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Fat Shaming Causes Promotion of Body Positivity

Nicole Arbor’s fat shaming video backfired when viewers reacted and banned together to spread a positive message.

On September 3, 2015, YouTube sensation Nicole Arbor posted a video entitled “Dear Fat People” that went viral, and nearly broke the Internet.

Arbor opens the video with the idea that fat shaming is not real, and supports this by saying that someone can’t “tell the doctor that they’re being ‘mean’ and ‘fat-shaming you’ when they say you have f***ing heart disease?”

However, this video blatantly encourages others to fat shame because it is good to “shame people who have bad habits until the f***ing stop.” She then goes on to explain that if you bully someone enough maybe they’ll get so offended that they will stop overeating and lose weight. Arbor claims that this type of verbal abuse is actually a way to save lives, and therefore should be seen as doing people a favor.

Luckily, the negativity towards fat people Arbor was trying to spread backfired as many powerful YouTube personalities, such as Grace Helbig and Trisha Paytas, spoke out and made reaction videos calling Arbor out. Helbig, on the brink of tears, explains that this video has made her so distraught that she could not sleep because of the hateful words and ideas spread, and Paytas, who proudly identifies her body type as “fat,” spoke about how just because she is overweight it does not mean that she isn’t sexy, and shares the many modeling and appearance based jobs she has had in the past.

This video has also encouraged a wave of body positivity. On September 20, 2015 Lane Bryant premiered the Plus Is Equal campaign at the Emmys. The premise of the campaign is that most (over 60%) of the women in America are between a size 14 and 34, and therefore these sizes should be represented in the media as stated in their manifesto:

When I look around,

What I see doesn’t represent me.

I deserve more.

I’m ready to share the spotlight.

It’s time to see a change.

To see a body like mine

On a billboard and in magazines.

I’m sexy, spirited, and stylish

With nothing to hide.

Worthy of being seen

Just as I am.

It’s time to represent.

Because my voice is one of many

And I want to live in a world

Where we are all seen

And celebrated.

The overall goal is to show the world that a size 14+ woman is no less beautiful than the size double zero models walking the runways. This campaign is trending worldwide on Twitter, and rightfully so.

Body positivity is so important, so get out there and spread the positivity with the hashtag #PlusIsEqual because everyone is perfect in their own way.

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