Dear Nicole Arbour, Here's The Truth About Fat Shaming

17/09/2015 8:06 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
D Dipasupil via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 20: Nicole Arbour attends The 7th Annual Shorty Awards on April 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for The Shortly Awards)

Dear Nicole Arbour,

Given your video Dear Fat People recently went viral, it's no surprise that I came across it online. Especially as your fat-shaming video caused outrage across the Internet and lost you a film job at the time, I was intrigued to watch it.

While I am sure you are a lovely person, it's a shame I can't say the same about your video. To be honest, I found myself cringing during the entire duration of "Dear Fat People". Everyone is entitled to their opinion and while you had no qualms about sharing yours, I thought it's time I share mine. As a former "fat" person, I have a few areas of concern I wanted to address:

1) During your flight, the air hostess asked you to move from your aisle seat. As someone who likes the extra leg room, I would have been peeved. Like you I appreciate my personal space. However I would never take the handle, squish it down and say "My seat, your seat" to the obese person sitting next to me. Nor would I take the other person's fat and push it into his (or her) seat. While I don't blame you for getting annoyed by the invasion of your personal space, think twice before you make assumptions about anyone based on appearance. That obese person sitting next you might be on Day 1 of his/her journey to better health. Do you really want to be the person who discouraged him/her from moving forward?

2) In your video, you painted a picture of all obese people being gluttonous and lazy. While that might apply to some individuals, it's also as close-minded as stating something like All Indians eat curry or All Americans are democrats. I eat more times a day and probably more calories than many overweight individuals that I know. If you think being fat purely comes down to eating more and exercising less, you have obviously never suffered from a weight problem. Two words: Metabolic damage. In case that doesn't ring a bell, here are another two words to consider: Hormonal imbalance.

3) Towards the end of your video, you say that you "really hope this truth will make you want to be healthier so that we can enjoy you as human beings longer in this planet". Sweetie, fat shaming isn't going to inspire anyone to make changes. Research bears this out. Arguing that you're only doing it for the other person's good might help you sleep better at night but the truth is, making overweight or obese people feel bad about their bodies doesn't do anything to motivate them to lose weight.

While you might think you are "hella brave" for telling overweight people to eat less and exercise more, I'd like to add that I think you're hella cruel... and don't you dare try to say that you have to be cruel to be kind.

All my best,


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