Nicole Arbour's "Dear Fat People" video and debunking the myths about them.


As you may all know, a YouTube sensation, Nicole Arbour posted a 6-minute video about her disdain and disgust for fat people, and it garnered a TON of attention...mostly negative. While she kept defending herself, saying it was meant to be satire, I didn't want to watch it, knowing how upset I would be. Rather, I am forming an opinion based on articles in response to her video. Actually, I want to make some counter arguments against the stereotype against obese people:

1. Myth: Fat people eat too much. So there may be some truth to that, especially in our society where cheap, processed food is easily available whereas fresh organic produce is more expensive. Also, it's more time consuming to cook healthy meals, especially when you have a family. It's no wonder people who are on the poverty line are more likely to be overweight. But Arbor says that she is not referring to those who have a little bit of cushion or a medical condition...it's a sad fact that there are a lot of people with medical conditions that cause them to gain weight. I am extremely hot and passionate about this subject because I have been in both sides of being thin and overweight. I am slightly overweight right now because I am forced to take prednisone for my lupus. I'm very lucky that I have never been obese, but I know people who have ballooned into that category (my sister included). Anti-depressants make you gain weight. Plus, there are people who take depo as their form of birth control, or those who have thyroid conditions. Lastly, there's those who have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), like Whitney Thore, the star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life. Thore posted a fantastic video in response to Arbour's trash:


2. Myth: Fat people are lazy, dumb, etc. There are fat people who are lazy, and there are skinny people who are lazy too. Hard working folk come in all shapes and sizes. Like I said above, they may not have the time or the money to be able to achieve their goals, so it's an extra challenge. Another reason I am very sensitive about this is because my fiance, Cecilio is large. And I do not mean that in a derogatory way. I'm just stating it as a fact, neither positive nor negative. But you know what? He is many other things too: intelligent, hard working, ambitious, loving, selfless, and overall fun to be around. Would I like him to lose weight for his health? Yes, because I don't want to lose him like I lost my dad (although I lost him through cancer, but my point is that I can't afford to lose someone I love so early). But have I ever thought any less of him because of his size? No, because I care mostly about the size of his heart. Also, they don't smell like sausages according to Arbour. Cecilio smells amazing, and he is actually cleaner than I am!

3. Myth: I'm just concerned for their health! Thore makes a great counter argument against this: concern is not "make better choices" and being harsh. Concern is "hey, if you ever need help, please let me know, I want to be able to help you in any way I can..." Concern about one's health means that you would be concerned if someone was underweight, drinks heavily or does drugs. But this so called concern is disguised as being truly disgusted with how someone looks, as if it affects them. All the times I have been at my lightest weight during my adulthood was when I had horrible lupus flares. But you will never see a campaign about that.

4. Myth: Skinny people get shamed too. I hear this all the time: "Oh, I am skinny and people are so rude to me, but if someone said that to a fat person, I would be considered a monster!" I get it, I hear it all the time. I used to have people tell me I was so skinny, and it did get awkward. But did I ever get upset? No, because I know how it feels to be feel ugly, unattractive, undesirable, etc. at a heavier weight, so I don't immediately turn my nose up at people who are larger. I understand by being in both positions. Also, when skinny people get comments, it may be out of concern but it's also out of jealousy or as a compliment because society considers the skinny white woman (like Arbour) as the ideal standard for beauty. They have always been, whereas obese people, ethnic minorities and people of different sexual orientations have been extremely marginalized. "Skinny shaming" can be hurtful, I know that, especially for young girls who are naturally that way and want to "develop" yet get rude comments from their peers, especially boys. But it will not compare to the fat people who get ignored by doctors, get passed for jobs, constantly attract stares down the street, or  have a hard time finding a mate. This is akin to the Black Lives Matter campaign: saying "Black Lives Matter" doesn't mean all lives don't matter, it just means that black people are precious too that society and the police need to think before beating them to the grave. Body positive imagery for fat people doesn't mean there's nothing for thin people: actually they have mainstream images everywhere. It's just that fat people deserve to feel good just as much.

Phew! Now I am not advocating obesity to the point where it affects one's quality of life and health. Nor am I bashing thin people in general...I used to be thin and I want to be able to get there again once I get on a lower dose of prednisone or eventually get off of it (healthy thin, not sickly). I just want to be able to communicate the idea that not everyone who is fat is disgusting, lazy, sloppy, ugly, etc. Just like how I understand that not every thin white woman is vain or self-centered (though Arbor  is REALLY perpetuating the stereotype). But what do I know?

2 comments :

  1. You are so right. I unfortunately watched the video because I needed to understand the backlash. I initially thought "wow, some people are so sensitive", when I saw responses without watching the video. After watching the video, my heart hurt for overweight people and the-3-yrs-ago me. She keeps saying "it's comedy" but I think Miss Colorado made a point when she said she loves Ellen DeGeneres because she is funny without being unkind.

    Nicole Arbour is ugly on the inside.

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    1. I don't want to watch it, I've had enough of seeing how thinner people treated overweight people, even though I was a thin person myself. I was still with my then-boyfriend (now fiance) who is twice my size, but I have always and will always love him. Also, people have said she is a Jenna Marbles wannabe, and I haven't really watched Jenna but I have heard people say she is super funny without degrading others.

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