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Being a fat person on the Internet opens you up to a lot of hate, as scrolling through the comments section of any YouTuber’s videos Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers Life as a Vlogger: What's It Like? We Asked 10 YouTubers Read More will show you.

Fat shaming on the Internet is widespread, and it hurts people. Gaming YouTuber extraordinaire boogie2988 had a response to all of the hate that he sees fat people getting, which you should absolutely watch.

This quote sums it up pretty well:

Your excuse that fat people are all sub-human lazy pieces of crap doesn’t float because we are people. We are human beings with thoughts and emotions just as strong and as valid as yours, and we’re doing the best we can, even if our best isn’t up to your standards.

Because one person can’t speak for an entire group of people, I spoke with some other folks who have had to deal with being fat shamed online and compiled their experiences and advice here.

How Does It Feel To Be Fat Shamed?

Lindsey Averill is the producer and co-director of a Kickstarter-funded documentary called Fattitude that examines weight bias in our culture and encourages body acceptance at all sizes. While her documentary was raising funds, she received a lot of hate.

The vitriol that came our way was violent and frightening. As you can imagine, we were called all kinds of names and accused of eating too many doughnuts. We were also scolded – by more intellectual people – for burdening the system and promoting unhealthy lifestyles. Besides the fat-shaming comments, we received death threats, rape threats, slut-shaming threats, anti-semitic threats, and violent homophobic threats. While this hatred began with online comments, videos, tweets, and emails – it escalated to phone calls, handwritten letters and police reports. It was scary, and it still feels scary.

What we’re talking about here is no joke. Averill is a real person who received death threats for trying to fund a documentary that promotes being happy with their bodies. And she’s not alone.

Chrystal Bougon is the owner of a plus-size lingerie store. She was thrust into the limelight after Reddit users (some of whom are notorious for fat shaming Free Speech vs. Harassment: Why Did Reddit Ban Five Subreddits? Free Speech vs. Harassment: Why Did Reddit Ban Five Subreddits? Read More ) reposted photos from her company’s website along with hateful comments; in the media, she was pitted against the “Fit Mom” who advocated for all women becoming skinny.

Bougon’s store has been vandalized three times in the past two months. People constantly bombard her blog, Facebook page, and Instagram photos with hateful comments and terrible threats. The hatred against fat people is real and terrifying.

Why Do Fat People Receive So Much Hate?

A fantastic YouTuber, Loey Lane, has some insight for us on this very topic.

Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t find there to be any good justification for fat-shaming people. But she brings up a lot of reasons people seem to give to justify their fat hate: they think they fat people aren’t attractive, they are uncomfortable seeing fat people, they think fat people are promoting obesity, or they think that fat people are asking for feedback when being in public or putting themselves online.

Obviously, fat people do not live as objects for other people to critique, judge, and change according to what makes them comfortable or what they find attractive. Matt Diaz – a social media personality who rose to fame after posting a video showing off his excess skin from losing 270 pounds over the course of six years – had some words that spoke directly to this.

People will tell you that you need to lose weight to be attractive or that you have to change your style or your hair or any number of things in order to fit into society’s “beauty standards.” These people are always wrong. There is no “standard for beauty” because there is no “standard” for people. We come in all forms, and all of these forms have their own kinds of beauty.

Joni Edelman, the Editor-in-Chief of Ravishly.com wrote an article about why being thin didn’t make her happy, but being fat did, which caused her to receive a lot of attention and press surrounding issues of body-shaming and body positivity. I reached out to her, and she had this to say about why fat people receive so much hate.

When you start saying things like, “Hey, guess what? You don’t have to torture yourself with dieting to be a happy person,” you are really challenging a very deeply held belief. A lot of people just aren’t ready for that.

It certainly can be hard to change people’s minds about their most deeply held beliefs, but when those beliefs are hurting people, working to change them is for the best.

Sexism definitely plays a role too. Women receive death threats just for critiquing video games Let Feminist Frequency Teach You A Thing Or Two About Women In Video Games [Stuff to Watch] Let Feminist Frequency Teach You A Thing Or Two About Women In Video Games [Stuff to Watch] I've got some bad news: video games are traditionally pretty sexist. Video blogger Anita Sarkeesian has noticed. Read More  and have to create hashtags just to bring awareness to the sexism #YesAllWomen Hashtag, LulzSec FBI Hacking, Watch Dogs Release [Tech News Digest] #YesAllWomen Hashtag, LulzSec FBI Hacking, Watch Dogs Release [Tech News Digest] The #YesAllWomen hashtag, the LulzSec FBI informant, the release of Watch Dogs, VirusTotal Uploader on OS X, Oculus Rift gets a Second Life, Any.do on the Web, and kids react to old computers. Read More they face every day. When it comes to fat hate, all genders are affected, but the hate targeted at women is often even harsher, as we’ve seen from the Dad Bod trend.

Let’s go back to Loey Lane’s point about promoting obesity, though. This seems to be a common misconception, so let’s break it down.

Is It Healthy To Be Fat?

Your weight is a terrible indication of how healthy you are. It’s long been accepted within the medical community that BMI (a number based on your height and weight that determines if you are underweight or overweight) is an inaccurate measure of health.

This is where boogie2899 was wrong in his video from earlier. He said that the Health At Every Size movement is lying to itself because being overweight does directly impact your health, which is just factually incorrect. Unfortunately, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, “false and scientifically unsupported beliefs about obesity are pervasive in both scientific literature and the popular press.”

Averill touched on this point when I spoke to her.

“Health” as an idea is complicated – what does “healthy” mean? Define health. Is it mental? Is it physical? Is it spiritual? How about food deserts and poverty – actual access to fruits and veggies – does that come into play when we are judging an individual’s health? I guess what I am getting at here is that the conflation of unhealthy with fat bodies and healthy with thin bodies is dangerous stuff; it functions like propaganda, blinding people to some very real and very ugly unchecked systemic issues.

Laci Green, a vlogger, sex educator, and activist, also talked about this in a recent episode of the MTV Braless series.

