Danni Levy, fitness writer, appeared on Good Morning Britain Sept. 16 and claimed that fat shaming is an effective way to encourage weight loss. She further claimed that she had been shamed as an underweight anorexic woman and credited the shaming she experienced for helping her gain weight.
Levy’s comments echo the recent words of Bill Maher, who also recommended fat shaming as helpful (and led to Curvicality devising the #weightsupremacist hashtag.)
We have never, ever, ever met even one plus size person who has not experienced fat shaming, so we’re pretty confused. If fat shaming worked, shouldn’t everyone be thin by now? Gosh, could people like Maher and Levy be wrong?
Imagine a world in which every time you saw somebody making a choice you felt wasn’t healthy you felt compelled — for moral reasons, mind you! — to shame them.
If fat shaming works, why not expand on it.
I decided to adopt Levy’s attitude today. I saw a woman wearing very high heels. Obviously, I was not going to let that go, because she is damaging her feet. I pointed to her shoes and loudly criticized her. Some passersby looked at me like I was crazy, but I was undeterred. Somebody has to stand up against the poor treatment of feet.
Next, I noticed a woman with many children. I was aghast, as having that many children is just asking for gynecological issues. I took her to task, explaining to her that having that many babies might lead to what doctors refer to as “hoo-ha issues.” I asked her if she ever leaks urine when she sneezes, but for some reason she wouldn’t answer. She was whisking her family away from me, obviously not even caring about my attempts to help her understand how wrong her choices have been.
Undeterred, I looked around to see what other good I could do today. And then I saw it — a young man with blue hair, clearly in need of some shaming. I informed him he’s never going to get a job with blue hair and added that hair dye might be unhealthy for his scalp. I mean, I haven’t seen any evidence to support that view, but the thought went through my head so I felt compelled to share it.
A couple at the grocery store yielded pure gold. You may not believe this, but they had not one but two frozen pizzas in their cart. I wasn’t about to let that go. No, sir. I made absolutely sure they understood that frozen pizza is not an acceptable meal and they needed to instead purchase more vegetables. They will not make that mistake again.
By that time, I was feeling very satisfied with myself, so I decided to see what other good I could do. I fat-shamed three people and thin-shamed another. But I still didn’t feel like I’d done enough. So I found a young woman feeding her child a cookie and shamed her for being a bad mother. I am sure she appreciated it.
My only regret is that I don’t live in the same country as Levy, because what I’d really enjoy doing is following her around and offering helpful shaming each time I see her doing something I think might be unhealthy. She might be exercising excessively, or she might be wearing athletic clothing that is too tight or she might not be eating sufficiently iron-rich foods. Maybe she drinks wine or doesn’t get enough sleep or wears insufficient sunscreen … I don’t know, but I’m sure I could find something to shame her for, and no doubt she’d appreciate it.
What Levy claims is “glamorizing” obesity is really just accepting that different people will have different body types and sizes, and respecting that.
We think the world is a better place when everybody is treated with respect and dignity. Fat shaming is never helpful and is never appropriate.
But shaming fat shamers? Yeah. I will do that: Shame on you, Danni Levy.