(This post is in reference to the Dear Fat People video posted to Youtube by vlogger Nicole Arbour. If you haven’t seen it, don’t fret, Youtube took the video down. If this link still works you can view it here:
People are using this video and their responses to it for publicity and to gain viewers. I am not someone that really has a need for publicity, as my goals are far greater than blog or Youtube success. So who am I? No one, but this subject has touched to the heart of me. I feel no need to explain my current level of “fatness”, no do I owe anyone any excuse for that. I have PCOS and Chronic pain disorder, but I don’t need those things as an explanation, but I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my body. My body is wonderful. It has seen, done and felt things that other people can’t seem to grasp. My body is mine. That being said, no one gets the right to attempt to make others feel bad about their bodies.
This woman really feels that there is no such thing as fat shaming. Really? No such thing? That entire video is nothing but fat shaming. You don’t agree? Well, think about this. The last time that you were in an argument with a larger person, what is the first thing you thought to call them. Not “bitch”, not “skank”, not “slut”, not any of those other words. And if you did, there was/is always that qualifier that comes before those words. Such as: “fat bitch”. You can feign self-righteousness and say that you have never and would never, but I will bet that you have. No one should be shamed for their body, no matter how large or small, or short or tall, or any other group of words, they might be. No one.
So, here are my response letters, even if you don’t agree with my thoughts, you will have to admit that I have a point in a few places:
Dear Fat People:
I see you there. Running from your kid’s practices, school and their social engagements. I see you trying so hard to pretend that everything is ok and no one bothers you. I see you trying every fad diet there is. I see how hard you are working to lose weight and how much that failing affects you. I see how many tears you cry at night and in the dark, when no one else can see. I see how many times you stare temptation in the face and turn away. I see you walking, dancing, swimming, doing everything you can. I also see your doctor’s appointments, your fear, your pain, your worry. I see your tireless enthusiasm, just trying to make another day better for those around you. I see your depression, anxiety, thyroid problems, fibromyalgia, chronic pain disorder, PCOS, and countless other reasons that you got the way that you are. I see you. Others may not, but I do. I see me. I know the depression after a month of eating the bare minimum every day and looking at the scale not changing at all. I feel that pain.
Keep going, keep doing what you do. Keep being beautiful, loving, caring and hopeful. Keep getting up and keep going. Keep trying. We can’t change every one around us, we can’t make people become decent human beings, but we can change our reaction to those people. We don’t have to let their hateful words affect our loving hearts. We have the choice to keep going and be free of that heavy hateful heart. Love yourself. Love each other. Love those who have spoken against you, they don’t have any idea how hard it is to live in our bodies.
Love you all,
Dear Nicole Arbour (and the other Nicole Arbours of this world):
You don’t know. You simply don’t. You can’t. You have no idea what it feels like to be trapped in bodies that you can’t change. (For whatever reason, not just the reasons that YOU deem appropriate.) You can’t look at any person and tell right away whether they are fat because they eat too much or whether they have health problems that cause them to be this way. You can’t see whether they have eating disorders (they aren’t just for skinny people, you know!), whether they ate themselves this way because their soul hurt so badly that they couldn’t even muster up the energy to care. You can’t see that they didn’t have the money to eat better or to have more options. See, eating healthy is costly, sometimes you only have enough to feed your kids and yourself the bare necessities. And guess what? Those foods are laden with fat, calories, starch, and all the other bad for you things. Some people just can’t afford to do better. But can you see that? No. No you can’t.
You can’t see fibromyalgia or chronic pain syndrome or depression. You can’t see the days that people physically can’t get out of bed and exercise. The days when it hurts to breathe, when your body feels like a thousand people have punched you in your sleep all night long. You can’t even imagine what it is like to be inside this body, that you desperately want to change and know that no matter what you do, it won’t change, for whatever reason.
You call yourself being concerned for others and wanting to “keep them around” as long as possible. But here is the rub. The things that you say, think, and the words that you use are as detrimental to people as the fat and calories that they may or may not have consumed. Your words are like a knife to the wrist for someone that can’t change the way that they are. Even to those that can change it but haven’t found the strength to. Your words are the catalyst not for change, as you claim to hope, but for darkening thoughts and more shame. You can’t see that we are already carrying that shame. Maybe you can see it and you are just so cynical that you don’t care. You just want a hot topic issue to boost your Youtube account. Well brave, basic girl, you found your issue. Hope that helps you sleep at night.
I hope you never have something in your life that you have no control over.
I still have love for you. That is what separates you and I.
There are reasons that we all are who we are, and without knowing those reasons, you can’t judge others for anything. Keep it to yourself.