Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Body Shaming & Fatphobia

Long time, no post, I know! I was waiting for a subject to "light my fire" so to speak, and oh boy, scrolling through my blogger dash last night, I got that.

It has boiled over in me the past couple of days, but it really started when a certain few images started floating around on facebook. The first is two rows of pictures, one with modern stars and the second with vintage beauties such as Marilyn Monroe. The text is, "When did this become hotter than this?" Seen that one? Well, it doesn't take a genius to let you know that the image reeks of body shaming and is incredibly offensive. It was only taken seriously for a few days though before it became a meme.

Not exactly offensive.

The second image, which I'm assuming is in backlash, was this one:

Seems legit enough, right? "Naturally" skinny girls lashing back from being told their skinny bodies aren't just as good as a curvy or overweight one. I couldn't help but plainly see how this reeks of MORE fat shaming than it lets on, but we'll get to that later. 

The last straw in the body shaming bullshit was the most recent post by Xiaxue. If you're not familiar with her blog, she's one of the most popular bloggers in Asia, and in fact was voted the "Most Influential" blog in Asia for this year. My disclaimer here is that I didn't follow her blog to hear good opinions (in fact, when talking about serious issues she almost never fails to be biased, badly informed, and offensive). I read her blog for surface value. She's cute, pretty, with pink hair and lots of makeup and LOTS of money from running a successful blog. But every once in a while, she opens her mouth a little too much and posts something like this absolute crock of offensive, body-shaming, fat phobic BULLSHIT. (TRIGGER WARNING FOR EATING DISORDERS)

As I was reading this, I was simultaneously ranting about every wrong thing she said to my boyfriend (and literally almost every sentence was wrong) and trying not to cry. For those who don't want to read stuff that will probably make you feel like the scum of the earth because you don't fit into a size small, I'll summarize for you: Xiaxue rants about Adele's fat confidence, calls her a hypocrite for looking attractive on magazine covers, calls "fat" people too sensitive, says if you're not skinny you are lazy and don't want to work, uses all kinds of HORRIBLE insults I could only dream of being so ignorant to use, closing with this gem: " It's against nature's will to be attracted to the obese "

To keep me from thinking about what a stupid fuck Xiaxue is, let me begin with the skinny defense image. Most of it IS a legitimate argument. Trust me, I have nothing against someone who is naturally tall or skinny. In fact, more power to you for being the exact body type that social media idealizes. Hey, wait...


Does this mean you're not allowed to feel offended over some "fatties" telling you to gain weight? Absolutely not. You should feel offended by something that is offensive, clearly. But, "If you can tell me to 'gain weight' why can't I tell you to lose it?" 

I'll tell you why. Because skinny shaming is N O T H I N G like fat shaming. Any body shaming is wrong, it doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. But fat shaming is all encompassing. It surrounds your entire life. It's not just one, or a few people telling you in your lifetime to gain weight, because you might be "more attractive" with a few "curves". No, it's people EVERYWHERE telling you if you don't lose weight, you will never be a legitimate human being. It's on every television, every magazine, every store you visit. Every person you talk to could be fat phobic. You can't wear most popular clothes because it's not created for your body type. You write yourself off immediately from talking to attractive people because your body is not "desirable". 

How is that comparable? 

Spoilers: it's not. That's the end of my rant on that. 

Now to approach Xiaxue's word vomit. Of course I'm not going to go into every dumb statement she makes, but let me just highlight the worst. 

First off, the fact that she's an incredibly successful blogger and is posting something like this makes me EXTREMELY upset. This is something that would have inspired my disordered eating back in high school. I know without a doubt there will be little 14 year old girls reading her shit like the Bible and developing eating disorders left and right from things like this. For that alone, she should be ashamed. 

But the main thing that upsets me about her rant is that she lumps all "fat" people together as lazy, "oily" (NO FUCKING JOKE!!!) and having "zero self control". 

By her standards, I'd probably be fat. I like to consider myself thick or curvy but as long as we're talking about this excuse for a human I'll go ahead and call myself one of the "fatties" she's talking about. She's calling Adele fat, which in itself is pretty fucked up because she's a size 16 and looks quite healthy.

So what's this promoting? Adele, and anyone like her, is a fat, oily, lazy slob. And we can't all sell millions of records, so I guess we're fucked. 

"Fat" people being lazy, gross and with no self-control is literally the oldest and most naive assumption about bigger people I can think of. The generalization honestly disgusts me. I have known plenty of people in my life who were bigger, even by most standards "overweight", and could run laps around skinny people. My own mother is considered overweight, and she eats one meal a day, works 9-12 hours daily on her feet without breaks, and still can't lose weight. I'm sorry, does that make her lazy, oily, and with no self control? 

Take a "plus sized" girl who eats well, exercises, doesn't smoke or do drugs, and a naturally skinny girl who eats Taco Bell daily, smokes, does drugs, and sits on her ass all day. Who is the healthy person here?  The "fat" girl. But who is the one who will also inherently have a much more difficult life? The "fat" girl. 

The reason body-shaming is ignorant is because YOU CAN'T JUDGE SOMEONE BASED ON THEIR WEIGHT UNLESS YOU KNOW THEIR EATING HABITS, MENTAL/PHYSICAL HISTORY, AND GENETICS. All of these things factor in to a person's weight, and if you don't know all of these things and you still want to call someone fat? You're being ignorant, please don't talk. 

And to go onto a rant that Xiaxue seems to firmly believe, she says several times that if you don't want to be overweight, get off your lazy ass and work for it like the skinny people did.


Because she wasn't born Asian, skinny, with good skin and hair, AND SHE WORKED FOR HER PLASTIC SURGERY DAMMIT! Which she paid for with her successful blog, for being Asian, skinny, with good skin and hair. 

We can all be so perfect! All we have to do is be born with certain privileges. Oh wait, that doesn't make any fucking sense. 

If I had a penny for every time a skinny, attractive person had worked to get that way, I'd have a few dozen pennies over a lifetime. Most people are born into that shit or they aren't. And I'm sorry, but I'm not going to eat twigs and leaves all my life to make myself fit into a modern standard of beauty. 

So guess what Xiaxue? You're probably the most fat-phobic dumbass I've ever had the displeasure of stumbling upon. It must be nice living in your perfectly skinny, wealthy, pastel colored bubble which I'm sure you worked so hard for. But the oldest saying, in my opinion, says it best; "it's the inner beauty that counts". And guess what, you're probably the ugliest person on the planet by that standard.

Fat girls, keep on fattin'. Curvy girls, keep them curves. And try not to let the fat shamers get to you. To anybody else, think before you talk, because honestly, you never know how easy you probably have it.