Sunday morning, not so long ago. I’m sipping a London Fog coffee and scrolling down my Facebook, checking what my friends are up to – new babies, funny pets, silly kids and the latest of Jimmy Fallon viral sketches – when I stumble upon a video that was shared on one of my friend’s wall:
At first glance, there is nothing special about this video. Most of us see a load of these inspirational quotes and motivational clips every day in social medias. And there is even some “cute” stuff and some wise stuff in those lessons. But that is not why I went nuts after seeing this video.
Wait, what? You went nuts because of THAT clip?
Yep, I did. Big time. Care to know why?
Because for [insert deity’s name of your liking]‘s sake, I don’t find it normal that, in a 2 minute video, I couldn’t physically relate to ANY of the people shown. EVERY SINGLE HUMAN pictured in this video is perfectly dressed, has the ideal Body Mass Index and/or is toned and all fit, not a pimple to be found… (OK, maybe the people illustrating the “don’t take yourself seriously”, around 1:27, are not as perfect and polished as the other ones, but they are still far from a size that would get you snarky looks in the streets!)
Not a single person in David’s Wolfe’s video for “21 Lessons Life Taught me” has the shadow of an extra pound! Coming from someone who self-proclaims he “has led the environmental charge for radiant health via a positive mental attitude”, that leaves a serious after-taste of “do as I say, not as I do”. #PracticeWhatYouPreachDude #WhatDoesThatEvenMeanAnyway
Positive mental attitude (PMA) is the philosophy that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one’s life attracts positive changes and increases achievement. Adherents employ a state of mind that continues to seek, find and execute ways to win, or find a desirable outcome, regardless of the circumstances. It opposes negativity, defeatism and hopelessness.
(Source : Wikipedia)
So yeah, before I was even done with my first coffee and had time to take a shower, I was already really, REALLY annoyed.
Those who know me will understand how I HAD to do something about it. So here’s my reaction to David’s Wolfe’s video for “21 Lessons Life Taught me” :
What I wrote just made so much sense that nobody dared to respond, reply or like my comment. Test it, you will see it happens quite a lot on social medias. When a shocking comment is also so obviously true, even the worst fat-shaming trolls know they can’t argue with it. Very often, the more pertinent and on point a comment is, the least amount of reaction it will cause!
Considering how many people are saying we should “lose weight, eat better and be more active” (as if every overweight person was a lazy, junk eating, careless slob), you would believe that we would be among the first target for all these inspirational fitness stuff, right? Guess again.
So my “pseudo-clickbait” title is sadly true: it’s just as if plus-size people were not worthy of being inspired or motivated, even less worthy of inspiring or motivating others.
When I started working out, back in 2013, I liked and followed a bunch of fitness/exercise motivation accounts on Facebook, Instagram, etc. I guess I thought this could be a good source of tips and motivation. After a while, I realized that I felt the “calling” on very few occasions. At some point, I even came to doubt if I had my place in these groups!
Now I start to understand why I felt like I didn’t “belong”. It’s most likely because, even if I wasn’t conscious about it back then, something in the back of my mind was seeing all these “Stop wishing – Start doing” posts and just couldn’t rely… simply because none of these posts represented people that had anything to do with my body size!
And then I realized that ALL inspirational/motivational material is dominated by “standard sized” people! From quotes about travel to messages about the importance of friendship, love, family, spirituality… Every topic is illustrated with the same handful of body types.
And don’t even try to find one of these awesome/funny/snarky message t-shirts or tank tops in plus-size for women. They DON’T exist.
Though Michael Jackson was referring to racism in his song “They Don’t Care About Us”, I can’t help but think of his lyrics when I look at the struggle of being a plus-size women.
Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of being the victim of shame
They’re throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can’t believe this is the land from which I came
-Michael Jackson “They Don’t Care About Us”
And so because people don’t care – or cares only to hate – everybody seems to forget a quite important fact.
We are legions. The numbers say it all: over 78 million people in the US and almost 6 million in Canada are considered obese. (“Overweight” people are not even included in these numbers!)
Remind me again what industry can turn its back to a virtually UNTAPPED MARKET of 84 MILLION PEOPLE in 2 neighboring countries ?
Many industries it appears. Are the stigmas associated with excess weight that terrible that no companies wants to be associated with it? But still, 84 million people is enough to support new business catering stricly to the “people of size” market !
If good sense and logic doesn’t wake up the industry leaders, I hope the money there is to be made will.
Good news : I have decided to do something about it. It’s called the #AllSizeInspiration Project. And you are all invited to join in !(Make sure you share the event with you friends too!)
There are numerous ways to contribute to the success of this body positive idea… make sure you visit the official page of the project for all details! If you are in the Montreal area on Sunday September 4, consider yourself officially invited to the photo-shoot, on which the project is based. (Click the image above to join the Facebook event!)