As of last week, social media accounts of #ThinnerBeauty radical group Project Harpoon have been deleted. That’s one small step for social media, one giant battle won against body-shamers.
The #ThinnerBeauty “movement” is comprised of those who believe that if obese women and men were to lose weight, they would have greater potential to be physically attractive. To prove this heinous hypothesis, Project Harpoon’s social media accounts took it upon themselves to upload images of plus-size models, celebrities and the everyday woman (and some men) and photoshop them to show their could-be beauty at a smaller size. The former Facebook page description read as follows:
“In current societal fashion, a recent trending surge of ‘pro-obesity’ and ‘fat acceptance’ have paved the way for many people to renounce exercise and personal healthcare in general. This page aims to only show that being skinny is okay as well. Skinny-shaming is not okay.”
As a woman coming from a family of women who struggle with weight loss, this disgusting mindset hit close to home. Besides the fact that a) it is literally no one’s business whether or not the person next to them is obese or thin and b) taking an innocent bystander’s photograph for the sake of mockery is wrong on so many levels, including invasion of privacy and bullying, I would like to point out that just because someone is heavy does not mean they are renouncing “exercise and personal healthcare.”
According to an article published in The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital titled “Behavioral and Psychological Factors in Obesity,” obesity “is as much a psychological as a physical problem. Psychological issues can not only foreshadow the development of obesity, but they can also follow ongoing struggles to control weight.” Therefore, there is much more to weight gain and loss than choosing not to eat well or exercise.
And while health often suffers as a result of obesity, someone overweight is not necessarily unhealthy. During the “Cardiovascular disease in Europe 2014: epidemiological update” published in the Oxford Journal, those who are overweight do not have a greater risk of dying of heart disease than the average person. There are many overweight people who eat right and are active, therefore Project Harpoon’s perspective is not only arrogant, but solely based on opinion rather than fact.
To put an end to Project Harpoon’s body-shaming, plus-size model and self-love activist Tess Holliday, whose photographs were featured on the page multiple times, called for a boycott.
“It’s abominable that this [Facebook page] is using my image without permission to promote themselves,” Tess told E! News.
“This kind of hit piece is exactly why I started #effyourbeautystandards. I am asking my followers to boycott this [page] and any others like it. Loving yourself is the most powerful message we all need to stand behind.”
The Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr accounts of Project Harpoon have since been deleted, although the fringe group’s Twitter account is still active.
It has gotten to the point where I am no longer disgusted by body-shamers and bullies. Instead, I am tired by them. In fact, I am exhausted. Negative energy is wasted energy. We all have one life and one body to live it in. Instead of focusing on outside opinions and criticizing those who do not meet our standards, we should always be improving and loving ourselves, accepting our bodies for what they are and what they are capable of. Only then will these demons be silenced.