Dear Nicole Arbour

BY Lyndsie Cox Comedian Nicole Arbour posted a video titled “Dear Fat People” to her YouTube channel. The video has since accumulated over six million views and has already been taken down from YouTube once. In the video Nicole Arbour speaks about the obesity rate in America through quick cuts and offensive remarks. The video is all about how Arbour believes that people need to be insulted into losing weight. Arbour said “Fat shaming is not a thing”, “You should stop eating”, and “Plus size stands for plus heart disease, plus knee problems, plus diabetes” just to state a few.

As you may be able to tell, this video caused a lot of controversy. Comedians are not sensitive people. They joke about whatever they want to. Most comedians joke about sensitive subjects with no other intent but to make the viewer laugh. Once a comedian makes a controversial statement and tries to play it off as a joke is where the problem hits. Web stars like Grace Helbig, Steven Williams aka Boogie2988 and TLC star of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life”, Whitney Way Thore, along with other celebrities have made responses to Nicole Arbour's video.

The videos of all these stars want to encourage body positivity, loving one another as we are, and not judging someone especially only by what you see. Whitney Way Thore and Steven Williams, both being overweight, wanted to make it clear that those people struggling with their weight get bullied and ridiculed everyday. It is not simple to lose weight especially because a majority of the problem lies in self-esteem issues. Steven Williams confesses in his video, “I know quite a bit about self-esteem issues because I’ve been on this planet for over 40 years and I have still not learned the trick to loving myself.”

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Fat-shaming is prevalent in our society today. Using fat-shaming as leverage to gain more views, subscribers, or scare someone into losing weight is cruel. Whitney Way Thore stated, “You cannot tell a person’s health physical or otherwise by just looking at them.” This statement is key in the fat-shaming debate because those, like Nicole Arbour, believe that losing weight is easy when there are people out there battling physical health problem as well as mental health problems that hinder their weight loss. Telling someone to specifically stop eating will not cure obesity but could lead to eating disorders which are just as detrimental. Shaming someone for what they look like is more ineffective than taking a loving, more caring approach.

Every body type gets shamed at one point or another. Whether it is fat-shaming or skinny-shaming, it needs to stop. Nobody is perfect and we are all just human beings trying to get by. Encouraging healthy eating and exercising habits is a great way to get a message across, but criticizing someone because they do not fit a certain standard is not. Instead of making videos insulting one another, videos need to be made building each other up. We need to spread messages of positivity and love to tell each other that we are beautiful, creative and wonderful because we are all human beings and we all deserve that.