Last night, I had a friend over and she was telling me about this video that went viral titled “Dear Fat People” by Nicole Arbour. I hadn’t seen it yet so I watched it. If you haven’t watched it (as of right now- the video has been made unavailable by YouTube) I will sum up: A young, female YouTube comedian made a video about obesity that was flagged by a TON of people as offensive. Through many obesity-related jokes that I feel straddle bullying/fat-shaming, tastelessly made her point: If you are obese, it’s selfish and a health concern.
I don’t often feel compelled to sit down and write for 3 hours (yes 3 – I take a long time to write) – but I wanted to offer my thoughts on this.
Many people have jumped to her defense, saying she’s right and that obese people need tough love.
Here are some facts first:
Let’s start with the complexity of obesity. For far too long, the solution to obesity was exercising more and eating less. If it were that simple- obesity wouldn’t exist. It’s 2015 and we are still learning about important contributing factors like: the endocrine system, the brain, genetics and the gut microbiome. Of course lifestyle factors (sleep/stress/physical activity) and proper nutrition are important, but social class and environment play a big role too.
Alright here we go: My Thoughts
Beginning of Thoughts: Getting behind a camera with such conviction and deliver a message aimed to help people by using bullying and shaming, probably isn’t going to be motivating for the majority of the target audience. End of Thoughts.
Heres what pissed me off!!!!!!!
She said it was so that obese people can “stay around longer.”
We all know that obesity is a major health concern; in the last 30 years Canada’s obesity rate tripled. According to that article, obesity costs the Canadian Health Care system$ 4.6 – $7.1 billion. Think that sounds a lot? Canada spent $211 billion on health care in 2013. (I may have done math wrong but that’s 3%)
- How many people do YOU know that are clinically obese that have died in the last 5 years? Zero.
- How many people do YOU know that have died in the last 5 years that weren’t obese? Too many!
- How many people do YOU know that would pass off as healthy but actually have some serious health concerns? A lot!
- How many people do YOU know that look great but eat crappy, never exercise, drink too much, smoke, etc? Tons!
- How many people do YOU know that are obese but are very active and eat well? Lots!
Perhaps the real controversy behind Nicole Arbour’s video (minus the rude jokes, bullying, fat-shaming) is that it wasn’t targeted to everyone; People need to take HEALTH more seriously.
- EVERYONE needs to be more careful what they put in their body! *Not just once the holidays are over.
- EVERYONE needs movement in their day (sports/fitness/walking/)! *Not just in January.
- EVERYONE needs to take their mental health seriously! *Not just after a mass shooting in the USA.
- EVERYONE needs to have stress management practices! *Not after they flipped out on a loved one.
- EVERYONE needs to do MORE things they love! *Not once you realize its too late.
- And EVERYONE needs to be kinder to others! *You never know whats going on in someones life!
You can deliver a message without pissing off the Internet.