A few weeks ago, Kelly Clarkson appeared on Jimmy Fallon. They performed memorable duets together. The performance was amazing and made me smile. Win, win. While I noticed that Kelly had gained some weight (and wore a less than flattering outfit), I didn't give it much thought. After all, I'm no Skinny Minnie, and, besides, who cares.
A few days later, I noticed comments on a clip from The Tonight Show with the performance on Facebook. Most comments stated how much they loved what they saw and how much they loved Kelly and Jimmy. However, there were a few that decided that no one should like Kelly because she is *gasp* fat! I shrugged it off to trolls and moved along.
Then a story came out that some British "journalist" (I use the term loosely), Katie Hopkins, vocally criticized Kelly Clarkson and fat-shamed her on Twitter after watching her on The Graham Norton Show. Now I was pissed! Here is just a sampling of her nasty tweets...
Apparently this woman does not like fat people. Katie Hopkins has said in the past that she "would never hire an overweight person," and that fat people are lazy. She's gone on to further justify those comments, as well as the ones about Kelly Clarkson, by saying that being fat is unhealthy.
Personally, I've had enough of the fat-shaming, whether it be from a troll or so-called "journalist." Most people who fat-shame excuse their behavior by saying they are just concerned about the person's health. They aren't. They are bullies! They're concerned about getting attention for what they say or the thrill they get in belittling a person.
It doesn't just happen on Twitter or Facebook. It happens everywhere. I have a friend who works out several days a week with a trainer and does her best to eat healthy. Despite her efforts (I should point out that she has lost over 100 pounds), she remains overweight. Recently she decided to take part in a nutritional study in the hopes to further improve her health. During the first session, the presenter looked at her and said, "You need to work out." He assumed that she didn't because of her current weight. How wrong (and rude) he was!
The greatest problem with fat-shaming is that people assume that the overweight or obese person is not healthy. They assume the person eats unhealthy food. They assume the person does not exercise. And, by these assumptions, they must assume that all thin people are healthy.
My dad taught me long ago that assume means making an ass -- out of -u- and -me. I wish everyone would consider that. Just because a person is skinny doesn't mean they are healthy. And, by the same token, just because a person is fat doesn't mean they are unhealthy.
I'm far from thin. According to the BMI, I am obese. However, one thing I'm not is unhealthy. My cholesterol is normal, and my blood pressure is perfect, even at six months pregnant. I've not shown any signs of diabetes and no other weight-related issues.
Do I want to stay obese or even overweight? No. There are too many cute clothes in the "normal" sizes that I would love to wear. (Yes, clothing is my motivator.) Besides, I like it when I'm in shape and thinner than I now am. Soon after I give birth to my baby in June, I plan to get back to walking 2-3 times a week and work at losing weight.
I know losing weight won't be easy. I struggled with it in the past. I imagine most people do, especially those who want to lose weight in a healthy way or have physical issues that limit them, like I do. (I have drop foot, an artificial hip, and asthma.)
I refuse to judge someone for being fat. They don't deserve it! I'm not in their shoes. I don't know what is going on in their life. Are they on medication that causes them to gain weight? Do they have limits on what they can do physically? Is money tight and they can't eat as healthy as they wish? Are they struggling with depression and unable to get themselves off the couch? Are they exercising and eating right but still not losing weight? Do they have a medical condition that makes it difficult to lose weight?
Who am I to judge? Why do people feel so free to fat-shame? Is it just because they are easy targets?
It's time we stop fat-shaming! It needs to end. Not only is it not supportive or compassionate, it also does no good. Being told you are fat doesn't motivate you to lose weight. Most fat people, like myself, are aware we are fat. Instead, it would be nice if we could accept each other the way we are already. Love each other, and if you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut!
This post originally appeared on Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy.