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Fat Shaming Should Melt Away!

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 5, 2019 14:56

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Results of a study published April 15 in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin show shaming women celebrities who gain weight has a bad effect on other women, too.

Fat shaming has got to stop! Recently, a friend I’ve known for years told me she can’t go to the gym because she looks ‘too fat’ in exercise attire. I felt terrible that she would feel that way. I pointed out that irrespective of what others' opinions of us may be, we have to take care of our own needs first. Exercise is important for maintaining general health. However, I understood her concern-- folks can be cruel and judgmental.

What is about people that makes them believe they have carte blanche to put anybody down at any time-- and it's OK? Don’t they realize the negative impact of their words or think for one second how THEY'D feel if they were similarly insulted? Studies show that fat shaming actually makes victims feel worse-- and makes them more likely to overeat.

Celebrities are always under the microscope; more so than an anonymous general public. Over ten years ago, the lovely supermodel Tyra Banks was told 'she was too big for the runway.' Her response was 'Kiss my fat ass.' I recall thinking 'You go, girl.

Some other famous women who have been called on the carpet for looking heavier than they did in the past include Jessica Simpson, Adele, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Lawrence and Pam Grier-- all beautiful and highly accomplished. Remember, Liz Taylor was fat shamed, too!

Pam Grier, who I've been a fan of forever (remember Sheba, Baby, Coffey and Jackie Brown?!?) was attacked recently for her weight. The haters obviously overlooked her many accomplishments. Why not celebrate the trailblazer who helped open the door to cast black women in empowering film roles? Plus, Grier is an author, still acts, holds two honorary doctoral degrees and is an AIDS activist. The now nearly 70-year-old exotic beauty is also a cancer survivor. To harass Grier for a weight gain is simply unconscionable. Perhaps the actress' health problems and the associated stressors contributed to the changes in her body.

It seems that people, especially women, are heavily scrutinized and judged way too harshly for their size. When I was 15, I weighed all of 115 pounds at almost 5'6", and I thought I was 'fat.' There is a focus on perfectionism that existed decades ago and is alive and well today.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of Americans are overweight or obese--that's the majority of the population. On top of that, I think women are criticized even more than men when they gain weight.

Let's throw the spotlight on a person's character and not pick apart their physical size. If someone is overweight, leave them alone and let them live in peace. Affording this simple courtesy might help people to cope a little better in a world that has become more difficult to maneuver--in the best of times.

Marion Charatan

Posted on May 5, 2019 14:56

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