It must be open season on people who are overweight.
Last week, a lady named Katie Hopkins publically called Kelly Clarkson fat.
I had never heard of this Hopkins person before, but after Googling, I found out she is a British journalist whose claim to fame is making offensive comments about other celebrities.
One site called her a “professional troll,” and another hailed her the “Most Hated Woman in Britain” – titles earned by her comments like saying Kelly Clarkson must have ate her backup singers, and that with an 8-month old baby, that wasn’t baby weight but “carrot cake weight.”
Kelly handled the situation with her typical spunk, saying the reason the woman was so hateful was because she didn’t know Clarkson.
“I’m awesome!” Clarkson said in an interview, responding to the comments. “It doesn’t bother me. It’s a free world. Say what you will. I’ve just never cared what people think. It’s more if I’m happy and I’m confident and feeling good, that’s always been my thing. And more so now, since having a family-I don’t seek out any other acceptance.”
Her response was a lot classier than mine would have been.
When our looks are attacked, our typical response is to retaliate with something more vitriolic and hateful towards the accuser than what was slung at us.
Someone calls us fat, we sling back they are ugly.
The body-shaming doesn’t just apply to women, either.
A man, known as #DancingMan was made fun of for dancing.
Why? Because he was overweight.
He was having a good time, dancing, enjoying his life and some bullies made fun of him to the point he stopped.
Thankfully, a group of women saw it and are putting together a huge party so the man can come dance as much as he wants, free from shame.
It’s sad that the only progress we’ve made in the last 20 plus years is that fat-shaming now includes men.
My first exposure to it in the media was the episode of “Designing Women.”
“They Shoot Fat Women, Don’t They?,” when Suzanne went to her high school reunion and was mocked for being heavier than she was before.
She tells her sister, Julia, if you are fat, it’s like you don’t matter anymore, especially if you are a female. People are sympathetic towards everything else -unless you are fat, and then you are supposed to be ashamed.
I completely relate because after Granny died, I was depressed.
Horribly depressed – I never thought the old gal would die and when she did, none of us expected it.
We had at least two or three good fights left in us that needed to be had. But we didn’t.
And like Granny, I wasn’t going to talk about it or cry over it. No, I ate.
I ate stuff that I was severely allergic to, not supposed to have, and things that hurt me. But biscuits with butter and jelly reminded me of her – they weren’t as good as hers, but they reminded me of her.
The smell of them baking to a golden brown made me flash back to sitting in the kitchen with her, or her making biscuits on Sunday after church to go with her fried chicken.
I smeared my emotions with plenty of raspberry jelly and choked them down.
And immediately realized people treated me differently.
I was fluffy, a little bit chubby. I wasn’t as thin as I had been a year ago.
I felt horrible, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
People were judging me, and delighting, I am sure, in the fact I was a chubbykin.
I don’t want to go anywhere or see anyone – because I am that ashamed.
“People don’t care if you’ve gained weight or not. People don’t care about that. You’re being silly,” Lamar, my bone-thin cyclist husband will tell me.
No, I am not.
As long as there are people who think it’s OK to tweet, comment and bash about a person’s weight, people care.
Maybe care is not the right word.
Maybe it should be a word that doesn’t imply any sort of compassion, because that is not the motive.
I worked with a gorgeous woman once – she still is.
She was not skinny, but she never claimed to be and it didn’t matter.
She was larger than life, had one of the most loving hearts in the world, and was really, stunningly gorgeous with her blonde hair and huge brown eyes.
We were at work one day and a lady approached her and said: “Oh…girl. You’ve done and gone and gained all that weight back you lost. What were you thinking?”
My friend looked up and replied: “I may be fat but I can lose weight; you can’t lose ugly.”
Her response – while given in the heat of the moment – made me wonder.
Why do our looks have to have that influence, that control over us? Aren’t we more than our outer appearance?
What if, instead of seeing someone for their weight, the way they look, we saw their spirits and saw them for their contributions in the world? Wouldn’t that make the world a better place? And not just for women, but men as well.
If we stopped focusing on those petty, catty, superficial issues, I bet a lot of things would miraculously change, too.