Fat-Shaming: No, You Don’t Care About My Health




Fat-shaming is one of the buzzwords in the plus-size / fat-acceptance / size-positive blogosphere. Because it’s an everyday reality of the big folk’s universe.

Fat-shaming happens to – but is not limited to – most people who own their fatness. To those who refuse to disappear until they’re thinner. And to people who don’t want to have to lose weight to be valued as humans. It also happens a lot to those who aren’t apologetic about wanting and demanding products and services that – literally – fit them.


A few definitions before we get into this…

FAT-SHAMING
The action or practice of humiliating someone judged to be fat or overweight by making mocking or critical comments about their size.
(Source: Oxford Dictionaries – online)

FAT-PHOBIA *
Fat = well that’s pretty clear, it means…
Phobia = no, that doesn’t only mean “fear”

Based on the Oxford dictionary, “phobia” also means “an extreme or irrational […] aversion to something”. And since “aversion” means “A strong dislike or disinclination”, well… It becomes pretty obvious, don’t you think?

Fat-phobia is not being scared of obesity or being afraid of becoming fat. It’s the act of discriminating, rejecting, being hostile to fat folks, in an active or passive manner. The term is coined like other widely recognized and accepted terms ending in “-phobia”. Think of “homophobia” (dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people) and “xenophobia” (dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries), for example.

* as defined in this previous blog post


With love… from fat-shaming trolls & fat-phobes.

  • “It’s for your own health.”
  • “I say that because I care.”
  • “My [mother / brother / best friend / cousin] went to the gym / on a diet and it worked. You can too.”

plus-size backpacker fat-shaming concern trolling

Ah, I see. Thank you for “caring.” Or, as we call it… “concern trolling”.

Now, can someone explain something to me, please?

In our very existence in which people get murdered because of their beliefs, race, sexual orientation, gender, political views… Look who’s caring about OUR HEALTH? You, the benevolent stranger? Who doesn’t even know us, most of the time ?

Yeah, well… Sorry (not sorry) for not believing you. Strangers barely help each other in situations of dire needs! No stranger is THAT caring. Especially on Twitter. Particularly profiles with generic pictures, who look up fat-positive / fat-acceptance hashtags to hunt down people using these hashtags.

Stop trying to cover up your disgust for fatter bodies under fake caring. You don’t find fat bodies pretty, attractive? That is A PURELY AESTHETIC opinion. And definitely not a health matter. 

So no, I don’t believe you genuinely care about our health. I call bullsh*t on your pseudo-caring pretenses.

Oh, and by the way… If you cared so much, you would stop annoying us… Obviously, you don’t care very much about OUR MENTAL HEALTH!

Note: When you spend hours watching videos of big people to compile your “Top 10 Fat People fail”, you’re sending everyone mixed messages. Who would watch voluntarily and for hours something that grosses them out… unless it doesn’t really disgust them? Maybe you’re more into fat folks than you thought, after all?


Sincerely… the ex-fat who knows better.plus-size backpacker fat-shaming

  • “I lost weight, so can / should you.”

Good for you if it makes you happy to be thinner. See, fat people don’t have anything against other people’s happiness.

Unless the reason why you lost weight is fat-shaming…? Then I am sad for you. Because that means that, someone, somehow, convinced you that you would be more valuable as a person if you were thinner. And that really sucks. I’m pretty sure you had the same goodness potential in the bigger, former version of you.

Many of us went did go through your struggle. For Buddha’s sake, I PAID (way too much money) to enroll in Weight Watchers for a few months about 10 years ago! Guess what? It worked… for as long as I frantically weighed/measure my food. But then I realized that I couldn’t spend the rest of my life doing this. And obviously, I’m not the only one.  Living in a constant state of calculation and “what’s allowed / what’s not”…

Same applies to paying big bucks to have diet meals / food delivered weekly. That is not a viable solution. Not for a lifetime.

Constant, never-ending dieting is simply not viable. The diet industry figured that out a long time ago. If diets were SO successful, they would be out of business like… fast. Since it wouldn’t end up in a vicious cycle of yo-yo-ing.

And Oprah Winfrey wouldn’t be making MILLIONS with the recent surge of WW’s actions’ value.


plus-size backpacker fat-shaming

Respectfully yours… It’s all your fault.

  • “You have no will / self-control.”
  • “Being fat is a choice [and its variants]

Indeed, I have NO WILL whastoever. No will to be swallowed by the current societal brainwash who values individuals based on their body size. Based on the jeans / dress size they wear. Using a single, purely physical / aesthetic factor to judge of someone’s worth is absolutely ridiculous. Nearing madness.

