Disclaimer: I wrote these blogs a long time ago! I'm leaving them up as I don't want to delete my journey and I think showing growth is important. But it means that some of my views, and some language I use, is now different. Please be mindful of this, and that the content might be triggering, if you choose to read on.
TW: strong language/fat shaming.
Plus-size model, Tess Holliday, was recently on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Being as it’s 2018, you’d think this wouldn’t be a big deal, but it turns out some people are still terrified of fatness.
Even the word FAT - loads of people hate it whether they’re fat or thin. It’s seen as the worst thing you can call a woman, as if her whole existence relies on being slim. Well, that’s what I grew up to believe, that thinness equals beauty. That I’d only be taken seriously and respected if I was thin. That I’d only have friends or get a boyfriend if I was thin.
Tess is just one woman on the front of a magazine. Just one plus-size woman. There are still plenty of skinny models, so chill out Piers Morgan. We’re just adding a bit of variation. We’re not suddenly about to unpick decades of brainwashing that thin equals good and fat equals bad.
I stumbled across this picture on social media, and I made the mistake of stepping into the dark side: the comments section. This right here - “fat c**t” - is hate speech. In the same way that people are called offensive names for being black, gay, disabled…anything that makes you different - different being anything other than a straight white person.
If you’re one of these people who thinks that fat is a terrible thing, listen up. I’m about to tell you something enlightening:
The amount of fat you have on your body has nothing to do with if you’re a good or bad person.
Body shape and size is not an indicator of health. Even if a fat person is unhealthy, what the hell has it got to do with you? It’s none of your business. Their body is their own concern, you just look after yours. How much fat somebody has on their body does not affect your life. It literally has nothing to do with you.
The irony is, many of the trolls who bother fat women on social media are the same people that call others “snowflakes”, yet they’re the ones who are offended by a person with a bit of extra fat on their body. Hmmm.
Let’s talk about the “strain on the NHS” thing. Lots of people like to use this argument against fat people. Well, hello – I’m a fat person and I’m not a strain on the NHS. Maybe later in life, I may need to use NHS services - AS WILL MOST PEOPLE. We’re very lucky to have our NHS, but it’s always under strain. There is simply not enough money and resources. People will always get sick and people will die. To pick one group of people and blame them for all the problems is really not fair, especially when fat doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy. A thin or "normal" person who eats junk food, drinks every day and smokes isn't a problem then? Everyone will probably need the NHS at some point in their lives. There’s never enough money and resources. Stop blaming fat people. Stop blaming anybody, blame does not help.
Being fat is not an indication that the person eats unhealthily and doesn’t exercise. We don’t look at other “normal” people and critique their health. It would seem disrespectful. That’s the difference. We’ve been bought up in a society that tells us that fat people don’t deserve respect, because fat is the worst thing you can be. Let’s stop pretending that this is about concern for the fat person or for the NHS. It’s not. Can we consider that seeing thin people EVERYWHERE for decades has somewhat brainwashed us? That maybe we need to start questioning what we see as “normal” and “good”? Maybe we need to start questioning our own judgement instead of turning blame and hatred on other people. Why exactly is another person's "different" body so offensive to you?
Fat is not the worst thing you can be. Being racist, sexist, homophobic, ignorant, judgmental, dishonest, unkind...(the list could go on) is worse than being fat. Being a bully is a million times worse than having some fat on your body. Discriminating against other people does a lot more damage to our society than fat people do.
Being fat doesn’t make you a c**t - calling someone a “fat c**t” on social media makes you a c**t. Being judgmental and making assumptions about another person because of the way they look is shallow and short-sighted. It’s arrogant and hateful. It's fucking up our world. So please stop.
It’s about time we started valuing people on their kindness, not on what their body looks like.