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Fat People Loving Themselves is Not “Glorifying Obesity”

The word “fat” is not a bad word. It is not synonymous with “ugly,” or even “unhealthy.” “Fat” as an adjective pertaining to body type functions the same way that “skinny” does—it simply describes a particular figure. Problems arise when hateful people use the word “fat” as a derogatory term, or mean it in a hurtful way. Generally, when someone is being openly mocking or cruel and using the word “fat” in that way, it is easy to block them out and label them a bully (which they are). But there is a disturbing trend on the rise, especially on social media, and people who want to fat-shame have found a way to try to mask their hate as “concern.”

A fat woman will post something nice, a photo or video of herself in a cute outfit, or spinning in a new dress. Along with the influx of “yaas, Queen” and “Cute!” comments come the trolls. Inevitably, one of these people will comment something like, “We shouldn’t be glorifying obesity.” If pressed, they will claim that they are only “concerned” for her and people who may look up to her. That they are “just thinking about her health.” This gets some gullible people onto their side. 

But here’s the thing:

That person is being just as hateful as the people making “gross” and “whale” comments. They’re just sneakier about their approach. And these people don’t only attack women—being fat and confident as any gender is seen as a threat to those who need to tear others down to feel good about themselves. They aren’t concerned, especially if the post had nothing to do with the person’s weight. They saw a picture of a person having the audacity to be happy in their own skin and felt the need to make it about how they see them as lesser. They make it about weight because that’s all that they can see when they look at a fat person. All that they value them on is how attracted they are to them, which is, frankly, gross.

A fat person being happy and feeling good about themselves isn’t “glorifying obesity.” A person, who has feelings and a life just like any other person, just sharing that they are happy is not an invitation for anyone to bring up their own hateful agenda. 

I cannot think of a single post that I have seen wherein a fat person is trying to push their body type onto others. If that happened, and someone was claiming that being fat made you superior, or that everyone should be fat, that would be a different situation. And really, even then, being fat isn’t the same as being obese. 

AND EVEN THEN, WHY SHOULDN’T OBESE PEOPLE BE ALLOWED TO LOVE THEMSELVES AND BE HAPPY WITHOUT BEING SHAMED FOR IT?

The only people that I personally recall trying to push their body type on others and “glorifying” it are the muscle-bound athletic types. And hey! Good for them too. They’re happy with their bodies, and everyone should be allowed the space to feel good about themselves. 

Again, being “concerned” about fat people’s health and throwing that in their faces at every opportunity is just code for, “I hate fat people and I’ve found a way to make it sound nicer.” There is no space for comments like that on personal posts promoting self-love. The people in those photographs aren’t saying that you have to be like them; they’re saying “I feel good today!” To immediately make that an issue of weight is hateful and irrelevant.

If you really care about fat people, you will want them to feel good about themselves. You don’t want people to publicly shame you, so don’t do it to others, especially not with unsolicited and condescending “advice.” Here’s something we all learn in kindergarten: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” 

Your body type, whether fat or thin or muscular or obese or curvy or anything else under the sun, doesn’t make you any better or worse than anyone else. Everyone is out here just trying to live, so don’t drag others down to build yourself up. 

A Creative Writing and Professional Writing double-major and a huge geek
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