Green manages to smash a lot of myths in a little under five minutes, but here’s a solid excerpt:

You can’t tell someone’s health status just by looking at them. Sure, extra weight can pose a health risk, but the severity and type of risk depends on the person and the type of fat that it is. For instance, visceral fat that wraps around the organs is higher risk than subcutaneous fat that’s under the skin. Extra fat can also be caused by other health conditions that the person is dealing with.

So there are a few important aspects to this: appearing “fat” doesn’t mean that you are unhealthy, another person’s health status is none of your business, and our conception of what is healthy 5 Ways to Stay Healthy During a Long Gaming Binge 5 Ways to Stay Healthy During a Long Gaming Binge Most people don't need to worry about their health while they're playing games, but going on long binges does require a bit of forethought to make sure you stay healthy Read More is constantly changing and evolving.

Does Fat Shaming Motivate People To Lose Weight?

Hypothetically, let’s say that someone is unhealthy and losing weight will help them become healthier. Does hurling mean insults at them help them lose that weight faster?

No. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Boogie2899 said it right:

I have seen all of the fat hatred that’s ever been posted on the Internet, and I can assure you not one bit of it has ever helped me. … That’s the hypocritical thing about fat hatred, by the way, because this is a group of people who say they would love to eliminate fat people and encourage everyone to lose weight but they do it completely the wrong way. One of the key ingredients of beating obesity is learning to love and care for yourself, and that’s really hard to do when you log into the Internet to find hundreds of thousands of people berating and mocking you.

Others had a similar sentiment to add, and Matt Diaz phrased it perfectly.

Because when you think about it, what purpose does body shaming serve? I’ve asked people in the past, and some of them have made claims that it’s to “motivate” people into becoming healthier, and that’s total crap. Even if someone did get shamed into losing weight, they’d still have a negative self image and it would deeply emotionally trouble them. That’s where we get eating disorders from.

When you body shame, you aren’t doing it to “motivate” anyone. All you’re doing is trying to keep others down, because they’re different than you. Negativity and hatred have never accomplished anything wonderful, and I sincerely hope that one day you see that.

The answer is clear: motivating people to lose weight by insulting them is misguided, and it doesn’t work.

How Do People Deal With The Hate?

Hate isn’t going to make anyone’s fat go away, so how do people who have to deal with this kind of harassment on a regular basis deal with it? Well, YouTuber Trisha Paytas talks a bit about that in her video about all the hate she receives.

She brings up a lot of points in her 16 minutes, but this is a great thing to take away from it:

A lot of people will look at a big person, a fat person, and automatically deem them unhealthy and therefore they should not have confidence, or deem them gross and therefore should not have confidence and should not post underwear and sexy lingerie pictures. As a female, I think we’re all entitled to the right to feel sexy in any lingerie. … There should not be a standard on feeling great about yourself.

But the path to feeling good about yourself and ignoring the haters is different for everyone. The always eloquent Matt Diaz talked about how he managed to overcome the hate.

It wasn’t easy to deal with those negative comments when I was at my heaviest weight, because I was already so insecure. The truth is, I realized how sad these people were. Bullying someone online is hiding behind a screen, sending hateful messages through the use of anonymity.

These people are probably far away and will never meet you in person, and they’re just trying to hurt you. That’s pathetic. You can’t trust the opinion of anyone who is too scared to show their face, because they won’t really stand behind their own words. Once I realized that, it became a lot easier to write off those negative things.

Learning to overcome the haters is one thing – but what about getting rid of the hate completely?

How Can We Stop The Hate?

There has to be something we can do to stop all of this, right? No one wants to live in a hateful society. It can just be hard for us to empathize with those who are different than us if we don’t sit down and listen to them.

Sean O’Brien, better known as the #DancingMan DancingMan, And 4 More Times The Internet Was a Positive Force DancingMan, And 4 More Times The Internet Was a Positive Force The Internet can be a mean place, full of trolls and scamsters. But just like real life, for all the bad, there's a lot of good out there. Read More , was made fun of for his weight on the Internet before a group of people in LA stood up to support him and threw him a party in Hollywood a few weeks ago under the Dance Free campaign. He’s seen the direct effects of people trying to spread the anti-bullying message "My Child Is Being Bullied" - Check out These 7 Helpful Resources "My Child Is Being Bullied" - Check out These 7 Helpful Resources Bullying of any kind can be combated by awareness, education, and positive action. This article covers several resources that we hope will help. Read More , and he had this to say about it.

I never thought of myself as big even though I was aware that people used to mock and make jibes. Dance Free though has opened the doors of a whole new world for me, and where I may have been quiet in the past, I will now be vocal in my opinions  and proactive wherever possible in offering my support whenever any occurrence of bullying or body shaming is apparent.

We are all unique individuals and no one has the right to demean anyone for trying or wanting to be whatever they want (within legal restraints obviously). Dance Free has given me the opportunity to meet so many genuinely great people, all of whom have the inner strength to let the world know who they are and be proud of it. It would be totally remiss of me if I did not do the same and support this.

The Dance Free movement has gathered some of their favorite responses to body shaming and fat shaming:

It’s clear that it takes some standing up and saying that enough is enough to make a change. Edelman felt strongly about this.

The worst thing we can do, maybe even worse than perpetuating shame, is standing silently and watching it happen. If you know something is wrong, and you sit idly by, you have done as much harm.

Averill, likewise, wants people to be loud and proud about their bodies.

Speak up. Come out as body positive. Tell people there is no shame in fatness. When someone makes a fat person the butt of a joke, say that’s not funny. When you hear a friend self-shaming, don’t stand for it, and make it clear why it’s bothersome. Stop photoshopping and cropping images of yourself — double chins, stretch marks, arm fat — whatever, we all have them.

Compassion and love, especially for yourself, seem to be the key here. As cheesy as it sounds, hate is never going to solve anything.

What Do You Think?

The Internet, which gives us the veil of anonymity, can be a cesspool of hatred — but it can also inspire great change. With a bit more positivity, maybe we can all learn to love ourselves and not judge others based on their size.

