Hey everyone, time for a serious discussion.
There’s a YouTube video that recently went viral called “Dear Fat People.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, all you need to know is that it features comedian Nicole Arbour saying some incredibly hurtful and offensive things about overweight people.
She’s getting a ton of attention now, positive and negative. Despite her claims that she “loves” all people and “cares” for them, we see her video doing a lot of harm to people already in a difficult situation.
So what can we do?
The whole situation reminds us of one of our favorite sayings:
“Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness.”
In this case, the darkness is all the negativity coming out of Arbour’s video. We hope for this post to be our single candle.
Specifically, we want to speak honestly about obesity and explain what real love and care look like.
Working in the fitness industry, we meet a lot of fit people – even personal trainers themselves – who were severely overweight when they started their fitness journey. When they talk about their stories, they always mention important people who helped them along the way.
In all those stories, the important people always have one thing in common:
They were positive. They lived as role models. They reached out to others and said “You can.”
And THAT is what real love and care looks like.
In the video, Arbour claims that all her negativity – all her shaming and her “warnings” about the dangers of obesity – is supposed to help people.
But there’s a huge problem with this argument…the dangers of obesity aren’t really news anymore.
For years now, our new media has been flooded with fear mongering about the “obesity epidemic” which is, admittedly, scary. But honestly, is anyone out there still surprised by it? We doubt it.
And what effect does all this negativity have on people who ARE overweight?
It’s pretty safe to say that no overweight person watching that video learned anything new about obesity. They don’t need to be reminded of the realities they face every day. Scare tactics obviously aren’t helpful.
What people need is honesty, support, and hope. Messages of hate and negativity do nothing to create change. Spreading love is how we think people should be motivated.
That love and care can come from the people around us, but you know where else it can come from?
We talk a lot about body transformations and weight loss, because that’s our area of expertise and we know a lot of people want that.
But we are also strong believers in self-love and self-care. We think those things are equally as important as any fitness goal. In fact, we think those things are essential to reaching your fitness goals.
And when we set out to address the obesity problem (which we do every day) we do it by fostering communities of people who love and care for each other by getting fit. We do it by encouraging EVERYONE to love themselves WHILE they take care of themselves.
So here’s our version of “Dear Fat People” …
You are beautiful. You are powerful. You are awesome. Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Stay healthy because you deserve a long and happy life.