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Old 12-22-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
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Default Why is making fun of overweight...

...people socially acceptable?

I went to see a movie with my son tonight, and it was an animated kid's movie and I counted at least 2 times where this was done. Once an overweight maid was introduced as someone who "eats her emotions" and another heavy child was called "Fatty" by his mother.

This is not ok.

Anytime an overweight woman is cast in a movie it's always in a self-deprecating type of way (Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson come to mind) and Hollywood thinks it's ok because it's a lifestyle choice to be fat and people just lack self control, and if they had enough everyone could be a size 2.

If only it were that easy.

I see us making so much progress as a nation and yet this form of bullying still seems to be ok with most people.

I dunno. Maybe it's just me.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:22 AM   #2
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I agree. It shouldn't be okay, and for some reason it is widely accepted and even encouraged. I routinely see fat shaming in comments on news articles, for example.
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Old 12-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
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There are a lot of things in the American media that make me wonder when did this become acceptable and normal. All the oversexualized Disney stars for example, who seem to all mentally collapse before our eyes and nobody intervenes. Also, if you'd base your view on the American male on the sitcoms, you'd think that they were all lazy and incompetent with emotional capabilities of a child. I'm not even getting into the reality TV shows.

I honestly wouldn't expect any moral high ground from TV, movies or other aspects of the pop culture. I'm not sure if it actually reflects the reality of the society or if the society starts to accept the standards set by the media. I kind of hope it's neither and that people actually have their own moral compass and integrity.
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Old 12-23-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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In sitcoms and radio talk shows, everyone puts each other down, too! I was explain to DS that if I talked that way to anyone in RL:

1. There would be no witty comeback
2. They'd never speak to me again
3. They'd still be talking about it in the next "episode"
4. I would soon have no friends

Especially with fat comments! Sons said once, "I hate fat people" and I retorted, "You hate me??" That shut them up pretty fast.

They love watching old episodes of Sunny in Philadelphia, so wrong on so many levels. The world may never be the same.
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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In my experience, I think that a lot of occasional "joking" about anyone's condition/background is deemed acceptable, but I tend to notice it more when its something that I can relate to. It is hurtful, but reminds me to be kind and open to others, especially when they point it out and I don't notice it at first.

I listened to my gut and it said "You could do with less of me."
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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To me, this shows a serious lack of maturity and respect in our culture and this concerns me a great deal.

There seems to be a superficial dismissal of anyone that doesn't fit into the cultural ideal of being young, thin, rich, smart and beautiful. If someone is old, overweight, mentally or physically disabled, or poor, they are dismissed. There is entirely too much bullying, not just with kids in school, but I have seen it in corporations with adults. I am shocked at the lack of professional conduct in the workplace. I have also seen bullying (verbal and physical) in many families. It all boils down to a lack of respect.

I went to a fall craft fair and happened to hear some teenage boys talking very loudly.
They were looking at the women at the fair, many of whom were over 50 and overweight. The boys were commenting about and laughing at these women, who were minding their own business and trying to have fun at the fair. One kid said "it looks like we aren't going to find any hot girls here!" This really pissed me off. I said to the little jerks "quit being so disrespectful. These women are not here to entertain you!"

I am concerned about where this trend is going to take us in the future. What values are we reinforcing and how do we change this trend?

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Old 12-23-2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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I recently started watching the Wendy Williams show. I couldn't believe it when she was calling Ruben, from the Biggest Loser, a "fatso" or "fatty". Seriously? And no backlash?

Doingmybest, I applaud you for speaking up to those teens. I never have the right words and the right time!
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SparklyBunny View Post
There are a lot of things in the American media that make me wonder when did this become acceptable and normal.
This was my exact reaction. There are a number of things that we accept as totally normal that shouldn't be.

I remember a large hullabaloo over Huge. OMG like everyone in that show is just so gross, it's so disgusting to watch, etc. We're glorifying being fat!!!!

But it's okay for me to watch shows and movies where the actresses are so thin it's near impossible for me to achieve that same figure? That's not glorifying anything?...

Last edited by Dollfaise; 12-23-2013 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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I think that the way we speak about other people reveals much more about us than it does about other people. The way we see ourselves is always projected onto others.

Some time ago I was with this American man (though I'm not sure if his nationality matters in this case). He always had to have his body fat percentage below 10 and he was obsessive about exercising. We were in Florida and there was this large couple sitting in the next table at the hotel breakfast. He started nodding at their direction and telling me how he thought that they were so disgusting in his opinion. I was a bit upset, because I didn't think it was any of his business and I couldn't understand why it bothered him. Later I realized that it just revealed his own issues. I don't think he understands the concept of unconditional love and how a person can be beautiful, loved and deserving of respect regardless of their circumstances. His ego is convinced that he has to look ripped to be desirable and he's desperate to be loved and admired. Ironically, to feel truly loved, he would have to accept himself first as he is. Not just how his body looks like and what his achievements are, but who he truly is, warts and all.

I think everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. Even those who spew hatred. Perhaps they even need it the most, because they clearly haven't experienced it. To react to hatred with hatred will just result in more hatred. Not saying it's easy, and I most definitely am not always living this way and can go from zero to ***** in 1.2 seconds, but I do believe that if we want to see more love and respect in our surroundings, we have to start with ourselves.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:02 PM   #10
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Fat jokes aren't new. I'm not saying it's nice but it isn't anything that hasn't been going on in movies/tv since forever. Ever watch the Honeymooners?

People make skinny b**** comments all the time too. I never let any of it get to me and I have been on both sides of the coin, fat and thin. There will always be something people will make jokes about. You have to be thick-skinned in this world otherwise everything will offend you.

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Old 12-27-2013, 12:42 PM   #11
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Fat people have been made fun of for decades. It's wrong but honestly it doesn't bother me anymore. Some fat jokes can be funny. Others are just poor taste.
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