Have you for whatever reason ever been the victim of body shaming online? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

  1. Matt
    November 15, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Please don't spread misinformation. You seem to write that fat/obesity does not actually determine level of health, even going as far as to link to a NEJM article which has nothing to do with that statement, purporting that it does. The majority of studies have proven that body fat and obesity have even more to do with health than thought previously, which is the reason why it's become such a large part of modern curricula in medical schools.

    Your brief mention of BMI is also incorrect. While it's true that it can be inaccurate in persons with high muscle mass and low fat body fat percentage, it's a great estimate of body fat in most people. It's a single tool in an entire toolbag.

    The NEJM article has to do with myths and facts about dieting, weight loss, breastfeeding, and physical activity. Please don't add further myths to the mix. While it's true that people should not be "fat-shamed" they should absolutely be encouraged to lose weight either by diet, exercise, or both to aid in achieving a healthier status.

  2. Mercenary
    October 16, 2016 at 7:01 am

    Personally I find obese people repulsive. The last thing I need to see while I'm out somewhere, is to have a sweaty, wheezy person shuffling their way in front of me or towards me, with their gut hanging so low, they can't even tuck their shirt in or pull their pants up properly. I can only imagine how hard the heart is over-working to keep blood pumping through clogged arteries. If they don't respect themselves, why the hell should I give it to them? And we're not allowed to call a fat person fat! Why? Will not calling them fat cast less of a burden on an already failing health system? If you have to turn sideways to get through a regular sized door then maybe you need to do something about it. If you need to shop in the adult section for your already obese kids, then it's a clear sign you're failing as a parent. overfeeding dogs is branded as animal cruelty, but by all means, shove another burger and coke down the gobs of your kids and then complain that they're not being picked for sports teams because of fat shaming; not because they can't run or keep up and even walking leaves them out of breath. If cigarette packets have health slogans and images of what smoking does to your bodies, why can't those buckets of KFC or the copious cheeseburgers they love inhale only to then be washed down with the extra-large "diet" coke.
    Being overweight is one thing but to be morbidly obese!? Humans are simply not meant to be obese, our skeletal structure and organs are not designed for it. There's no shame in fatness? Yes there is. Stop empowering people to live a shitty lifestyle. I'm so sick of bleeding hearts and forcing everyone to have tolerance for everything instead of it just occurring naturally in those who decide to give a damn. Despite the increase patronage of gyms countrywide, society is getting fatter and lazier, most people in gyms don't actually need to be there, but how many fat people do you see trying to improve their situation? How many people do you see out there actually walking to where they need to go compared with how many cars you see on the road with only the driver in it? In both cases, not very many.

  3. Gary Linney
    October 1, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    It's not because fat people at offensive or unhealthy, the general reason fat people are " disliked" is because it is greed that drivesthem, the need to consume. This is the same reason we dislike drug addicts, burglars, or any criminal activity. One person's desire and want above the needs of others. Greed and obesity control global food markets, we drive up prices in third world countries and consume resources, this directly results in third word famine and death.
    We have a responsibility to fairly distribute the world's resources and to stop commanding far more than we actually need.

  4. Amber
    July 11, 2016 at 5:21 am

    I have read over all of these comments and just want to say some few things to everyone. Those who are the "fat-shamers": you all need to chill. Lower your swords and take a step or 2 back. You all keep trying to back up your opinions with "facts" when, in reality people make mistakes. For years people thought sticking a hot iron rod up your butt would cure somethings. When in reality it just made it worse. "Facts" can be proven or disproven it doesn't matter who said what as long as many tests can prove a certain, consistent answer. To the "pro-fat-people" or whatever, imagine this. You are thrown into a room with screaming people who are speaking another language. At first you are just like "wtf" but after awhile you understand some things. Both sides can take this analogy into consideration. Both parties here will someday see the other's point. Whether they like it or not. Fat shamers might one day realize all of the bs that over weight people have to deal with. One day you weight-pro people might see the logic behind their (shamer) reasoning.

  5. Marie
    June 30, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    I don't support 'hate,' but I don't support manipulation of people's right to express their opinion. Just because someone expresses their opinion that obesity is gross , doesn't automatically translate into: I hate fat people. I do think grossly overweight people are... "gross." Freedom of speech permits me to say this. I feel sorry for them and their: probable path to diabetes or other health problems, difficulty in keeping relationships, etc. But, my focus is on my own health and nutrition not on the plight of overweight people. I'm hoping that fat people find a way to eat or exercise better and that their next pseudo-political move isn't to further basterdize the English language--and employ the word, "fatphobic." Pahleeze. "Phobic" implies a phobia or something to be afraid of. I'm not afraid of fat people. I am just exercising my right as an American to express my opinion on things, beautiful, gross or anything in between. P.S. Don't hate me because I am healthy and slender. Thanks!

  6. AngryinFargo
    June 21, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I don't hate the overweight, by any means, but I do think they need to be more responsible. Point in case...

    My wife and I had "floor tickets", ( around $85 each ), to the recent James Taylor concert, in Fargo, ND. There was a problem with the tickets/seating, and we wound up leaving at intermission. I don't mean to sound cruel, but we were sandwiched between two extremely overweight individuals. *The woman sitting next to my wife was actually morbidly obese, ( somewhere around 400lbs, I'd say ). She was so big, that her girth was spilling over the seat spacer, and onto my wife, who was squeezed up next to me, like a sardine! When we complained to the usher, we were told that there was "little that could be done", and were offered one of the seats way in the back. I asked to speak with the floor manager, and was told that she was "unavailable". I, later, complained, via email and phone, to Fargo Dome officials, and got the typical corporate brush-off. It completely ruined a rare a night out for us both. Businesses need a plan of action to deal with this kind of situation, and obese individuals need to do the right thing, and buy two seats!

  7. Suzie
    June 1, 2016 at 2:47 am

    I am a mom who has to admit her kid for the second time this year for anorexia. Lets stop all this crap fat shaming, cutting funding for pe classes, treating 8 year olds like they are too old to try a new sport, showing super models who gained 12 lbs and can fit into their pre baby jeans two weeks after the birth etc...

  8. tellingitlikeitis
    May 17, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    I don't think all sizes are necessarily healthy, too much weight isn't good for the heart, bones, etc, but that isn't anyone's business. I find it perplexing that people are so obsessed with fat people. Fascinating, actually, because men who complain incessantly about fat women are deep down very attracted to them but don't have the courage to own up to it.

