In case you were curious.
What is your reaction when you see a fat person walking down the street?
Do you think, oh my god, that person needs help?
Do you think, ugh, how disgusting.
Do you think, that person daring to exist makes me FURIOUS?
Or, do you just think, look, a person.
If you picked any option other than the last one, then it's time we had a conversation.
I know you think that treating fat people with disdain is going to change their body image and possibly change the world in general.
But you're wrong. There's a reason why fat shaming doesn't work.
There's actually more than one reason why fat shaming doesn't work, and I'd like to take this opportunity to break them down for you.
1. Because creating a sense of shame is never the answer
Remember when you were a little kid? You know, back in the days when having total control of your bladder wasn't a sure thing? I know I do.
Now imagine that during one of those unfortunate incidents where you had an accident someone had picked you up, put you on a chair, and invited the town people to mock you.
What would that have done to you?
Would it make you consider never peeing your pants again?
It would just embarrass you, humiliate you, and make you feel small.
In fact, studies show that children who are fat shamed are actually MORE likely to become obese in adulthood.
So there you go!
2. Because it isolates the individual
When you shame someone about their body image you are telling them that they aren't normal.
When you tell someone they aren't normal, you are, in effect, saying that you don't want them in your company.
What does that do?
It makes a person feel lonely as fuck. It makes them feel out of place and unacceptable.
That's an awful and ridiculous thing to do to someone just for failing to meet your personal, cruel, and shortsighted expectations.
3. It's not exactly a new approach.
You know what fat people are used to?
Being attacked, isolated, and being made to feel ashamed for being fat.
We get it, skinny people, you think we're ugly, you think we shouldn't have positive body image, you think we're lazy, you think we're not healthy, you think we're slobs.
We get it.
We literally hear it every single day, if not from you, then from TV or the internet.
You think you're "shocking" us out of complacency, when in fact, what you're REALLY doing is just continuing a pattern of mistreatment and abuse that at this point is just mundane.
4. Because it promotes global bullying
When you start selecting one group and body shaming them for not adhering to a totally arbitrary norm, it's a slippery slope.
You're telling kids that it's okay to bully people for random-ass reasons like a number on a scale.
What's to stop them from bullying people wearing glasses or because they have red hair?
Nothing, that's what.
5. Because it assumes being fat is a problem
Here is the magic bullet, the answer to the real question, really, the only item that should be on this list.
Why fat shaming doesn't work?
Because it assumes that being fat is a problem that needs solving.
Fat people are happy. Fat people are beautiful. Fat people contribute to society on a daily basis.
Fat people are not sitting around waiting for you to "solve" them because they aren't a problem.
If you feel personally driven to change the world and you've decided that shaming fat people into becoming thin is your crusade, why not take that energy and direct towards something that actually matters, like equal pay for women or climate change?
Stop being a bully and instead try to make real, positive change, instead of getting hung up on your own totally warped idea of how a person is supposed to be.