Monday, September 7, 2015

Sticks and Stones... A response to Nicole Arbour's "Dear Fat People" video

So, if you haven't heard, Comedian Nicole Arbour posted a video this week that the media and a ton of people is labeling as a "fat-shaming" video. I watched it, to see what the hype was about..

I can't say I found it funny (a few parts were chuckle-worthy). But offensive? Bullying? Fat-shaming?

Since when do we live in a world where someone else's words automatically dictate how we feel about ourselves?

I learned a long time ago (elementary school) that people are going to say mean things. And they will say them for a variety of reasons: maybe they are put down at home by a sibling or a parent, maybe their self esteem is low and they cut down others to make themselves feel better (which in turn only makes them feel worse), maybe they know that controversy is really the only way for attention, maybe they really are a sociopath and have no regard for anyone else, or maybe they are a high-functioning autistic who has no filter on their mouth. Whatever their reason, it's up to you to decide how someone else's words make you feel.

Self-proclaimed "fat girl" Whitney Thore even posted a response to Nicole's video. I have not watched that one, and truthfully, I don't want to. Whitney has done alot to open the dialogue for weight issues in the media. I hear she even has her own show on some TV channel, good for her. If being the "fat girl" is who she wants to be, that's fine.

People have asked me, "Well, what do you think about that fat chick Whitney?" .... Am I supposed to have an opinion on this? My favorite is to ask people why they think I even know who she is or support her cause.... "Well... you know... because.... [they gesture to my overweight body]...."

This is what's wrong with the country. It's not the fight themselves, but the globalization of these fights. A white cop shoots a black man, and all of a sudden the whole country is in an uproar about race violence. When statistics and truth show that black-on-black violence is much more common and often more deadly than white-on-black. A large woman self labels as a "fat girl" and is proud of who she is, and all of a sudden anyone not in a single-digit jean size should be too? No, you'll actually find many overweight individuals don't like the extra attention they are getting because of this body movement. I am one of them. Leave me and my personal demons alone; just because I carry mine on the outside doesn't mean you're allowed to comment on them. Mothers who don't breastfeed their child for one reason or another are automatically labeled bad mothers, when you truly don't understand the struggle it can be to breastfeed or the numerous biological impairments that can happen or the emotional havoc it can wreak on a mother who so desperately wants to nurse but find that she cannot for whatever reason. No one has their whole story written on their skin, so stop talking to people like you've read it all before.

Because I'm overweight automatically means I'm behind and supportive of this  #NoShameBodyCampaign .... No, I am ashamed of my body. If I could hide from the world I would. But, a girl's gotta work. I put myself in this body, and it sure as hell isn't going to lose itself overnight. I am working on it. But like life, there is no one single answer. It's not black and white. It's black, and white, and grey, and green, and blue, and pink.

This leads me back up to the Eleanor Roosevelt quote above: "NO ONE can make you feel inferior without your CONSENT."

You go, Eleanor!

I learned a long time ago that people are going to have their opinions. Moreover, they will sometimes give you their opinions without asking if you'd like it. Even moreso, they will force their opinion on you and get angry when you don't support or agree with it. You just have to let it go in one ear and out the other. You need to make the best decision you can with what you have, and go from there.

I won't condone what Nicole has posted on YouTube. After all, it's her own account and Free Speech is still a constitutional right (although I think she's from Canada? How does that work?) People can have their opinions, but no one should be threatening harm or violence, or egging someone else on to kill themselves. That's just plain wrong, in any context. Even comedians dare not go there without serious backlash. Suicide is not funny.

Let the comedian continue to say what is funny or edgy to her. I think she has great potential aside from the pot-stirring she is doing now from all this attention. Her video on the "The History of BRAS" is pretty funny to me...