    Those who hate fat people have a poorly disciplined mind. They fixate on weight and fritter away time and energy talking about it, focusing on that, instead of a million different more constructive things.

    Just remember, if you are dealing with a fat basher, this is a weak person with a weak mind, and I'll take a fat friend over a stupid one any day.

  9. exo
    April 11, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    "they think that fat people aren’t attractive" ==> what do you mean by that ? If someone is not attracted to you they're not attracted period , what do you suggest ? FORCING them to see you as attractive ? check your delusion privilege ...

  10. MissSummer
    March 30, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Since I was a child, I've always wanted to lose weight because people around me even my cousin always bully because I'm fat. My cousin often giving me more vegetables to eat and tell me it's good for me and always snatch my sweets and desert telling me that it make me fat. Sometimes she tell me to run around the house but when I wanted to play with them, they often to tell me to stay away from them or maybe because I'm not fun to be play with because I'm slow. At school, I don't have anyone wanted to be my friends but always getting bullied. People will demand me to give them all my pocket money because they told me that it can make me slim down or snatch my lunch box and leave only rice and vegetable for me. When meitu xiu xiu become famous, my cousin will edit my picture to become slim even I didn't ask her. I've tried many diets including starving, diet pill and medication and many more and nothing work on me. I've also remember my cousin friend told me that I have a pretty face but I need to slim down. Teachers will always tell me that if I slim down I can be pretty and I often getting fool by other people, believe what they said could make me slim down. Even my crush found that I'm disgusting human being. As always I'll get home crying, asking for help, hate the person I saw when I'm standing in front the mirror, blame my parent and sometimes plead for them for more money to buy some expensive working diet product and finally suicide. Now, I might lose a few kg and people often compliment me but I never feel happy but empty and suffer. Do you enjoy seeing me suffer? If I'm dying could it make you feel any better?

  11. Ailsa G Cowan
    February 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Hey there
    I am an average sized person and I really admire you! What you say makes so much sense and taking the attitude that you do requires much courage and intelligence. Keep up the good work!!

  12. louiserose
    February 15, 2016 at 4:07 am

    I am a nurse and I am tired of seeing fat people admitted to hospital with problems because they are overweight. Diabetes, cardiac disease etc. Nurses suffer also by hurting their backs. go for a walk and stop eating badly.

    • Lila
      March 24, 2016 at 8:03 am

      I agree. There is no such thing as health at every size. A 5'4" woman who weighs 600 pounds is not going to have as healthy (or probably as fulfilling) of a life as another 5'4" woman who weighs 130 pounds. If you truly love your body, take care of it! It's the only one you get.

  13. Ss
    February 14, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    I'll take fat over mean any day. I can lose weight. I might not always be fat. You, on the other hand, will always be mean.

    • Dylan
      November 30, 2016 at 3:52 am

      I'd like to consider myself a decently nice person. I just find myself physically repulsed by obese people. I work extremely hard for everything I have and to see people take such poor care of themselves is depressing. Also, severe fault in your logic. It's possible to be kind and not fat. It's also possible to be obese and mean. I've noticed the obese people tend to be more mean, taking their hatred for themselves out on me. Really quite sad how you consider all non-fat people mean. Sorry for being healthy and caring for myself.

  14. Lola
    February 7, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I am not a fat shamer and never do any negative coments about owerweight and obese people, but fat people often call me "skinny skeleton" and say that I should eat more. I am not even underweight, my BMI is 18.5.

  15. Lili
    January 28, 2016 at 11:23 am

    In my childhood I used to be an extremely skinny girl and people orten made rude comments about my low body weight. They called me a concentration camp victim and said my mom something like this "Oh, your daughter is so terribly skinny! Have you ever fed her?" So I am against all kind of haters.

  16. Aquarius Moon
    July 16, 2015 at 10:30 am

    It's just an observer's view. I couldn't care less whether the overweight choose to stay the way they are or not. We all face the consequences of our choices any way.

    Not all people are fat shamers/haters. But some of the unnecessarily aggressive retorts by some overweight to what are logical comments are what cause the neutral parties to start disliking the overweight.

    People leave comments on an article, some of them valid and they are attacked by the defensive overweight community. Seems like it isn't doing anyone any favours *shrug*

  17. Joe Smith
    July 15, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    http://fat-people.com is one of those sites

  18. Johnny Kook
    July 8, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Cry me a river. From freshman year til about 3 years ago I was 6 foot and 130 pounds. Ate and ate, drank supplements, worked out, etc. NOTHING put any weight on me. You know what I got? Hate from fat f*cks that were jealous. When you're underweight good luck getting the same sympathy they get

    • Johnny Kook
      July 8, 2015 at 1:02 am

      BTW that "fat" girl who is shown on the 2nd Youtube Vid is freakin HOT

      • kiki
        March 23, 2016 at 6:51 pm

        You know what, not all "fat f***s" are jealous of you. That is a delusion you've made up. However, I will say that no one should be shamed for the body they have, and I do mean NOBODY.

        Fat, skinny, tall, short, disabled, it doesn't matter. We are all human, some of us just do a better job of acting like it than others.

  19. Brad Merrill
    July 1, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Great article, Justin. People are always looking for a reason to spew hate.

    Interesting note about the BMI scale: I know a guy who does some amateur bodybuilding — his body fat percentage is almost nothing — yet according to his BMI, he is obese.

    • fcd76218
      July 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      BMI scale, skin fold test, body fat percentage and other tests are meant to be used on general population, not on the outliers such as athletes. According to the Body Fat Percentage tables, the essential BFP for a male is 2%-%5 and for a female is 10%-13%. Elite endurance athletes (marathoners, bicycle racers) have body fat of about 50% of those numbers. I used to run marathons. My heart rate used to be around 40 beats/minute. Couple of times I had a doctor diagnose me with heart disease and be ready to admit me to a hospital for urgent care. Once I explained that I was a runner, he calmed down and called of the Code Blue.

