Let’s Weigh In: Body Shaming, Privilege and the Platform of the Internet.

This being my first foray into becoming involved in the omnipresent drama of the Internet, I would like to say that I feel concerned about said involvement. Everybody has an opinion of some sort and whether or not an individual is personally affected determines how loud their opinion is spoken and heard. While I originally contemplated tweeting something out, I then realized that 140 characters is nowhere near enough to encompass a preface to this opinion, let alone an entire post.

I feel like by now, the entirety of the world wide web has been privy to the fat shaming video created by a YouTuber named Nicole Arbour. While hiding behind the guise of “comedy,” this content creator went on a rant (although one can classify it as an ‘attack’ or ‘inadvertent asshole-ism) about how those who are overweight are:

  • At fault for their weight.
  • Playing the victim card.
  • Take their body for granted.

Not only is she wrong, she doesn’t really bother to create a dialogue about it. Claiming that she is the “ride-or-die friend” who tells it like it is and hopes her words are like “shrapnels” that bury themselves deep within the souls of her friends and will help them realize the “error in their ways” (not a pulled quote, just being sarcastic). As you may have already guessed, in order to write this I did have to watch the video (for the sake of journalism integrity, it is linked here). And, yes, I did manage to waste six minutes of my life watching it because it did absolutely nothing for the betterment of my being. If anything it added ten tons of fuel to the ever-burning fire of hatred towards inconsiderate people.

In the deep doo-doo that is her logic, I do understand her use of YouTube. As new or as old as it is, the site lends itself as a platform with which to express your opinions; at its very depth, that’s what this video was an opinion.

But what people don’t always seem to get is that not all opinions have to be said. Not all opinions are important. Not all opinions matter. Sometimes you have to think about what you say, before you say it, and then ask yourself: “Am I harming others?” That’s just the cardinal rule of not being a total asshole.

“Stop being fat,” she claims in her video and, while not being on the same side of the coin (a topic I’ll write about in the near future) that is Body Image Issues, that comment isn’t conducive to anything but furthering someone’s issue with their body image. You can’t stop being who you are anymore than you can stop the sun from shining or from having Starbucks charge $6 for a cup of coffee that has pumpkin in it! From how she appears in the video, I cannot confirm nor deny that she had any sort of body issue growing up or at present, but who am I to pass judgment on her? I certainly can and just call it an opinion, but then I remember that I should stop myself and think: “Am I harming others?”

Chances are I probably could. So i’ll keep my opinion of this sad, lowly person to myself (most of them anyway). What this is in its entirety, is a matter of someone speaking on a topic, in which they are privileged not to have encountered and by those means, should not be speaking on it.

With great power comes great responsibility. 

With privilege comes responsibility.

This post was partly (or hugely) inspired by those who have already spoken out (content creators Grace Helbig, Will & RJ of Shep689, and Meghan Tonjes). Watching their videos made me realize how important it truly is to combat the negativity that is circulated every day around us. Too often do we just sit on the sidelines and watch them go by, commenting on their uselessness but doing nothing about it. I am aware that the written word is dated and, at times, exhausting to pore over, but this is my outlet for now and I’m sticking to it. I want to thank these amazing and inspiring content creators for giving me the encouragement to weigh in on this topic and I can guarantee that it won’t be the last time I say something about it.

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