December 6th, 2019


When 'Fat-Shaming' May Be Necessary

Alicia Colon

By Alicia Colon

Published July 11,2018

When 'Fat-Shaming' May Be Necessary

My mother and the nuns always taught me never to make fun of anybody's looks, especially those who were born disfigured, dressed funny or were overweight.

As a child I was very thin and was called skinny melink by my brother who would compare me with a Halloween skeleton. That all changed when I was 12 and my father died and I found comfort in food and so began my battle with weight that I still cope with today.

So I understand how difficult it is to deal with a weight problem but….. I'm not sure when it became a self esteem issue for those with this problem to accept their body image as less of a health issue than a source of defiant pride. I was never anything but dismayed when my 5'3 figure tipped over 200 lbs.

It was never anything but embarrassing to be asked by a stranger, “When are you due?” when I had already had my sixth child over a year before.

I certainly was never comfortable enough with my body to display it in tight shorts and bikinis like those who now parade their avoirdupois in public.

The message is "be proud of yourself. Don't let anybody shame you." It is one thing to dismiss a weight problem lightly rather than admit that being morbidly obese is suicidal. It always astounds me to read about someone who is so obese that they cannot get out of bed.

We can only conclude that the one bringing food to that individual is enabling their demise. I will be despised for saying this but here goes --- That actress on the show, "This is Us," Crissy Metz, is a beautiful woman who is morbidly obese and although the program deals with her problem, I'm not sure the network is doing anything to really help her.

She has been quoted as saying; "If you can't love who you are now, you can't get to the place you want to be. It's a daily lesson for all of us. I'm paving the way for other women and men who know they're destined for greatness but they don't believe it yet. There's more room for all of us now --- no matter our sexuality, race, body size, gender or whatever else."

Frankly that statement is downright dangerous when it comes to body size. So many people appear to think they are destined to be sumo wrestlers because as long as they love themselves, it's okay.

In the movie, "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" Johnny Depp's character's mother was played by Darlene Cates who weighed over 500 lbs at the time. Her character dies in the film and the message delivered among others was that morbid obesity is a danger to health. Yet there have been several women in the UK who have been vying to become the fattest women in the Guinness Book of Records.

One woman, Susan Eman, weighed 756 lbs in 2012 and was preparing to marry a chef who said he loved to feed her. When she lost some weight she was jilted by him but found love again this year with another sicko man and is now up to 800 lbs.

It is very difficult to see the images of her mounds of flesh displayed proudly by the smiling woman without wondering how long she has to live.

There is a reality show (My 600-lb Life) on the Learning Channel which chronicles the lives of patients weighing over 600 lbs being treated at a Houston hospital by Dr. Younan Nowzaradan aka Dr. Now.

These super morbidly obese patients first undergo a nutritional regimen but if unsuccessful will then undergo gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy to further assist in weight loss.

The program follows their progress over the years and while there have been successes there are also failures. There have been two deaths among the patients but most of those in the program are still alive.

What is interesting is the psychological exposure of these individuals which provide an explanation for most of their obesity conditions. Many have suffered molestation as children and can lead to an unconscious response to discourage sexual attraction by making themselves repulsive. What social advocates now endorse, however, is to accept any body image without acknowledging the danger that this may have to one's health.

There are many definitions of the term fat-shaming. The original meaning was the act of making fun of someone for being overweight and implying they are worthless and disgusting for being overweight. The Neo-radical feminist definition means "to make an overweight female feel in any way uncomfortable, usually by telling her anything is wrong with her weight."

Of course the very term itself wasn't around when I was a young woman. It is now being utilized by many feminists to embrace victimhood, blaming sexism and patriarchy for any remarks on one's appearance.

Individual responsibility for maintaining a healthy regimen is being replaced by identifying as a discriminated group and placing blame for one's obesity on societal pressures. Even physicians are hesitant to tell a woman that her health may be imperiled by her weight lest he be targeted by militant women groups.

I don't think there has ever been anyone who was really fat and felt jolly but overweight is no longer a stigma on the small and large screen. "Mike and Molly", which debuted in 2010 and lasted for six years, was a TV sitcom starring two very overweight characters. When Molly, Melissa McCarthy, lost over 100 lbs, the show was cancelled leading the star and others to wonder if her weight loss affected the show's ratings causing its demise. Nevertheless, she deserves great praise and encouragement for putting her health ahead of her career.

These are the facts. If you weigh over 500 lbs, it will take 4, 473 calories a day to maintain that weight. That is a lot of food. Just reducing that to 2500 calories will result in weight loss. If you're an emotional eater, Overeaters Anonymous has been as successful as AA to food addicts. If one can afford therapy to uncover the underlying causation of this condition get some.

What needs to stop is excusing the obvious threats to one's health by labeling any justified comments given in the best interests as "fat shaming." Call it tough love or just plain love

. On the other hand, if you make fun of someone because they're overweight just to be mean, then you are the one who should be ashamed.