  20. Read and Share
    June 30, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Alex -- I didn't pick up on any hate here at all -- unless you referred to the manufactured type that fcd76218 wrote up above? Lazy labeling?

  21. Wooticus The First
    June 30, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    ITT: People suddenly became expert Nutritionists and Dietitians.

  22. Philip Bates
    June 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Of course openly expressing hate is bad, but it's also an important part of society, if we want to follow that maxim, "be yourself." Everyone has prejudices, and I think we need to accept that - as well as the fact that these prejudices change depending on our experiences, that we all have our reasons. We have to accept that we don't live in a perfect world, and we never will. People are going to dislike each other, often loudly.

    Free speech also plays a part in this. Even if someone is spewing something I can't abide, I would still fight for their right to express that bile. Obviously this freedom of speech also covers arguments against the 'haters', so y'know... Give as good as you get!

    Great post by the way, Justin! Very thought-provoking.

    • Brad Merrill
      July 1, 2015 at 1:30 am

      Interesting point about free speech, Phillip. It reminds me of this quote by Noam Chomsky: "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

    • kiki
      March 23, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Problem is, we no longer accept jokes about LGTBQ, and we no longer accept jokes about Jews, African Americans, Asians or even the disabled. SO why is it okay for us to allow FAT comments and such instead of calling them prejudices and making them not okay as well?

      • fcd76218
        March 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm

        Because a law has not been passed yet that forbids it and circumscribes our freedom of speech even further.

  23. fcd76218
    June 30, 2015 at 1:10 am

    @Chailine Markey:
    HORSE MUFFINS!!!!
    The problem is that we, as a society,, over the last couple of decades have quit accepting responsibility for our actions. We have become a nation of cop-out artists and blame-shifters. We burn ourselves with hot coffee and we blame McDonalds for making it too hot. We go around a railroad crossing barrier and get hit by a train, we blame the railroad. We chow down on greasy food at fast food restaurants and we blame McDonalds, BurgerKing, KFC, Popeye's, etc.

    You are a perfect example. You blame the "food industry" for making people fat. Is the big, bad "food industry" holding a gun to anybody's head to make them buy bad food or forcing feeding t unhealthy food??? As humans we are supposed to have free will and reasoning powers. If the big, bad "food industry" is producing unhealthy food, why are we buying it? Supermarkets and grocery stores are operating on 1%-2% profit margins. If people exercised their reasoning powers and refused to buy crap, the "food industry" would quickly get the message and quit loading food up with junk.

    We live in a capitalist country. One of the major drivers of capitalism is the Law of Supply and Demand. If there is no demand for junk food, the supply will dry up.

    Many school districts have tried to institute healthy, non-fattening lunches. Many school districts have removed soda machines from their premises and replaced them with juice dispensing machines. What has been the response? Kids refuse to eat the healthy food and their parents demand that soda and the "old" food be brought back.

    So don't be blaming the "food industry" for the weakness and stupidity of the sheeple. You might as well claim like Flip Wilson that "The devil made me do it!"

    • Commander Sam
      June 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Well said! It's refreshing to see some people talking sense. Even if such people will usually constitute the minority. Unfortunately, for the most part, your message will fall on the deaf ears of the weak-willed majority who don't take responsibility for their actions.

      • kiki
        March 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

        hush you two, the grown ups are talking right now

    • Martha Crust
      June 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      Yeah but do you realize that it is expensive to eat healthy? Some people can only afford so much and lately the only cheap food is the processed crap. Have you noticed a lot of the people who are obese are also the poorest? That isn't just a cooincidence.

      • lavaisreallyhot
        June 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

        This is a myth. If you want to lose weight, the bottom line is that it doesn't matter what you eat. Google "Twinkie Diet". A college professor goes on a diet where he only eats junk food (Twinkies, Doritos, etc), and he loses over 20 pounds. How'd he do it? By not going over his calorie limit.

        You can eat McDonalds every day of your life, as long as you don't eat over your total daily energy expenditure, and still lose weight.

        • Martha Crust
          June 30, 2015 at 7:33 pm

          Yeah you may lose weight but still definitely won't be healthy on that diet which you now proved what was really the issue with you. It isn't health your complaining about. It is how fat people look.

        • lavaisreallyhot
          June 30, 2015 at 7:37 pm

          You obviously didn't read through the entire article. His cholesterol level dropped, as well as the amount of triglycerides in his blood. Even if it didn't improve his overall health, being less fat puts less strain on the rest of your body.

        • Martha Crust
          June 30, 2015 at 7:45 pm

          Obviously no one is gonna change your mind so cut the crap. I no longer care what your kind thinks. I have a right to love myself and enjoy my life just like anyone else. If that is hard for your mind to comprehend then maybe look into your own life and consider why you are so unhappy that you pick on others to feel good about yourself.

        • Alex Thompson
          June 30, 2015 at 11:35 pm

          People say negative things about fat people because they're offensive to look at, not to make themselves feel better. If you saw a homeless man moving his bowels would you yell "Gross!" to feel better about yourself? An extreme example, but it gets the point across. The other commenter wrote a thought out post about food and you accused them of picking on you, because you didn't agree with them. Believe it or not, that's actually a shaming tactic. Very hypocritical.

          You are not a different "kind", you aren't a fat race, your bad decisions keep you fat and in bad health, no matter what your metabolism. People of all metabolisms can lose weight. It's incredibly common knowledge that being overweight wreaks havoc on your health in too many ways to count. The fact that you refuse to be healthier because of what other people think just proves you make terrible decisions. You're trying to disguise having no self control as being strong and independent, it's a real shame.

        • Salla Kolehmainen
          November 10, 2015 at 7:35 pm

          "Offensive to look at", huh? Too bad for you that we don't get to decide who can and who cannot go on their daily lives based on what you, or anybody else thinks about the appereance of other people. What a funny and self-centered world you live in where your aesthetic tastes define if a person has the right to appear in your line of sight or not.

          In reality, you know nothing about the people you merely pass by, and you are not eligible to make any valid judgements about their self-control, health, happiness or anything else. You don't know them or what they have been through. Would you appreciate it if random strangers insulted you every instance about your insecurities or flaws? Sure, being overweight is not optimal to the health, but guess what, almost no one lives a life that is optimal to their health, and no one can force anyone to do so.

