For decades now, society has had an obsession with weight. From early childhood and throughout life, women receive a lot of pressure to be thin and this pressure comes from so many directions (Family, Friends, Teachers, Advertisement, Media, etc.).
Fat women on the internet endure systemic prejudice, bias, violent and abusive comments simply because of their size. Fat-shaming is deep, rampant and extremely damaging.
“You should stop eating. Anorexia could be good for you. Being slim is the best body type. No ones like fat girls.” – Anonymous trolls.
“Obesity is extraordinarily unattractive to 99% of the population. You are visually repulsive.” – Anonymous troll
Of course, being beautiful according to society standard is primordial and failing to follow the rules makes it okay for every stranger hiding behind their keyboards to send you to hate, abusive messages and threats of violence or death. (heavy on sarcasm)
These inappropriate comments start from a frighteningly your age and then we wonder why so many women hate their bodies.
“Your breasts aren’t real. They’re just fat.” – Ramanda Rox recounts what she was told when she was 8 years old.
Fat-shaming often comes disguised as a concern or helpful advice, but the impact is always the same. For those who use the excuse that they are simply looking out for the individual’s personal health and well-being, health is incredibly complex and individual. It certainly not up for discussion with strangers on the internet. A thin person might look healthy but it doesn’t mean they are. You may assume that a fat person is unhealthy, but you may be wrong.
When I got diagnosed with Graves’ Disease (a genetic autoimmune illness) and Hyperthyroidism (caused by Graves’ Disease), the first thing the doctor told me is that my weight was a symptom of the illness, not the cause. Some will argue that Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism makes you thin, not fat. Unfortunately, that’s not quite true for everyone. Approximately 80% of sufferers do lose weight as a result, the other 20% gain weight. Neither side is good. Both are still struggling with the same illness. Weight has nothing to do with the illness.
In both cases, drinking water and eating healthy isn’t going to change a thing when it comes to weight.
My own mother inquired if the lower limb weakness and pain I felt was caused by weight issues. Even after relating the information I received from the doctors, she still thought losing 10-20 pounds would magically solve all my issues because that’s what she has learned from childhood. I do not remember my mother not hating her body or not being on a diet. She is forever worried of what people will think. It’s not healthy.
She is still holding on to an old picture of me during a very difficult period of my life when I was eating 5 carbohydrates a day. I wasn’t healthy at all, yet that’s the image that people liked the most. Granted, my eating habits to get that thin isn’t something I shared with anyone. The point is no one knew I was sick. You can’t tell from looking at someone.
“Go fuck yourself you fugly. You’re the worst kind of peice of shit. You’re fucking pathetic. I hope you die. I hope someone stabs you in the throat while you sleep. I legitimately hope someone murders you in your sleep. I hope that happens. I truly do. I want it to.” – Anonymous
Nobody deserves those types of comments and nobody should have to tolerate it. The shame and stigma directed toward a larger individual aren’t justified.
We should all reflect on how our words and our actions affect people. We need to ask ourselves whether our opinion is relevant, especially when no one asked for it.