Last week, plus size model and self love campaigner Tess Holiday flew to the UK to take part in The Curve fashion Festival. During her time in The UK, the Daily Mirror published a piece slamming her for claiming that she is healthy despite being ‘clinically obese’. In true Tess fashion, she didn’t turn a blind eye and posted a scathing retort on her Instagram feed, to which she has 1.5million followers.
Now as someone who regularly writes about body positivity I know I need to state outright that I am not promoting obesity, nor am I claiming that Tess’s weight doesn’t come with its share of health risks. But I have to say, I’m getting really fed up with how the media, and the general public. treat fat people and fat women in particular.
I’d like to know when it became acceptable to dole out respect based on weight. At what point in time did it become ok to be openly derogatory of a person just because they’re fat? The typical answer to this question is that the disrespect is born of a so called concern for the persons health. Codswallop!
I could write a thesis on why the widely accepted assumption that thin means healthy and fat means unhealthy is intellectual laziness at best, but that’s not even relevant. The crux of the issue is this; it is not acceptable to be disrespectful of someone just because you think they are unhealthy. It is not acceptable to diminish a persons achievements, successes and value just because you think they are unhealthy. It is not acceptable to publicly mock that person on a national platform just because you think they are unhealthy. And if you’re going to insist on continuing in your role as The Health Police, you’d better start slagging off the health of thin people too. Only then will I believe that your so called concern for Tess’s health is genuine and not a smoke screen for fat shaming.
Oh wait, I forgot. Only fat people can be unhealthy. Silly me.