Danger of Ignorance

William Haydon, Maroon-News Staff

“Dear Fat People,” the fat-shaming video produced by comedian Nicole Arbour, has been gaining internet infamy. For those readers who haven’t seen the video, I can’t recommend doing so because it will most likely shoot off many triggers. The video entails Arbour lecturing  “fat people” in the world.

Arbour starts off by acknowledging that people will be offended, then mollifies the situation by joking about being able to run away from angry heavy-set viewers. Her next assertion is that “fat-shaming” doesn’t exist and that it’s made up by “fat people.” By this point in the video it is clear that Arbour doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  Arbour is a young, thin, admittedly attractive woman.

“Yes, shame people who have bad habits until they f****** stop,” Arbour says. Yet her assertion has many flaws. Firstly, she doesn’t understand that other people’s habits are independent from hers and have no effect on her life. Secondly, Arbour seems coldly indifferent to the feelings of anyone other than herself. She doesn’t realize, or maybe she doesn’t care, about the serious psychological effects that fat-shaming creates. Her way of dealing with this “issue” could result in innumerable counts of depression and suicide. We live in a world where people are apathetic to those with whom they can’t relate. 

She continues to build her argument that overweight people are killing themselves, making a nonsensical metaphor about crushing up smarties. What I would like to ask her is: why do you care what other people do with their own bodies? What right do you have to tell someone else how to live just because you don’t like it? There is a growing problem nowadays of people caring about and hating things that have no direct or considerable effect on their lives. One should not care how someone else lives if it doesn’t effect them. I doubt she would appreciate someone telling her to stop being blonde because it makes her look stupid. 

Arbour makes one factual point on her rant, which is that being overweight is bad for your body. She mentions heart disease and diabetes, which are very real problems to those who are considerably overweight. But her problem is that she doesn’t approach the topic with a sincere hope to help people. She just wants to preach and show off that she herself is in shape. Those struggling with being overweight are already aware of the health risks. Some choose to try to change and others accept the risks yet don’t want to change, which there is nothing wrong with. Humans have the right to live how they want to, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. If people choose to be overweight, that is their right. 

Arbour assumes that those dealing with being overweight are doing so because they just make poor eating choices, when that is hardly the case. While that is true with some, there are a multitude of other reasons people find themselves overweight. Depression can cause people to over-eat as well as develop eating disorders. Also, there are those who are not in a position to make a change about their bodies even if they want to. One example is those with low incomes who would love to eat healthy if they could, but can sometimes only afford fast-food. 

This video is a prime example of how a lack of knowledge and understanding leads to hate. To have an opinion on a subject, one should search out all the information they can before coming to a conclusion. Arbour exemplifies the growing epidemic of apathy in the modern world. She couldn’t care less about the emotional toll her video is taking on overweight people. Her video highlights another epidemic of caring about things that do not directly affect oneself, which doesn’t logically make sense. If there is any lesson to be learned, it is to be considerate, open-minded and as kind as possible to create a world where everyone can be happy just being themselves.