Definition: Fattist – discrimination on the basis of weight, prejudice against those considered to be overweight
Since her recent, all but very short stint in the jungle, Gemma Collins has been in the middle of a media storm – trending across social media, hitting the headlines and under immense scrutiny. When people enter reality shows, they expect the publicity and a large degree of criticism – no publicity is bad publicity right? We are a judgemental bunch, and the people who are placed in to reality TV shows are picked for their ability to engage the audience – either through their lovable traits or their annoying personalities – we all love to hate.
However, what shocked me most about the criticism she has received was the focus on her weight… Ok, you expect mainstream media to pick out the worst photos and highlight her wobbly bits, after all they are targeting their material to a body conscious and image obsessed audience – I strongly disagree with this too…
What I think shocked me the most, were the comments, photos and other social media posts from fellow slimmers on Social Media. Chantal mentioned how she had seen numerous comments, and posts that were more than derogatory towards Gemma and her weight. And it led me to thinking. Why do we do this?
It isn’t OK for anyone to be bullied or picked on by anybody for any reason… and although you expect the media to criticise any celebrity’s image and sadly it has become a way of society and almost acceptable to publicly humiliate and judge – I think the people you least expect it from are people who are too battling with their weight, embarking on their own weight loss journeys. You expect those people to be supportive, understanding, compassionate and empathetic – we all understand the struggle weight and weight loss brings right?
All of us are guilty of it, I to have noticed how much more aware I am of other people’s weight – and often have to rethink what I say, with fear of sounding like a Slimming World messiah – here to preach the word of free and superfree to the masses. I also pass comment on how someone may have put on and lost weight – when previously I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.
When weight loss and dieting is what you talk about all the time, and your life centres on dropping the next size, seeing a new number or hitting a goal – it is inevitable that you are more aware of weight generally. But just because you have found a solution that works for you, and may or may not have been successful in shedding the pounds, it doesn’t give any of us the right to mock and criticise others for their own image – publicly or not.
If Gemma Collins wasn’t a “celebrity” or in the public eye – her weight would never have been an ‘issue’. IG wouldn’t have been filled with pictures mocking her and I probably wouldn’t have been provoked in to writing a post about it. I am not a Gemma fan (I don’t know her) – I am not defending her – but I do think we could all be a little more compassionate towards people. I am sure all of us have been the butt of a fat joke, or felt the eyes stare at us at an all you can eat buffet. Those jibes meant nothing to the originator, but they will stay with us forever, regardless of how slim we get – that feeling of humiliation is something that you will never rid of. Gemma Collins is feeling that constantly – 1,000 times a day, every time another post is shared. And what did she do? Why does she deserve that? Regardless of how she looks, what she has done, if she chooses to be in the public eye – she is just human…
I just had a read of this – an article written by a woman with far too much time on her hands – I am sure you would agree too that as someone who has battled with weight – these views are horrible and bitter. But anyone who shared, posted and made derogatory comments –in principle agreed with this woman and her vile views.
So I ask, why do we as fatties, feel it is okay to be a “fattist”?