If Every Life is Precious, We Should Start Fat Shaming Again

Big is beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Be comfortable in your own skin. Also… you’re more likely to die sooner if you’re fat. Which of these statements comes off as hurtful and which of these statements comes off as helpful? To somebody like me, the “you’re more likely to die sooner if you’re fat,” thing seems to be much more helpful than the “Big is beautiful” variety. In this day and age of acceptance, many people have forgotten to ask, “are you helping or are you hurting?” It is becoming abundantly clear in the age of the Coronavirus, that if you pushed fat acceptance and railed against fat shaming, you were actually harming the obese person in question, not helping them. Instead of offering them a hand, you were squeezing the life out of them.

This is not a plea to start bullying people for being fat. This is a plea to start helping people and getting them out of their own way. Why? Because it is literally killing people to be fat right now. It has always led to sooner deaths, but now with the Coronavirus, you’re in the fast lane for a meeting with the Grim Reaper if you don’t put down the Krispy Kreme. We now know you are at “high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19″ if you are severely obese (Body Mass Index–BMI–of 40 or higher). This lone piece of information should immediately get people reaching for a salad, but it won’t.

We are fat. Extremely fat. More than 40% of adults are obese in America. More than 9% of all adults are severely obese (women at 11% and men at 6.9% for young adults). So, you want to talk about flattening the curve? Flattening the curve of your waistline is going to be a hell of a lot more beneficial to your health in the immediate future and distant future than washing your hands for the 11th time today. And yet, we are still placating people and telling them there is no real problem with being fat. Except now we know if you haven’t done a situp in a decade, there is a much higher chance you can die from Covid-19. That seems like a pretty big problem.

Don’t Seriously Go Fat Shaming

Please don’t go out and start fat shaming somebody. That is not the way to do it. Many people are using this downtime in lockdown and trying to better themselves. It has been amazing to see how many Zoom workout classes there are a day. There is something to be said for having an arena where people–who might otherwise be too hesitant and scared to go it alone in a gym with hardos–can workout, sweat, and try some new things knowing they won’t be a victim of fat shaming in their own house. That is a truly wonderful thing. And to all you people who have picked up a jump rope, or are walking 10 minutes a day during lockdown, keep on doing your thing.

But the Coronavirus reveals the stupidity and actual danger of lying to people and telling them it is ok to be fat. It really is not ok! It’s unbelievably dangerous to your health during normal times to be severely obese, but it’s worse during a pandemic because your body–constantly overworked due to obesity– has less of a chance to fight off the disease or illness. This theory of making everybody feel good in their own skin is making it easier for those same people to die in their own skin.

Are you helping or are you hurting? That is the question you should always be asking yourself no matter what you’re doing. Health, sports, work? Are you helping or hurting? Yes, some people think they are helping others when they just accept them for who they are. Sometimes this is right, sometimes this is deathly wrong. Take a look at any picture of a group of children from before 1960. Notice something? You will almost never see a fat child among them. But we currently live in a day and age where fat is accepted! The poor are the fattest among us, and we are doing them a disservice by not getting them better food and better food education. And we need to start now because it is literally killing them.

Want to help? Stop accepting and start fat shaming. Do you know the term baby fat? It’s a thing because people did not use to stay fat. So let’s work on this together. Pump up people you see working out. That person who looks like they’re about to die walking, who isn’t wearing the right workout clothes? Give them a simple, “good job,” or “keep it up.” But don’t look at morbidly obese models and think, “they’re beautiful.” No. They’re fat, and it’s bad for them, it’s bad for you, and it’s terrible for the healthcare system. Help them by not accepting it. Fat is not beautiful. Fat is fat. And right now, fat means death… as it’s always meant death.