Fat Vs. Skinny – Stop with the Bullying

“Real men love curves, only dogs go for bones”
“Eat a cheeseburger, you don’t need to watch your weight you’re so skinny!”

There is always going to be a battle between skinny people, and fat people; both trying desperately to validate their choices by using lifestyle/genetics/health issues as an excuse for why they are the way they are. The sad part? Adults hold more resentment towards fit/”skinny” people than they do overweight people. and I strongly believe this is part of the reason obesity in Australia is becoming such a huge epidemic.

Yes, in the schoolyard it’s the fatty that cops the brunt of the bullying – being reduced to nicknames like “fatty” and getting told to “put down the fork” every second day. But as we merge slowly into adulthood, the resentment turns to fit/”skinny” people and in order to seek validity and self-assurance, overweight people and people that society dictates as “average”, often turn against the “leaner” community and give them just as nasty insults – anorexic, “nobody likes to cuddle a stick”, “unless you fell on your face on the treadmill, we don’t wanna hear about your workout!” and many other words and phrases that are just as nasty if the roles were to be reversed.

But this is a lot more socially accepted. Every day, I see a new photo being circulated in my facebook newsfeed with some sort of quote referring to overweight/curvy girls as goddesses and skinny girls as some sort of undesirable object. I’m going to be a bit daring here, and say that almost every one of my friends that has shared these sorts of memes are on the heavier side of the weight scale – seeking validity and reassurance that it’s ok they are what they are.

And I think this, ultimately, is what has spawned everything. In our efforts to make the overweight feel better about themselves, we took their biggest envy(or polar opposite, I guess, if the word envy offends you), the “skinny” girls, and demonised them. And everyone thought, just because these girls were skinny, they wouldn’t have any self confidence issues of their own; it was ok for them to be humiliated for being what they are. And so, they became the demon against the saints for a lot of uplifting messages and memes to the overweight.

But not very many people stand up for the skinny girls, or the fit girls, or the curvy girls. Curvy girls get lumped in the overweight category (being curvy is completely different to being overweight), fit girls get lumped into the skinny category and the skinny girls get lumped into the “she is so anorexic, definitely has an eating disorder” category. All because we, as a society, have somehow come up with this ridiculous notion that the only way we can be happy with ourselves, is by believing we are more superior to others.

Why can’t we all just be beautiful in our own rights? Why do we have to say curves over bones, or cheesecake over a carrot? We all choose our lifestyles and we all must suffer/enjoy the consequences for those choices without needing to reaffirm we are happy with who we are. Which we aren’t – because let’s face it, if you are posting these horrible memes or agreeing with them then you are not happy with yourself. Somebody that is happy with themselves doesn’t need to be told they are better than somebody/something else; they don’t care and don’t need that reassurance. Which means something needs to change. Don’t be lazy and simply continue sharing memes that make you feel better but in turn hurt someone else.

This isn’t an entry shaming the overweight community for wanting to feel good about themselves, this is an article about how we resent bullying so much within our community; in our schools; in the media and yet we, the adults, are the biggest culprits for it.

We are our children’s role models. But what example are we setting, constantly bickering amongst ourselves about the way the media favours skinny women, or how curvy girls are allowed to bully skinny girls or how everyone can make fun of the health fanatic? We are our biggest enemy and until we all learn to accept each other and be happy with ourselves, bullying, eating disorders and obesity will always be an issue.

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  • Missed-the-point

    If this was an unbiased article targeting bullying among adults, backed up with examples or facts, it would merit an audience.
    Bullying in the community is a serious and toxic problem.
    Being upset about memes is absolutely ridiculous. What you subject yourself to by being a member of a social media site is opinion. Freedom of speech if you will.
    Maybe the ‘overweight’ people who share (or more likely, hit like on) the memes that are apparently keeping you up at night were just liking a post that they can relate to or believe in. Maybe you should also target the people who like cute cat photos? How DARE they insult people who prefer dogs like that.

    If someone on social media or in your social circle is nasty to you because of what you are or you like, whether into fitness or not, maybe they aren’t friends you should be around. Alternatively, accept that other people will have different opinions and it doesn’t make them wrong.

    There is a remove friend button for a reason. If you want to go to the gym and that makes you feel good, AWESOME! Go team. If you are happy in your skin and don’t need detoxes or clean eating or to lose weight and you are happy, AWESOME!! You are great too.

    I would respect this a lot more if the message was ‘let’s stop being nasty to people who are different to us’ instead of ‘I am skinny, fat people are mean to me’.

    I hope one day you are confident enough in your skin that a meme about a pin up girl won’t cause you to lose sleep.

    • April

      Hi Missed-the-point,

      Thank you for your feedback, unfortunately I believe it is you who has missed the point to this article. This wasn’t a whinge about memes on facebook, that was merely an angle I have taken that I believe the wider audience here would connect to. If you want examples of this outside of memes, check out the interview with Chrissie Swan and Sharny Kieser in which Chrissie validates her weight levels by simply saying she works too much and it’s “easy” for Sharny to be fit because that’s what she does all day long. (Link: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/chrissie-swan-and-fitmum-sharny-kieser-battle-on-air-about-weight/story-fneuzle5-1226822851593) Since you have not read or seem to be aware of this article, I did not think the rest of my readers would have either so I used memes in my scope as everyone, even my grandma, knows what a meme is and how to operate facebook.

      What I’m taking from your comment is that you are saying it’s ok for people to compare each other and put each other down, and if it I don’t like it then I need to remove them as a friend? How is that any better than if I see someone being beaten up in the street and instead of helping, I turn around and run away? I’m not shaming on people who share (and yes, they do share) uplifting messages to people to love themselves, I’m talking about the memes that compare an overweight/curvy girl to a skinny girl in a vindictive manner.

      I think you are taking this as me writing from a personal perspective. I believe I need to point out here that yes, I have been bullied, but it has never been for being skinny or for being overweight. When I was bullied, it was on my personality; this article is not being written from personal experience, I am merely writing my observations on the way society demonises skinny/”fit” people to make overweight community feel more comfortable in their skin.

      As I said in my article, we have each made our choices to do what we do, eat what we eat, and basically be who we are. Skinny people should not be shamed all because when an overweight person look as them, they feel bad about themselves.

      This also isn’t an article on bullying in general – this is a health and fitness blog and hence I have written this article from that angle – the title of this entry is “Fat Vs Skinny – Stop With the Bullying” – the topic being fat vs. skinny; not simply “stop with the bullying” so you really shouldn’t take this as a general anti-bullying campaign as I went into a specifics.

      I’m 100% confident in my skin, I feel it is you who needs the assurance, and I hope that you can one day learn to love yourself without the need to trample people in order to do so, and without hiding behind an anonymous name; even though I know exactly who you are – you are beautiful, love yourself.

  • Liz

    I think that, unfortunately, this will always be something that is an issue. People like to judge others based on their weight and whatnot — and magazines don’t help. It’s frustrating, because it makes those who struggle to maintain a healthy weight difficult since no matter what they’re still being insulted. It really ruins the self-esteem. 😐 Individuals should be able to define their own version of beauty.