        • kiki
          March 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm

          I'm so glad we have people like you to tell everyone else all those wonderful medical opinions you have. Must be really nice to be able to sit on your soapbox and preach to everyone else.

      • fcd76218
        June 30, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        "Yeah but do you realize that it is expensive to eat healthy?"
        Actually, it is not. By careful shopping and taking advantage of supermarket/grocery store sales and coupons, it is possible to pay less for healthy food than for junk food. The only problem is that instead of conveniently just heating up a prepared meal in a package, you have to inconveniently put together a healthy meal and cook it. Just to give one example - a 12 oz. box of breakfast cereal will cost you about $4, lasts about a week and has the nutritional value of sugar-coated cardboard. For the same $4 you can get a 42 oz, box of oatmeal which lasts close to a month and is recommended by nutritionists and doctors. Of course, if you insist on doing your food shopping at Whole Food Markets or Sprout's, you will overpay without getting commensurate increase in value.

        "Obviously no one is gonna change your mind"
        Don't expect others to change their mind if you are unwilling to change yours.

        " I have a right to love myself and enjoy my life just like anyone else"
        Yes, you do but based on your comments you are not comfortable with what you are and you certainly are not enjoying your life. If you loved yourself, you wouldn't give a damn about what people say to you and about you.

        • kiki
          March 23, 2016 at 6:59 pm

          Actually...it is. Depending on where you live, whether or not you live in a "food desert", and whether or not your income is actually HIGH enough, you CAN'T afford good food. But as usual we can count on folks like you to have all the facts from your enormous store of knowledge in that prejudicial brain of yours.

        • fcd76218
          March 26, 2016 at 2:00 pm

          "Depending on where you live, whether or not you live in a “food desert”, and whether or not your income is actually HIGH enough, you CAN’T afford good food."
          HORSE PUCKEY! As I said, you don't need to shop in expensive Natural Food stores. INEXPENSIVE, HEALTHY food is available in all local supermarkets. All you have to do is educate yourself and resist the urge to buy crap.

          By "food desert" do you mean the lack of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Popeye's, Taco Bell and/or other fast food restaurants?!

          "But as usual we can count on folks like you to have all the facts from your enormous store of knowledge in that prejudicial brain of yours."
          My facts are from my experience. Since my daughter went vegetarian, when I food-shop, for the most part, I avoid the ice cream freezers, prepared foods aisles, meat aisle. When we eat out we bypass fast food joints, Southern or any other restaurants that rely on heavy sauces for flavoring. When there is a will, there is a way. If the people on "My 600 Pound Life" can lose weight so can anybody else.

        • kiki
          March 26, 2016 at 9:55 pm

          When I refer to a food desert. I am referring to how some folks lack a grocery store in their own area. Educate yourself. I don't see how I'm being prejudicial, I am saying that for some folks being able to find food that doesn't get sold for a larger amount of money in a convenience store just isn't possible. In some larger cities you can't find a grocery store for MILES. I'm glad you have healthy food near your home, or in an easy to access location, the reality is, many do not. Not quite sure what I horse puckey is since horses tend not to leave "pucks" behind :)

  24. Chailine Markey
    June 29, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Hey Lava- You're just another shamer , a wolf dressed in the sheepskin of "health". The facts are this- You are blaming individuals for something the food industry is the cause of- the rise in diabetes isn't just happening to fat people.The same goes for fat being blamed for the rise in other diseases, autoimmune diseases like I have. I find it interesting how many 'thin' and 'average' size people argue against fat being the reason they are ill!
    You should really look at what the food industry has done since the late 70's. They now use processed beet and corn sugars in everything! I started researching this when I noticed ingredients in foods that shouldn't be there-High Fructose Corn Syrup in bread for instance. You see when I was a child in the early 70's all these processed foods existed but they weren't really feasible for the poorest of folks. It was still cheaper to make cookies from scratch than to buy pre-packaged dough. Suddenly in the late 70's just about every ready-to-eat foods were filled with these over-processed sugars that the body doesn't metabolize well. Also the addition of MSG, proven to be highly addictive, to keep you craving the foods that are bad for you. The food industry found cheap substitutes for the more expensive cane sugar-reducing the cost of manufacturing and making these awful foods affordable to the poorest folks. And please- it isn't physics. Do you realize how many studies are funded by the weight loss industry? It's mis-information. You see the weight loss industry doesn't profit from success stories(that rare 2% that achieves success but rarely for very long). They profit on repeat business meanwhile promoting eating THEIR pre-packaged, over-processed foods that are part of the problem. Even Dr's can be mis-informed and misled. The very real science behind obesity is that for SOME, it's genetic. For everyone else- it is NOT lack of willpower or self-control- it is the very real fact that most foods are filled with processed ingredients that make people fat. You are just one of those people that wants to make it about the choices we make in our diets-meanwhile my 'skinny' friend eats fast food 2x a DAY and consumes mostly processed box foods and soda and (UGH) Little Debbie snacks and remains thin. Does she exercise? NO. Yet I rarely eat this crap but it is somehow MY fault while I workout 3x a week, play tennis and walk? Metabolism, my dear.The facts are- it's NOT your job to tell anyone what you THINK their problem is with their health, especially if you don't know the person. FYI- I am a 43 yr old woman with severe, aggressive Rheumatoid disease (my immune system attacks and destroys my soft tissues, joints and organs) and 2 years after the onset of my disease lost the extra 30 lbs through elimination diets. Then I developed hypothyroidism and gained over 60 pounds (putting me in that 'obese' category) and have since lost over 45 pounds , without killing myself working out and without starving. It took one year to gain 60 pounds from my thyroid issue but over two years to lose the 45. Next time you feel the need to inform fat folks of their horrible lifestyle, you might want to stop and think about how they may already have lost weight, are dealing with illnesses or a host of other invisible issues that you have NO knowledge of.

    • Martha Crust
      June 30, 2015 at 2:06 am

      Amen!

