"Fat shaming is a direct result of our society's irrational fear of fat and the subsequent diet and wellness culture," said Chevese Turner, chief policy and strategy officer of the Binge Eating Disorder Association. "Individuals experience fat disgrace through overt comments or micro-attacks from family members, friends, healthcare providers and strangers."
Fatphobia is considered by some as a socially acceptable form of bias. Women are largely judged by their looks and are often assigned a value based on “attractiveness” and body type. Worldviews like this can lead to eating disorders and harmful pressure. People of all genders and ethnicities are ashamed of fat, but women and people with skin color are more likely to experience weight-related attacks because they are rather be heavier. But why is there weight stigma? What about the very existence of a heavy person who insults people so much?
"We are socialized to believe that fat is negative and that fat people are lazy, dirty, and less diligent, ”said Turner. “We believe that thin is better and desirable and we have created an entire culture– –Diet and wellness culture – around these beliefs. From the moment we are born, we are taught that fat is bad and we shouldn't be fat at all costs. Some people are lower in fat than others, and this may be due to the extent to which they have internalized fatphobia and the value of thinness in their families of origin or in their groups of friends. "
Nowadays, weight is largely seen as a reflection of a person's race and class. People who are difficult have become part of an oppressed group. Thinness is often equated with health, wealth, motivation and discipline, which can open up additional opportunities for things like employment and living. People who are difficult do not have this opportunity so often. Actually, People who are heavier They are less likely to be hired, they have a greater chance of being paid less, and they are promoted less often than people who are thin. If you add race to the mix, women of color– –they're more likely to be earn less money– –have to overcome additional hurdles if they are difficult.
"Thin people have a variety of privileges," said Sabrina Strings, author of the book Fear of the black body, the racial origins of fat phobia. “For women, and especially women with skin color, it is important to remember that (fat) often outweighs thinness. I've seen a growing number of videos of young women trying to teach each other how to do it gain Weight."
Fatphobia, white supremacy and religion
Fatphobia is closely linked to religion and white supremacy, and the very idea of slenderness has racist roots that emerged during colonialism. During the transatlantic slave trade, colonists associated gravity with inferiority and immorality of the race. They believed that heaviness was the result of Africans who lacked the intellectual ability to self-discipline. According to Strings, racial science has also been used to inform white people, especially white women, about how they should not appear in public.
“At least since the beginning of racial science in the 17th century, bodies have communicated a place in the social hierarchy. White skin on top, black skin on the bottom, other races in between, ”said Strings. “But in the 18th century, racial science was expanded and additional physical properties were added. To the extent that people associated oral enjoyment with an animal inability to control themselves, fat was associated with the race group, which lacked the ability to self-govern: blacks. "
Fatphobia is also linked to Protestantismwhat encouraged people to exercise self-discipline, including eating, to find salvation. To date, height is usually associated with a person's commitment and self-discipline.
The body positivity movement
Body positivity is an increasingly popular concept that encourages people to love the body they are in, regardless of their size. However, there is a common misconception that teaching people to be physically positive can promote an unhealthy lifestyle. Grammy-winning singer Lizzo has been fighting weight shamers since her mainstream, and many critics blame her "Glorifying" unhealthy body.
"Why do we celebrate Lizzo's body? Why does it matter? Why don't we celebrate their music? Because it won't be great if she gets diabetes, "said prominent fitness trainer Jillian Michaels earlier this year. Michaels was widely criticized for her comments and later had to apologize.
Teaching people to love the body they are in does not promote obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. It means letting people know that life doesn't start when you're thin, that people of all weights and sizes can live happy, fulfilling lives, and that people don't have to hate themselves or their looks just because they do are harder to do.
Different cultures also have different ideas about what “attractive” means. A Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation study found that while black women are heavier than their white counterparts and at higher risk of obesity, they are also happier with their bodies. Nutritionists have revealed that black women tend to have a target weight between size six and size 12, while white women usually want to be much thinner, about 120 pounds.
Regardless of their origin, not only whites are guilty of being fat phobic. However, Strings said, "In the past, there was less pressure to keep a slim figure in the black community."
Hollywood doesn't help
Prominent weight embarrassment could be wiped off as part of the territory, but it has one Wave effect in other women, which leads to eating disorders and potential mental health problems. The most recent example of celebrity fat shaming was the Grammy Award-winning singer Adele after her posted a photo in May unveiled her dramatic weight loss. The photo went viral and many people on social media praised Adele for it "Get healthy and look good" and shed "Extra pounds." On Twitter, users got into heated debates about Adele's weight: how she lost weight, whether her diet was healthy or not, whether she should have lost weight at all, whether the weight she lost was too much, and so on.
"There is a harmful cultural idea that weight loss should be welcomed and weight gain feared. It is harmful for all of us to assign these values, ”said Turner.
While congratulating someone on achieving their weight loss goals may be well-intentioned, the overwhelming social media commentary on Adele's transformation revealed a deep, underlying societal problem: women who are heavier are often seen as less than, and value is only really achieved if they are thin enough.
"Objectification is objectification," said Strings. "If we have height hierarchies, some people – usually women – will be devalued because their body parts don't match."
The health factor
Fat shaming can take various forms, perhaps most commonly from people who are concerned about other people's health. Using "health concerns" as an excuse to comment on someone else's weight does not motivate people to exercise more and eat less. Instead, Studies have found that these comments actually make people eat more or possibly lead to eating disorders due to stress and shame. Even a term like "obese" can be stigmatizing unless it refers to an actual medical condition, since not everyone in a higher weight group is struggling with obesity or has underlying health problems.
"There are many people with normal overweight … as well as people who are overweight or obese, however wear it on her hips (pears) instead of belly (apples). Your blood picture is perfect, ”he said DR. Wendy Scinta, former president of the Obesity Medicine Association."I find that people who need to make fun of an obese person tend to be completely ignorant and show their ignorance every time they open their mouths to bully someone who is obese has to fight. "
Thyroid disease, medication, depression, insomnia, eating disorders, financial constraints and low metabolism can all contribute to weight gain. Scinta said she hopes people will learn more if they learn about the factors that can lead to weight gain. "Take a step back and really think before you exclude someone with a weight problem. Most of the time there are underlying problems that contribute to obesity and have nothing to do with exercise or eating. "
Regardless of whether a person's weight is determined by underlying problems, there is no legitimate excuse to lock out a person because of their height, health professionals say. Strings said whether people will start to change their mindset and judge people less by their looks and body type doesn't hold their breath.
"It's hard to imagine a time when we haven't focused on other people's appearances," she said. “Remember that we don't just hate people for their looks, we celebrate when we find them attractive. There is no "attractive" without an unattractive one – it is a comparative term. "