the-two-extremes

September 22, 2015

Fat Cows and Skinny Bitches

People need to get over their obsession with body shaming.

Nicole Arbour, a Canadian vlogger and comedian, recently posted a video called ‘Dear Fat People’ in which she pokes fun at the obesity epidemic in North America. Her satirical piece was razor sharp and while harsh at times, it was daringly honest. It has attracted serious criticism from some offended parties who have labelled her a bully and a ‘fat shamer’.

Yes, she was cut-throat, but comedy is controversial, and in a world where three-year olds are getting Type 2 diabetes, is it so wrong to get a wake-up call? Maybe it is because Arbour herself is not fat and we are appalled that this ‘skinny bitch’ is telling us we eat too much and we simply don’t want to hear it? She’s not allowed to tell overweight people to stop eating but we’re allowed to say that someone is a bag of bones, or could do with a ham sandwich?

This same hypocrisy was seen at New York Fashion Week, whereby Victoria Beckham was slated for using skinny models in her show. Models are thin, it is an inalienable truth. They act as clothes hangers to showcase designer garments, not killer curves. While I don’t particularly agree with the attitude that anything above a size 6 is monstrous, that’s the fashion industry for you. They’re the same people who tell us to wear bird feathers on our head and spend thousands of euro on a handbag; take it with a pinch of salt.
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At the other end of the scale, Tess Holliday has made a name for herself by becoming a mainstream model at size 26. She calls herself a body positive activist and while I admire her confidence, I don’t think we should slap the words ‘role model’ on her just because she doesn’t look anorexic. Neither extreme is healthy and being body positive should not mean ignoring signs of obesity or indeed, anorexia.
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Weight is a touchy subject and females can be brutal. As a young woman, I am almost afraid to class myself as ‘fairly average’ for fear that thinner girls will think me a deluded moose and bigger girls will label me a skinny bitch.

The last time I weighed myself, I was 9 stone 10 pounds (or nine and three quarters if you will). At a petite 5’2”, this puts my BMI at 24.9, teetering dangerously close to the 25 mark that signals overweight. S.O. is 24.8 so he is naturally smug, but ultimately delighted at the most clear sign yet that we are meant to be. I think it’s actually wedding vow material.

If I was a stone lighter, I would probably be a bit healthier. If I was two stone lighter, I might actually be allowed on television. And if I was three stone lighter, I’d be a fecking model. But who cares? We need to stop creating these divisions between each other and worrying about what category we fall into. Life is short, eat the cake. But maybe do a few squats as well.

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