    • fcd76218
      June 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      @Chaiiline:
      Are you hoping to convince us that 200 million people in the US have some kind of an illness that affects their metabolism? Your contention may work for a few million but not two thirds of US population.

    • lavaisreallyhot
      June 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      fcd76218 mentioned this already, but again, and I've said this multiple times, if this was just a small percentage of Americans, then I could chalk obesity up to some sort of statistical anomaly. But we're talking about 200 million people, 2/3rds of this entire country. Have you no empathy for wanting the country to be healthier?

      Food industry or no food industry, if you want to lose weight, the bottom line is calorie management. Genetics or your thyroid can't defy the laws of thermodynamics. If you eat less than your total daily energy expenditure, you will lose weight. For example, a Big Mac from McD's is 530 calories. On an 1800 calorie diet, you could eat a Big Mac for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and still lose weight.

      But let's ignore your "conditions" for a second. I've mentioned this too, that my biggest beef right now is not necessarily with fat people, but the fact that there is this movement that tells people being obese is okay. You're afflicted with a list of "invisible issues", but what about everyone else? Would you not encourage other people to eat healthy and/or exercise?

    • kiki
      March 23, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Too true! The bs must stop. Not only should people be minding their own business, but they should be staying out of the business of others. Most of us can't stand that artificial crap, and the "obesity industry" is making billions off our fears of fat. Congratulations I love it when those who do shaming allow fat cats to get fatter in the wallets because in fact, if we left people alone, you wouldn't have bariatric surgery(which started as a surgery for stomach issues originally NOT for weight reduction). Oh and all the pills, potions, diets and books??? Man oh man everyone has the magic cure, I just wish some of these "helpful" people would stfu and just go write a damn book about their expertise, that way they could profit too and stop being such asses.

      • fcd76218
        March 26, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        If there was no fat people, or very few of them, there would be no "obesity industry." Tobacco industry is a good analogy. At one time the attitudes of smokers were the same as of the fat people today. "We have our rights." "Mind your own busines." "How date you shame us." etc. etc. etc. Then the anti-smoking message started getting through. Smokers started quitting in large numbers. Smaller tobacco companies went out of business. Large companies came out with products like e-cigarettes. American tobacco companies no longer rely on American smokers to be their main source of revenue. Some tobacco companies have diversified into so many other products that tobacco has become a minor source of revenue for them. All these changes occurred with only around 15% drop in the number of smokers.

        • kiki
          March 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm

          Smoking...is not obesity.

        • fcd76218
          March 27, 2016 at 12:58 am

          "Smoking…is not obesity. "
          Keep telling yourself that. Keep telling yourself that your case is special. Keep making all the excuses you make in your post. Obesity is like smoking - it is an addiction. Even obesity caused by a medical condition can be cured but the patient has to be want to be cured and the addict must want to get rid of his/her addiction.

  25. Read and Share
    June 29, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    Hate is bad. No arguments there. And many of us today put down "public shaming" -- preferring that we just be allowed to "be our own person". But the problem is this: after three generations of overall prosperity -- we Americans as a group just aren't very good at self-discipline. We don't want others telling us what to do. But many of us also don't take good care of ourselves, our environment, and the people around us!

    And the consequence is that as a nation -- we borrow much more than most (that's on top of enjoying some of the world's highest salaries) - we consume much more than most -- and yet, we are (not surprisingly) neither happier nor healthier than many other industrialized countries (France, Japan, Scandinavia, etc.). Many of us are indeed obese. And many of us dress like slobs. And we yak loudly on our cell phones pretty much anywhere -- with little consideration for others.

    I often see our country being "the hog" for our mindless consumption -- and China being "the rat" for their huge population. But over the last couple of decades, China implemented its "One Child" policy -- the most draconian policy that even dictatorships could dare impose.

    And what have we Americans done to curb our mindless borrowing and consuming? Nothing, really.

    • Read and Share
      June 29, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      I should add that my post above is a criticism of ourselves as a nation. It obviously doesn't apply to every individual (which we all are, of course).

      I have nothing but respect and admiration for Matt Diaz, after watching his video above.

    • fcd76218
      June 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      "Hate is bad."
      So is manufactured hate. Why is it that when we are not ecstatic about something, we are automatically labeled as "haters"? When did the love-hate spectrum of feelings get foreshortened to only Love and Hate? What ever happened to all the feelings in between such as "mild like","mild dislike", indifference, "mild interest"? Why does it have to be either Love or Hate? That's like reducing the color spectrum to only black and white.

    • Alex Thompson
      June 30, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Interesting, because the vast majority of hate I see on this topic is directed at people who acknowledge the unbelievably substantiated fact that being overweight is bad for you and should be something you work to change.

    • kiki
      March 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      You seem to have forgotten the part where is is none of your business, and where if you shame people it actually tends to have the OPPOSITE effect. Reason we aren't happier? We work to death, most can't afford to play, most can't afford good access to medical care. Oh and we don't get many vacations. Now check out other countries, it's not about the weight there, it's about their healthcare, their quality of life etc, which is created by TAXES but OMG OMG OMG Americans are allergic to taxes aren't they?

      • fcd76218
        March 26, 2016 at 1:11 pm

        "Now check out other countries"
        Yes, DO check out the other countries. Their healthcare systems are designed to help the sick. In the US the healthcare system, especially as promulgated by Obamacare, is designed to be be an income stream for the insurance companies.

        "most can’t afford good access to medical care"
        You can thank our president for that. Obamacare was supposed to provide inexpensive, universal healthcare. It is neither inexpensive nor universal.

        • kiki
          March 26, 2016 at 9:58 pm

          Depending on what state you are in, they OPTED OUT of the medicare. Sadly some politicians put their own citizens on a chopping block just to justify their own selfish ends. Do some research and you will find that where Obamacare was instituted it is in fact working, I have many friends who are proof that it is. A couple of them have managed to get their health taken care of....finally.

  26. Howard A Pearce @HAPLibertarian
    June 29, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I thought I heard recently that the whole idea of eating fat caused you to be fat was being somewhat called into question ..... like many things these days :D

  27. lavaisreallyhot
    June 29, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Speaking as someone who would be considered a "fat-shamer", much of my anger toward overweight people stems from two things:

    1. There are, without a doubt, health issues with being overweight. If you want to delude yourself into thinking obesity is healthy, do it in your own bubble. However, the physicians of the world can't manipulate the laws of physics to your favor, they will judge you based on reality.

