Social media personality and comedian Nicole Arbour uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Dear Fat People.” Arbour is well known for her blunt, satirical humor but this video could not be further from comedy. In fact, it’s horrendous and, above all else, cruel.
If you were to pause this video three seconds in and were unaware of its title, you would assume Arbour was about to give a tutorial on how to get a Kesha-inspired do. However, it takes only four seconds for her demeanor to become increasingly cruel and obnoxious.
“Dear fat people,” she begins, “some people are already mad at this video. What are you going to do, fat people? What? Are you going to chase me?”
Within 12 seconds of speaking, Arbour has proven herself a bully. Every word she uses is offensive. She has clearly has never struggled with a significant amount of weight gain or the inability to lose it.
Founder of ProjectLifesize and plus-size YouTube vlogger Meghan Tonjes took to her channel to respond to Arbour’s video hours after it went live. Tonjes was brought to tears, expressing her concern for what effect it may have on women and men who are overweight.
“I’m really upset about the Nicole Arbour video,” Tonjes says in her response. “And it’s not necessarily even just the video. It’s the mindset that I find really upsetting, even if it’s done for ‘satire’ comedy, which it just isn’t. I find it really harmful, if I’m being honest.”
Tonjes continues, “It’s so easy to go after fat people, because it takes a lot of time and energy and effort to view people as people. And to view them as well, fully formed people that you have to get to know. It’s so easy to put people in a box of good and bad and to look at someone and to just think that you know everything they’ve ever gone through or where they are with their body or their relationship with their body.”
The defining moment of Arbour ‘s video is when she concludes that the offensive nature of fat-shaming is nonexistent, but instead, fat-shaming is in fact a genius idea to shame overweight people into some kind of health-conscious epiphany.
“Fat-shaming is not a thing,” Arbour says. “Fat people made that up. It’s the race card without a race. Fat-shaming. Who came up with that? That’s f***ing brilliant. Yes, shame people who have bad habits until they f***ing stop.”
However, selfishly ridiculing a person’s body is body-shaming and criticizing an overweight person’s body is proven to be counterproductive if you are genuinely concerned about their health.
“Dear Fat People” is not an expression of genuine concern. This video is a poor excuse for entertainment and ironically for Arbour, her video defines body-shaming. It is material like this floating around the Web that further advances the negative movement. If she had truly wanted to express her concern for those who are suffering from obesity, this was not the direction to take. Body-shaming is not a joke. Do not start making it one.