Monday, 30 November 2015

Overweight Haters Ltd - The Drama and the Damage

Overweight Haters Ltd
I feel like this week my posts are filled with negativity (I’ve been in a bad mood since Saturday, woops), but there have been a few things which have caught my eye online and have quite frankly turned me into a keyboard warrior.

First up was Sam Pepper (absolute wanker, blogged about him too) and this post is actually about an incident which occurred today too.

Today, this happened. (Images not my own, obvs).








And, unsurprisingly, the world went mad. Overweight Haters Ltd? They can fuck right off.

Let’s be honest, this shit is pretty sick. There have been rumours that it’s part of some messed up social experiment, whereby ‘overweight’ women (this woman is smaller than the UK’s national average size by the way), are given cards telling them they’re fat. Regardless of the meaning behind it, it’s nasty and any woman would feel terrible being given this. Quite frankly, it’s bullying and if someone did that to me, I’d be somewhere between slapping them and publicly calling them out for being a knob.

But what got me about this situation was the online hate that surfaced. Whilst everyone was in support of the victim (naturally), women were hating on other women about it all.

I saw tweets saying that people would make cards to hand out to overweight women telling them they look great. I see the principle in that, I see why it’s natural to want to do the opposite of something nasty. But if I was in London, knowing people were trying to boost the confidence of overweight women by handing them cards and I received one, I’d probably feel pretty singled out. I’d feel like they’d looked at me and thought ‘that chubster needs an ego boost’.

And if I didn’t know what was going on and saw those cards being given out? If I didn’t get one, I’d be wondering what was wrong with me. My first assumption definitely wouldn’t be that I wasn’t overweight enough to get one, it would be that I wasn’t attractive enough.

Stunts to boost the self esteem of women can be fantastic if they’re inclusive. If they’re aimed at making everyone feel great, that can be pretty damned good PR. But singling out a group, whilst understandable as it’s a direct reaction to the event which has occurred, still doesn’t quite sit right. Just because other women aren’t being handed abuse on a piece of paper doesn’t mean they haven’t received it in another way that day and doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be told that they look awesome.

I also saw women telling others that they had no right to an opinion on the topic because they weren’t plus size. Last time I checked, whilst shouting about women being bullied about their size, telling someone to ‘pipe down’ because it’s ‘not about skinny girls’ was entirely that. But hey, who am I to judge? *Sigh*. 

When something like this happens to one woman and it goes viral, that pretty much gives everyone the chance to have an opinion and the way nobody condoned the behaviour is surely a positive? It’s when someone doesn’t agree with a personal reaction that things get nasty and unnecessary.

What happened to the poor woman on the tube was just plain horrible, and nobody is taking that away from the situation. But what upset me was the fact that members of the plus size community were shunning the opinion of anyone below a size 16 because it ‘wasn’t about them’. An issue which affects women is something that all women should support, regardless of their shape or size, right? If you’re going to spread the love by handing out cards on the street, sharing it around to everyone is never a bad thing and nor does it take away from what happened – nobody should be made to feel any better or any worse than anyone else.

Also, there is no monopoly on insecurity. Whilst this particular hate campaign has been aimed at overweight women, that doesn’t mean that hate dished out in different ways to people of all shapes and sizes.

Slim women are told they’re anorexic, that they don’t look like a real woman, that they look like a child.

Curvy women are told that look like a slag, that they’re begging it, that they’re asking for attention.

Overweight women are told that they’re fat, that they’re unhealthy, that they’re a strain on the NHS.

The thing is, no matter what your size, you can be insecure. Just because a viral hate campaign isn’t directed at your body-shape, doesn’t mean that your insecurities just melt away. I know plus size women who are so body-confident that it’s an inspiration. I know slim women who are the most critical people of their own body. I know women who are the opposites of those.

Everyone has the right to an opinion, but when someone is hating on another woman, we should be sticking together. Girl power and the like. When this shit happens, please can we stop letting it turn into an opportunity to stick the knife in, to troll people or to generally be a dick? Nasty tweets spread that message of hate, of segregation and of negativity.

I also appreciate that I sound like some peace-preaching hippy that’s gone on a gap year and found myself or something right now so I’ll leave that there. Peace out guys.


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