here are a few things I want to clear up...

What is 'fat?'

The word 'fat' is such a generalisation and different people have different interpretations of the word - Katie Hopkins says a size 12 equals fat which to me is completely and utterly ridiculous. There was an article on the Daily Mail website which showed 5 different women who were all 11 stone but who were all completely different shapes and sizes. As much as it pains me to link to the Daily Fail, this particular article sums up what I'm saying totally. Height and build plays a massive part in how much you weigh and how that reflects on your body, it's not all about what you put into your mouth! I would say that most people would say that if you are classed as 'overweight' then you are 'fat', this is based on BMI which in my opinion is a very objective way to look at weight; it doesn't consider muscle mass, fat percentage or bone density.

Fat people are not lazy

There was a program on TV last night called something like 'Too Fat to Work' which sparked a lot of angry tweets and Facebook statuses with all manner of anti-fat jibes. This is a tiny, tiny proportion of overweight people and also a tiny tiny proportion of those who don't work in the country. Katie Hopkins declared that she would not employ someone who was fat because she assumes that they are lazy or that they would take too many days sick, and she won't be the only person with that opinion and that really makes me sad.

Not everyone wants to be slim

Those of you out there who are anti-fat will find it hard to believe that some people are actually HAPPY with their size even if you think they are fat, some people do not find comfort or happiness in being slim (a perfect example of this is this post by Sera who declared that losing weight did not make her 'happy'). I personally have found 'happiness' in being slim; I didn't enjoy being obese, it wasn't good for me and I just wasn't 'me' but like I say, everybody is different and it's so narrow minded to assume that everybody wants to be slim. Not everyones ideal size is a size 10 or 12 which is what society seems to be pushing on us.

Being 'fat' doesn't mean you're unhealthy

One of the big arguments against fat people is that they cost the NHS thousands. Obviously we all know what to eat and drink in order to live a 'healthy' lifestyle but to assume that every fat person costs the NHS x amount is again another sweeping generalisation. I know that being overweight/obese puts you at risk of diabetes, heart conditions etc. etc. but so does a lot of things! Nobody is perfect and I would bet money on lots of people in a 'healthy' weight range were unhealthy because they smoked, drank too much, ate too much sugar, consumed too much caffeine... the list goes on!!

Being fat doesn't make you unattractive

Over the years I've seen and heard so many people declaring that they find fat people disgusting - have they ever thought that there are people who find THEM disgusting for one way or another? We are all entitled to our opinion but to voice it in such a way that some people do really is wrong on so many levels and I can't for the life of me understand why it is 'ok' to say a fat person is disgusting yet if someone said that a black person was 'disgusting' there would be a racism outcry wouldn't there?! Yet both statements are a personal opinion about someones appearance; whether it's personal choice or not just accept that not everybody shares your opinion about people who are bigger than yourself!

Bottom line is, stop with the stereotyping. Stop trying to force people to lose weight, it won't work! I'm not saying for one minute that if a doctor has told you to lose weight for a major heart operation that you should stick the middle finger up to him and do what you want but what I am saying is do not give in to societal pressures to lose weight or be a certain size; only lose weight if YOU want to do it. To anyone who has ever posted anti-fat comments, please take a moment to reconsider next time you have the urge to have one of your outbursts... everyone is entitled to live their life how they want to do it, you should respect peoples decisions to be the size and person they want to be! Just because you can't understand someones lifestyle choice it doesn't mean it is wrong.

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