When Kelly Clarkson showed up overweight in a performance and was mocked for her weight, Social Media exploded with people to come to her defense (rightfully so). Amy Schumer just recently got a lot of support when she lashed out against Internet Trolls who were fat shaming her (or trying to at least). There have been plenty of campaigns like, “Real Women Have Curves.” And I applaud each and every one of these things. Because fat shaming women is just plain wrong. Far too many women in this country have eating disorders because of these “standards” that somebody somewhere made up and others latched on to as “ideal.” It was an unattainable standard that was simply not realistic and had(has) to be stopped.
So, let me ask you this. Why is it OK to fat shame men?
I haven’t seen anyone (other than his daughter) rush to defend Alec Baldwin. Nobody blinks an eye when Val Kilmer, Brendan Frasier, Matt Damon, or John Travolta are pointed out for being fat. Not even Leonardo DiCaprio (one magazine actually labeled him “The Great Fatsby”), and Ryan Gosling, who are simply NOT fat (but heavier than they were in the past) don’t get a pass. But I don’t see any storms of people defending them. When Brian Reade was tearing apart Simon Cowell for being shirtless and having his “moobs” hang out, all stood by the sidelines and watched it happen silently.
And it is not just celebrities obviously. It permeates in ways you may not even think about normally. For example. when somebody is describing an undesirable (for lack of a better term) man, you hear something that starts “fat, sweaty pervert” Why does “fat or fat and sweaty” automatically equal “pervert?” How about “fat slob?” Does that assume that only fat men are slobs?
Why am i complaining about it now? Because I have an interesting and somewhat unique viewpoint right now. After losing 90 pounds (and counting), I get to hear on a regular basis how good I look now by comparison, but at the same time, since I do still have a considerable way to go, those who don’t know what I looked like before still assume I need to “put down the donuts.” I hear things like, “men have it so much easier and can lose weight easily whenever they want.”
Men are less likely to get an eating disorder like Anorexia, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect men as much or that it happens any less often to men. I personally have waited decades trying to get to a state when it won’t be “disgusting” for me to take my shirt off down the shore (that would be “to the beach” for anyone not from New Jersey), I have avoided being in pictures, or try and hide my body behind others when I have no other choice. I have been embarrassed to be me, and allowed other to dictate how I felt about myself. Well, that stops now.
The stance against fat shaming against women started with one person somewhere. I may not have the greatest “reach” in the world, but it can still start spreading from here. I am going to continue to try and lose weight, but that is because it is a healthy thing to do, and I am going to continue to do so without harming myself (no crash diets, just to try and get to some goal quicker), but I am not going to allow it to stop me from participating in life. I am no longer going to hide. I am OK with being me, and if you aren’t OK with that, the problem is yours, not mine. You are dismissed.