Clutch magazine's Renee Martin writes that an overweight TV anchor's viral response to criticism speaks to the continued dangerous stigmas regarding women and weight.

… And yes, as a fat Black woman, these are all things that I have experienced. There isn’t a single space in the social sphere where one can go and avoid fat shaming.

The continual stigmatizing of fat is just another level of social discipline.  Pointing out that someone is fat, is not about the fat person per say, it is about making the critic feel good about themselves. As humans, we are obsessed with getting power and wielding power. Power is at the root of most of our interactions, even at time when it appears invisible. When someone decides to attack a fat person, they are not only reveling in their thin privilege, they are wielding a coercive form of power. As we all know, power, even when it is used to harm, leaves the wielder with a sense of pleasure.  Quite simply, people bully because it feel good.

It disturbs me that people can see fat and assume that someone is unhealthy and lacking of control. The greatest predictors of fat are genetics and poverty and these are two factors that are out of a person’s control. When a skinny person is pounding back a double cheeseburger and washing it down with fries cooked in lard and a jumbo size pop, you can be sure that they won’t be subjected to stares and rude comments. This doesn’t mean that they are not walking around with high blood pressure, clogged arteries, or diabetes. From the social tendency to fat shaming, one would believe that skinny people don’t get chronic life threatening conditions. Not even a doctor can look at a fat person and determine immediately that they are unhealthy. If that were the case, no one would need to bother with things like a yearly physical or getting the blood pressure checked.


Read Renee Martin's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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