Plus size cartoon women in a bikini with blonde hair holds up a sign that says, “We’re fat, get over it”.

Let’s Talk Fat Phobia

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor

Let’s stop ignoring the elephant in the room, fatphobia is a thing and it is ingrained into today’s society. Yes, fatphobia is real, no matter what social media trolls think.

However, fatphobia isn’t a fear of fat people, but the fear or uneasiness of all things associated with fat bodies and being fat. So, where did this fear come from and why are so many people obsessed with what fat people do?

Skinny is the thing, no matter what Instagram body trend is going on. Skinny is always seen as superior. The reason for this is because skinniness is associated with beauty.

That’s why when someone says, “I look fat” someone will comment, “no don’t, you look pretty,” as though saying someone looks fat also means they aren’t attractive.

This doesn’t mean anyone can’t have body dysmorphia or hate how they look, but skinny bodies do not get the same societal hate as fat bodies.

Skinny shaming is real, but when it comes to skinny shaming it deals with beauty standards that people are pressured to live up to. Fat shaming is about systems of oppression, humiliation and the generations of hate targeted against being fat. 

Our society associates fat people with being lesser, unattractive and unworthy. Plus-size people are turned away in hospitals due to bias of their weight and can be associated with laziness which hurts them when getting jobs and accessing resources.

In some instances, you aren’t even allowed to adopt due to your weight, which has no correspondence with how good of a parent you can be.

I grew up believing being fat was seen as bad and so did many others. At any moment someone can be humiliated due to their weight and those actions will be dismissed due to society not caring.

Some believe that fat people deserve the hate they face because they are seen as the cause of their fatness. Although, this still doesn’t justify why we treat fat people as though they are unlikable.

Neither does it explain why we have built up years of internalized hate against them and telling ourselves that hateful behavior is OK.

The societal hate for fat people is further proven wrong because not every plus-size body is unhealthy, but we have falsely been taught if someone is fat, they are unhealthy.

 Many plus-size models are targeted by people for advertising unhealthy lifestyles, but in actuality, many of them practice healthy schedules such as eating right and exercising. For example, Ashley Graham, a plus model, encourages fans to self-love but to be healthy as well.

The argument that it’s OK to shame fat people because they are promoting unhealthy habits is hypocritical. If an overweight person started to partake in starving themselves and dropping weight in unhealthy amounts of time, they would be applauded. People stop caring about happiness when it also comes with a plus-sized body.

Plus-sized artists, models and creators who are happy with their bodies are humiliated and bullied every day by people who go out of their way to remind them that they aren’t good or attractive enough.

Lizzo, an outstanding plus size R&B artist, is ridiculed regularly because people are uncomfortable with how happy she is, even though she is fat.

Society associates fat with being such a negative thing that when a fat person is happy, it’s irksome.

The thing is, if skinny is supposed to be better then why are so many people obsessed with not being fat? Because of fear, the fear that being fat is the worst thing you can be.

We as a society have to stop caring and stop teaching that the way we look is important. If someone wants to argue that being fat is unhealthy, let them be bothered but it won’t stop fat people from learning to be OK with how they look.

Fat people are aware that they are fat, the only people who seem to be bothered by it, however, are the people who are not.

Featured image by Timia Cobb via Canva.

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