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Influencer Sparks Debate With Her Advice For People With 'Fat Friends' — 'Make Sure Restaurants Have Fat-Friendly Seating'

Photo: Twitter
Maggie McGill

A plus-size influencer came under fire for sharing her ideas when she posted a list of “5 ways you can support your fat friends.”

Maggie McGill is an Instagram influencer with over 82,000 followers. Her page features posts on queer plus size style and body liberation. McGill posted a now-deleted reel in which she explained various ways for people to support their fat friends, and it wasn’t met with the reception they initially hoped for.

McGill listed off ways people could 'support their fat friends,' including making sure restaurants have 'fat-friendly seating.'

Other ideas McGill had were to “communicate about stairs, parking, and walking at a venue,” and to “call ahead to ask about weight limits of equipment.”

She also suggested that people should “make sure your home has fat-friendly seating,” and to “keep your negative body talk and diet plans to yourself.”

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A majority of people on Twitter took the opportunity to shame fat people for merely existing, showing that fatphobia is alive and well, but someone else pointed out how her well-intentioned advice could be misconstrued. “Wouldn’t this be considered an insult to a friend?” they asked.

“It’d be such a burn to my fat friends if I mentioned these things when we walked in… ‘Now, I called ahead, they said they made special arrangements to seat you… I was worried because they said they had stairs and I know how terribly out of shape you are,’” someone else tweeted.

Well and Good explain the concept behind the theory of body liberation — something McGill seems to be striving for — which is defined as "the freedom from social and political systems of oppression that designate certain bodies as more worthy, healthy, and desirable than others…"

"Body liberation promotes the view that no one can know another person’s health or abilities just by looking at them. It also goes a step further and states that someone’s body size, health status, or ability is not a measure of their value as a person."

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McGill's attempt to share her experience in the form of advice wasn’t well received by the internet.

The reality is, no one can fully know someone else’s lived experience. Feeling entitled to pass judgment on anyone else’s physical appearance, no matter what that appearance is, is a subtle form of bullying. We never know what’s going on with someone else’s body.

McGill recently shared on social media that they were diagnosed with lipedema, which she described as “a progressive, chronic condition where fat tissue builds up in the lower part of the body and sometimes the arms. It’s sometimes called the ‘painful fat disease.’”

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“I had so many of the symptoms,” McGill explained. “I realized [there are] so many people who have lipedema but don’t know it. And most people believe that they are at fault for having so much fat and [pursuing] weight loss that never yields results. And while there are treatments, there is no cure yet. So I’m speaking up. I’m sharing my lipedema journey with you because no one should live with such a painful condition and I hope I can help more people access the medical care they deserve.”

All bodies, even the ones that don’t fit into society’s rigid definition of what’s normal, deserve acceptance, love, and care, and that’s the underlying message McGill is trying to impart to the world.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.