It doesn’t take much to get my back up these days. Lack of sleep and other general nuisances mean that there isn’t a day that goes by where my poor husband doesn’t get the back lash of my irritation after reading or seeing something online. I’d only just got off my high horse about a Guardian article I’d shared when I came across this little gem from one of my favourite hypocrites: Jamelia. The link to this masterpiece of malaise is below:
Needless to say, it left me feeling more than a little riled up.
Before anyone starts questioning my motives, no, I’m not a racist. Not by any stretch. The thing that bugs me about this post is the fact that an eleven year old girl had to witness first hand what I understand to be a more and more recognisable act of racsim. However, it also annoys me that her mother, the additional victim, who was so outraged by this woman’s obvious prejudice, is the same woman who believes that being a plus size person means you do not have the right to feel or look good.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, take a look at this:
Jamelia’s comments on last year’s Loose Women sparked outrage in subsequent weeks to the point where she was sacked from her place on the panel. She tried to defend her comments on various media outlets, but the damage was already done. Would Jamelia have believed it if this woman told her she believed she was too young to afford a first class ticket? I doubt it. Ultimately, saying things like, “I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.” is undoubtedly going to cause upset. The reason she believes that attractive clothing should only be for certain weights?
“I do not think it’s right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle.”
I’m sorry, I missed the breaking news about Jamelia’s X Ray vision, or ability to sniff out the health of a person using only her honker. Didn’t I? Surely, she wouldn’t be making these comments unless she knew, for certain, that people who are plus size are unhealthy because they CHOOSE to be? If she’s making these comments without knowing those facts, then surely she’s being prejudiced?
No. Never…wait a minute.
According to her comments, you can tell someone’s health and lifestyle by the way they look. If they can’t fit into nice clothes you can buy in the high street, they’re clearly gross and need to get down the gym whilst munching on superfoods. Her comments are not meant to be prejudiced; she’s just looking out for the health and well being of us fatties.
Although, I wonder how a woman who has battled with eating disorders most of her life and is finally comfortable in her own skin would feel about this sentiment? Or a woman suffering from PCOS who has very little control over her body would feel? What about people who gain weight due to the medication they’re on? Or women who are naturally ‘bigger’ and have done the fad diets, exercise regimes and mental punishments, only to plateau at a certain weight again and again? According to this woman’s comments, all the above “should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.”
Now, I know that obesity, in its extreme form, can lead to medical complications.
As can smoking.
And drug taking.
Yet, people who do the above are not publicly shamed and made to feel bad about themselves the way that big people are. People who do the above are rarely bullied and vilified to the point where they feel they cannot continue living (http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/teen-bullied-for-her-weight-commits-suicide-in-front-of-family-w453464). Sometimes, people who do the above are celebrated (hello, Kate Moss)! Ever used the word “fat” as an insult or as a joke? Hilarious. Almost as funny as making racist comments.
I think my favourite part of her post is this:
“I do not want to keep quiet about it anymore. We serve no-one by remaining quiet, if anything this renders us complicit in the continuation and validation of this behaviour. It is not ok with me, and it shouldn’t be ok with you. Most importantly, i’m teaching my girls not to be ok with it either. I absolutely refuse to send my daughters out into a world that tells them NOT to speak up when someone hurts them. The only way that will happen is if we are all brave enough to put these important conversations on the table now.”
I hope that her daughters never have to go through anything that changes their body in such a way that they become ‘plus size’ – what a conversation that would be!
Ultimately, we live in a society that has access to other people of all different colours, creeds, sizes, shapes and lifestyles. Why do some feel the need to put others down when, essentially, it is none of their damn business? I suspect that many people have never engaged with anyone of any substance, passion, wisdom, individuality or creativity on a face to face basis. After all, it’s much easier to criticise someone else from behind the safety of a keyboard.