Dear fat people video
On Thursday, YouTuber Nicole Arbour dropped a video on her channel titled, “Dear Fat People.”
In 6 minutes and 8 seconds, Nicole tears into her qualms with fat people, online body-positive communities and fat-shaming, which she claims “is not a thing.” (Invoking the “race card” and the “gay card,” Arbour says is OK, since discrimination against those groups might be kind of a thing.)
“Fat-shaming is not a thing,” Arbour said. “Fat people made that up.”
“There’s a race card,” she said. “There’s a disability card. There’s even a gay card, because gay people are discriminated against, wrongfully so. The gay card is covered in glitter.”
Arbour said that the video, which she called a “bomb of truth,” is supposed to encourage people to be “healthier”: “They forgot to tell you that plus-size stands for plus heart disease, plus knee problems, plus diabetes … plus your family and friends crying that they lost you too soon because you needed to have a coke plus fries,” she says in the clip.
The video immediately sparked outrage online.
Arbour shut down the comments on her YouTube video, tweeting that it doesn’t mean she’s scared. “It means that I don’t give a f**k what u have 2 say.”
“My Big Fat Fabulous Life” star Whitney Way Thore, whose show returns to TLC on Wednesday, took the opportunity to respond to Arbour via YouTube.
“Fat-shaming is a thing; it’s a really big thing, no pun intended,” Thore said in her video. “It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body-shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.
“The next time you see a fat person, you don’t know whether that person has a medical condition that caused them to gain weight,” said Thore, who attributed her weight gain to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome. “You don’t know their mother just died. You don’t know if they’re depressed or suicidal or if they just lost 100 pounds. You don’t know.”
As of Monday morning, Thore had more than 1,200 comments on her YouTube page.
Fat-shaming has taken on a whole new life online. But women and men alike are using social media to call out people who harass people because of their weight.
London blogger Michelle Thomas wrote about a date she met through Tinder who said he didn’t fancy her because she’s not skinny enough:
“I really enjoyed your company and actually adore you,” he wrote. “You’re cheeky and funny and just the sort of girl I would love to go out with if only my body and mind would let me,” he wrote. “But my mind gets turned on (by) someone slimmer.”
In her response, she told him it worked, at first.
“After a few hours in my company, you took the time to write this utterly uncalled-for message,” she wrote. “It’s nothing short of sadistic. Your tone is saccharine and condescending, but the forensic detail in which you express your disgust at my body is truly grotesque. The only possible objective for writing it is to wound me.”
It’s not all women getting shamed, either.
Briton Sean O’Brien was dancing at a concert when he spotted people laughing at him; he stopped dancing. The shamers also posted photos of him online.
People who were offended by the shaming tracked him down and raised thousands of dollars to host a dance party for him in Los Angeles, DJed by Moby.
The evidence is mounting that fat-shaming doesn’t work. People who have experienced discrimination on the basis of weight are more likely to gain weight, according to a study published in the journal Obesity.