So many fat people have tried so many diets, exercise plan, and so on… Now, that takes A LOT of willpower. Simply going out in public is, for many big people, an exercise in courage. Because, you know, size bigots are everywhere. And passed a certain size, it often feels like our bodies, our size, become public topics of conversation. So, no, it’s not a matter of (lack of) will.

Sorry for not getting on board the collective weight-madness train. Oh, wait… doesn’t that show a LOT of self-control? Resisting to the constant “standard beauty” brainwash? #JustSaying

And, as fellow francophone plus-size blogger Dix Octobre once said:
“Even if I shoot up with cake, you STILL have to treat me like a human being.”

Obesity isn’t a choice. It’s a result. A consequence. Yes, there is food consumption involved. But there is so much more than that. There is a wide and complex array of economic, social, genetic factors that come into play. (Check out this link from Canadian Obesity Network, an organization with an actual scientific committee, to know more.)


With sincere thanks… But please don’t notice how illogic my comment is.

  • “You’re fat.”
  • “You must be unhealthy.”

I have tweeted this in response to the “you’re fat” argument once. I think it’s still quite on point :

plus-size backpacker fat-shaming i know i'm fat twitter

Also, good job on being able to evaluate my health by looking at… MY PICTURE. You’re so skilled! Even my doctor, who spent forever in university to become a health practitioner, still has to take my blood pressure and send me for blood work to know more about the state of my body.

Even if you WERE an actual doctor, you wouldn’t be able to diagnose me by looking at my picture. You wouldn’t be able to do that even by looking at me, face to face.


Faithfully… But you’re trying to make others fat.

plus-size backpacker fat-shaming fat acceptance not a cult

  • “Stop promoting obesity.”
  • “You’re enabling people who lost weight.”

We ain’t promoting SQUAT.

But just so you understand, here it is, once again.

Obesity and fat-acceptance are not recruiting cults! We are not trying to grow our ranks! With all your hateful reactions, it’s rather hard to convince anyone to voluntarily become fat. Many people do get that it’s not easy to be a fat person in a thin-praising, weightloss-loving world. The only thing “promoted” in fat-acceptance / fat-positivity is respect. The yearning of being treated equally, whatever our size.

For fat’s sake, if we even reach fat-tolerance, it would be a great start.

Fat-shaming isn’t – and will never be – a caring act.

Fat-shaming and fat-phobia remain major concerns for us, big people. Because the real discrimination that emanates from it have real consequences in our lives.

Fat-phobia and fat-shaming are… unhealthy. As anyone ever considered the following factors in “early death” contributing factors among fat people?

plus-size backpacker fat-shaming

  • Fat-phobia can cause improper diagnosis / healthcare when all the doctor sees is the weight and doesn’t acknowledge not weight-related issues. This can also create an avoidance of medical care by big people, resulting in complications / death caused by untreated conditions.
  • People living with constant shaming or bullying based on their size/weight are more prone to developing mental health-related conditions, like depression, suicide, but also eating disorders, anxiety, body dysmorphia, self-mutilation, etc. 
  • Size-related stereotypes have serious consequences on career and professional development
  • And there is so much more, but this blog post is already way too long…

Non-fat and ex-fat people need to understand one thing.

Not all fat people are unhappy with their size situation.

Many people – myself included – do live happy, exciting lives, with their larger bodies. Without significant, “weight-related” health conditions. And that fat-shaming is probably the most important cause of concern we have to deal with.


We deserve the same rights and the same respect.
The same chances and opportunities.

We deserve to be in peace, just the way we are.
Nothing more. But, most importantly… NOTHING LESS.




About Edith B 281 Articles
I visited 16 countries to this day, more than half solo. Born and raised in Matane, I earned a Bachelor Degree in Journalism from the Université du Québec à Montréal. I launched "The Plus-Size Backpacker" in 2013. I also authored "The Ultimate Guide to Plus-Size Backpacking", released in 2016. My purpose? Finding solutions to the challenges faced by plus-size female travelers.

3 Comments

  1. Bravo. Well said. I hated weight watchers meetings because it started to be depressing. I got tired of seeing woman beat themselves up about just eating. I agree being fat doesn’t mean your unhappy. I was one of those people for a long time who said “when I become” a size whatever I thought I needed to be accepted. Plus dieting only makes you gain weight faster in my opinion. 😉
    Great post.

  2. Very well said. I know what you mean about health care professionals being ignorant, too. Okay, you didn’t say ignorant, I did. My long time GP is constantly on me about my weight. According to the charts I am obese. According to my clothes size and what I see in the mirror and what others see, and comment on, I am average weight. But GP looks at scale and that’s it. And I do have other health issues that do not relate to my weight at all. It’s been years and many discussions with my doctor, but she seems to be getting it. But I did dread to go see her many times.

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