So Ariana Grande licked a donut, declared her disdain for America and received a ton of backlash. In a new video called "Hate The Donut, Not The Fatty," YouTuber Meghan Tonjes explains why she wasn't so much offended by Grande's tonguing stunt as she was troubled by her subsequent apology.
In a video addressed to fans, Grande apologized for "the whole donut fiasco." In a prior written statement, the 22-year-old singer proclaimed herself "an advocate for healthy eating" who is frustrated by childhood obesity and "the dangers of overeating."
Tonjes points to Grande's statements as evidence of the problematic way Americans tend to view fat people, food, and the relationship between the two.
"If I were 120 pounds eating a pizza in my underwear on Tumblr, I would be quirky and cute and real," Tonjes says in the video. "But if I’m 300 pounds and I’m eating pizza in my underwear, people are like 'You’re killing yourself,' 'You’re disgusting,' 'You’re everything that’s wrong with America.'"
But making presumptions about one person's diet -- or food-shaming an entire nation -- do little to address the issue Grande appears to have. With this video, Tonjes told HuffPost that she wanted to highlight that "conversations about the food industry often center around how fat people are to blame for being fat, without any energy put towards solving things like food deserts, nutrition in schools, access to healthy living (emotionally, physically and spiritually)."
In Tonjes' eyes, the real problem with food in America is not simply the lack of education about what Grande calls "the poison that we put into our bodies," but the hypocrisy that surrounds the food industry: "We have this idea that we can look at someone and KNOW their story and KNOW their health," Tonjes told HuffPost. "As a fat kid who was raised by thin people (who struggled with nutrition and body issues, but didn't physically SHOW those things) I have a pretty good understanding about [how] appearances can be deceiving."
Tonjes discusses these stereotypes in her video: "People are shocked that someone that looks like me doesn’t sit all day on the couch and eat pizza," she says. "And you know what? Sometimes I do, because sometimes everybody does." Yup.
Thin people eat burgers. Fat people eat salads. All people really need to get over this caring about who eats what thing.
Watch the full video above.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misattributed Grande's quotes that she is "an advocate for healthy eating" who is frustrated by childhood obesity and "the dangers of overeating" to a video posted by the singer on July 9. These quotes are from an earlier written statement addressing the event.
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