Let’s Talk About……. Fat Shaming
There I am, tucking into my Lockdown-Saturday sausage butty and flicking onto Facebook to look at happy pictures of my world……
And there HE is….
I’m in denial about my weight and I’m a disgusting human being.
Excuse me, did I invite you onto my feed? I don’t think so. Maybe I should just toast your arse on my George Foreman and absorb your leering face into my belly flab.
Who is this guy?
Until now, I’d never heard of him.
Steve Miller, a self-styled ‘Mindset, Motivation and Weight Loss Master’ and CEO of ‘Fatnosis.’
The beloved guru of This Morning and Fat Families likes controversy.
His thoughts and tips on weight loss are controversial too (aka….. pile o’ shite).
His post tells me: A). I need to buy two seats on a plane to house my disgusting wobbles. B). I need to declare war on my sausage butty, shout angrily at it until it walks away subdued, unscoffed, beaten into submission. C). I need to find a picture of me at my fattest and look at it whilst I’m eating (like that isn’t an almighty trigger for disordered, pathological eating). Best of all, D). I need to have my NHS ID Badge re-done to say. ‘Lauren Lloyd. I’M FAT (but I’m working on it).’
What The ACTUAL Frog?
Why aren’t This Morning, ITV, Sky Living, Loose Women, the Daily Express, Daily Mail or Hello using those nice medically qualified experts who understand the benefits of compassionate approaches? They also understand the role of trauma, stress, shame, poverty and the food industry.
NEWSFLASH – THE SCIENCE BIT – Health is not a body size. Scientific evidence is that intentional weight loss approaches result in people gaining more weight than they lose 95% of the time.
Far more important that people have a healthy relationship with food than hit a certain weight.
As social influencers…. GOOD GRIEF FOLKS! Promote health and happiness as goals. It’s obvious. Why fuel weight stigma when we already know people who are overweight are less likely to get the medical care they need?
Because….. and here’s the crux of it.
We know it’s wrong to discriminate, harass and bully on the basis of age; mental health; disability; gender and gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex and sexual orientation.
FAT PEOPLE remain our bastion. That’s how we make sense of the world and our worth.
Thank God, it’s ok to abuse fat people. They can’t control themselves. They’re a drain on society. They smell bad and they’re horrible too with their rolls spilling over their leggings. Let’s all laugh. Let’s all circulate memes and bad photos of backs that look like bums. 5 more ‘likes’ and a couple of ‘shares’ affirms that we’re not like them.
Ask my mum why she’s addicted to ‘My 600-Pound Life.’ She’ll struggle to find an answer that doesn’t annoy me. But at least she’s not as bad as those poor souls. And that’s something.
Fat-shaming is insidious. In fact, Covid has made it thoroughly acceptable. There’s a toxic glee around the link with obesity.
In a world of fear and luck, suddenly everything makes sense again.
At the height of the pandemic, Matt Hancock boldly states that “everyone who is overweight should lose at least 5lbs in order to save countless lives and save the NHS £100m.” (you actually heard that in his irritating voice, didn’t you?)
Eh? How can that even begin to make sense? As Eric Morecombe once said, he’s using all the right letters, but not necessarily in the right order.
What it means though is that Covid is no longer a tragedy. It’s not the cruel and random hand of fate. It’s a sound moral outcome. Undisciplined people get what’s coming to them.
The more negative a stereotype we create, the safer and more understandable we make our tiny worlds. A fairy tale where people with perfectly unattainable body shapes live happily ever after. Even the models want to be the shape they’ve been airbrushed into.
We’ve been fat shaming women for the past 70 years. It didn’t work then. It doesn’t work now.
All it does is make people with weight issues (real or perceived) more likely to feel crap, hopeless, trapped and that life’s not worth living.
It drives the search for solace to the bottom of a bag of mini-eggs whilst doing all you can to avoid your GP.
Strength comes in different shapes and sizes. So does happiness. So does beauty, you radiant Gods and Goddesses.
Instead, turn on yoga teacher, body positive advocate and self-identified ‘fat femme’ Jessamyn Stanley. She’ll have you rolling on the floor laughing as you move your belly rolls out of the way to find positions and manually shift your bum-flab to ‘find your seat.’
Laughter and acceptance are the healthiest diets of all.
“You look beautiful,” Alodia says.
I startle at the compliment. Then I smile.
“I’m beautiful to the one person who matters.”
“Hector’s mouth is going to drop open when he sees you.”
“I hope so, but I meant me. I’m beautiful to me.”