Body Shaming? Fat Chance!


I was recently told something I never thought I’d hear. During counselling for my anorexia, I had to be weighed. I was overweight…talk about irony!

I was shocked, upset and embarrassed. Rather than see it as an achievement, overcoming something that had ruled my life for ten years, I saw it as a failure. But, why?

Tell someone they’ve lost weight you’ll get a hug, tell them they’ve put it on you’ll get a slap. Britain’s dieting industry makes £2 billion every year. There’s a reason why. Weight’s seen a bad thing in society.

There’s so much fat shaming in day-to-day life that you may not even have realised. I didn’t. Here are some examples:

‘Plus Size’ Models

Why are there ‘plus size’ models? Why aren’t they be just ‘models’!?

45% of British women are a dress size 16. ‘Plus size’ models are a dress size 12 onwards. That means the average woman is already two dress sizes over what’s classed as ‘plus size.’ Perhaps it’s because we are taught skinny = good looking? Which leads to my next point.

‘You’re not fat; you’re beautiful.’

Why can’t you be both?! Culture correlates slimming with being beautiful. We are told losing weight is a fast ticket to being good looking. That is wrong. Losing weight is not the key to being attractive. Confidence is one of the most attractive qualities, which leads onto…

Body Confidence

How many cereal adverts promise eating nothing but wheat husks will give you body confidence?! You’re eating horse feed, how’s that going to give you body confidence?! (No off-fence horses!)

Eating dry cereal twice a day isn’t going to make you body confident. In the same way that moisturising, shampooing and deodorizing isn’t going to make suitors flock to you like flies round crap!

Satisfaction comes from appreciating what you have not what you want.

Fat People Are Unhealthy

Underlying all this is the assumption that being thin is healthy.

Waist size is not a sign of health. Pete Doherty, Keith Richards, and Iggy Pop are all thin, but none of them will be sponsoring health insurance anytime soon!

Thin people aren’t necessarily healthy in the same way fat people aren’t always unhealthy.

Men Don’t Care About Their Appearance

We all know men don’t have feelings. They’re too busy staring at tits to develop any emotional range.

It’s OK to joke about Simon Cowell’s “moobs,” Cartman’s ‘big bones’ and laugh at Johnny Vegas and his belly. It’s just a coincidence 37% of men feel low or worried.

So, I was wrong to feel ashamed. ‘Overweight’ should be a description, not an insult. We’re so programmed to see it as something shameful, embarrassing and upsetting fat shaming gets overlooked. That’s nearly as ironic as being a fat anorexic!

Normally Abnormal: The Tour

Dave Chawner Edinburgh

4 – 28th August 2016

Espionage, 4 India Buildings, Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2EX


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