Beware bullies, your days of torment and ridicule may have come to an end.
After Business Insider ran an article on Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries discriminating against the plus-sized community, fat-shaming has been a hot topic in both the worlds of social and traditional media. In the article, Jeffries stated that his company wants to appeal to the “cool and popular kids” and can’t do that when carrying XL or XXL sizes. Following in Jeffries’ misguided footsteps, a NYU professor recently tweeted: “Dear Obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you don’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.” Determined not to take these hateful comments lying down, the plus-sized community have taken to Twitter and Tumblr to speak out against fat-shaming and share their own experiences with the issue.
The recent Tumblr “Smile, Sizeist!” has become a hub for plus-sized individuals to share their fat-shaming experiences along with a photo of the person harassing them. In the Tumblr’s about section the founder wrote: “When it comes to weight bullying, one size does not fit all. In my opinion, educating the perpetrator is a noble and worthy goal, but a distant third behind physical protection and walkawayability.” The Tumblr’s mission is to make people accountable and aware of the negative effects their comments have on others.
But if activists are hoping for Hollywood’s support for their cause, it is best they not hold their breath. Just today, a controversial poster of “The Heat” was released that trimmed down leading lady Melissa McCarthy’s lovable cheeks, making her practically unrecognizable. But should the fat-shaming movement become strong enough and activists’ voices loud enough, the media may feel pressure to change the way they present body image. Just last month, pressure from the #FBRape campaign forced Facebook to publicly apologize and pledge to crack down harder on rape jokes, proving social media has a huge influence in making social change.
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