    Being "healthy" while overweight is like being "healthy" while smoking. Is smoking a pack of cigarettes going to kill you immediately? No. And yet, there are poison signs and warnings on every pack of cigarette sold in America. But before this was established, there was plenty of pseudoscience around cigarettes, and how they were healthy and would do things like "relax your throat" and how filters would remove all the tar, thereby making them safe. Bottom line, cigarettes will be a direct cause of medical problems; bottom line, obesity will be a direct cause of medical problems. Come up with all the excuses you want, but cancer doesn't listen to bs.

    2. More and more Americans are becoming overweight. It's practically an international joke. There are officially more obese people than there are healthy-weight people in America. And more than 2/3 of Americans are classified as overweight. Over 200 million people! We could displace entire countries with our fat population. We're not fighting a minority here, we're a minority fighting back.

    This is just me, personally, but my hate is directed at campaigns and logic that try to defend being overweight. I refuse to promote literature or propaganda that tells people it's okay for them to abuse themselves with food. For me, it makes as much sense as telling people it's okay to shoot up heroin into their veins or to snort cocaine because of xyz reasons. No, it's not okay.

    Feel free to disagree with me but I'm not going to reverse millions years of evolutionary preference to protect fat people's feelings.

    • Martha Crust
      June 29, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      I still think all what you say is really to put down others to make yourself feel better. And what makes you think a skinny person is any healthier?

      • lavaisreallyhot
        June 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm

        I can understand why you'd think that, but what you're saying to me is exactly the kind of reason fat-shamers fat-shame. You're trying to tell yourself it's okay not to listen to what I'm saying because you think I'm being selfish and mean. You're trying to deny the numbers and facts I claimed because you think I only said it to make myself feel better, as if that makes facts any less true. That kind of attitude is what fat-shamers feed off of.

        And you're right, a skinny person is not necessarily healthier than any given fat person. But on average? On average, there's little to no dispute. You will have fewer health issues when you are at a healthy-weight. Take the rising number of children that get diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes as a prime example. There was a time when doctors thought a child would only be in danger of Type 1 Diabetes, at the worst, and now there are hundred of thousands of cases involving young people being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes due to more and more children becoming overweight. Fat acceptance isn't going to help them keep all their toes, a healthy diet and actual medical prognosis is.

        And that's another thing that gets me going, you can say, well hey you don't have a degree in a related field to talk about this, what do you know. But then I read stories about how patients get upset at doctors because the doctors tell them they're too overweight! There was even a story in the news about how a patient tried to sue her doctor because he said that her weight was a concern! If fat people start adopting fat acceptance over the advice of their physicians, how can any sane person defend them?

        • Martha Crust
          June 29, 2015 at 10:07 pm

          What is it your duty to ridicule and scorn fat people anyway? Do you think that will make them wanna lose weight? No of course not! And how is it your business that someone is fat? If people would mind their own business and not have this fake concern for fat people maybe they would have better views of themselves instead of being treated as sub humans.

        • lavaisreallyhot
          June 29, 2015 at 10:40 pm

          And then this response is also something I would make fun of. Instead of addressing the issues I brought up, you sideskirt it by saying, well it's not your business.

          BUT REGARDLESS, you have a fair point, why bother bringing it up anyway? Why bother trying to convince someone they need to slim down? Many reasons exist for this and everyone will have their own reason(s). Some will be superficial, others would be more practical.

          Me? If you want to be fat in your own zone/world, fine. But when fat people peddle this awful fat logic trying to justify that being overweight is healthy and that everyone is healthy at every size, you start to endanger lives. Because it's not healthy. And when people try to advocate this type of lifestyle in public, it becomes everyone's (myself included) business.

        • Commander Sam
          June 30, 2015 at 8:23 am

          The incredible patience and maturity you've displayed here is admirable. Rest assured it didn't fall entirely on deaf ears - plenty of other people reading.

        • fcd76218
          June 30, 2015 at 1:22 am

          "And how is it your business that someone is fat?"
          Normally it isn't but when someone on a public conveyance overflows their seat into my space, or takes up a seat and a half or more, they then make themselves my business. Just as it normally isn't my business nor do I give a damn if someone is trying to kill themselves by smoking. However, when they start blowing smoke in my face, it becomes my business very quickly.

        • Martha Crust
          June 30, 2015 at 2:04 am

          Don't sit next to a fat person then. I don't invade anyone's space when I go out and if I saw someone rude like you I would be sure not to be anywhere near you.

        • Martha Crust
          June 30, 2015 at 1:05 am

          Well I can't change how you feel. I just hope someday you don't face the same hate that you show to others like this.

        • kiki
          March 23, 2016 at 7:06 pm

          But....who gave you the right to make any such comments or to shame others?

  28. Howard A Pearce @HAPLibertarian
    June 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    What I would just remind people is that the government has a duty to protect hate ... not end it !

    Hate speech, hate press, hate beliefs, hate associations, etc.

    Politicians looking to end hate MIGHT end your freedoms too . Conflict of interest, maybe.

    • kiki
      March 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Oh I know you Americans protect the ignorant (hate speech), but, if you are using hate speech don't expect people to not use their free speech to tell you how they feel or what I like to call how it is.

      • Howard A Pearce @HAPLibertarian
        March 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

        I'm afraid even ignorant people have rights too :) Not just us smart people :P

  29. Colonel Angus
    June 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Bullies like easy targets, and fat people are easy targets. PC has taken away most of the favored targets of bullies, so they're left with Southerners, Christians and fat people. What will stop it? Nothing. Sorry, but there are always going to be people out there who have to make themselves feel better by belittling others. Their lives are sad and pathetic, so they find the people who, in their eyes, are more sad and pathetic and they pounce. I was bullied in school because I wore glasses and was smart. Back then we were told to fight back, but I'm not sure exactly how you do that when the cowards doing the bullying are hiding behind a computer screen.

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