I came across this graphic on Facebook a while ago. I rolled my eyes at it and moved on, but when it popped on my Facebook page again, I knew that I couldn’t let it pass me by without comment for a second time. There are simply so many things wrong with this that it’s difficult to even know where to start. But I’m going to try.
First of all, this graphic is just another example of fat shaming that society is so keen on, while trying to look like the opposite. It casts the overweight lover as unworthy of their thinner partner and even calls them the “human embodiment of sloth” as if being overweight is simply caused by laziness. But the graphic tries to make it sound like fat men are shamed for dating thinner women and fat women are lauded for dating thinner men.
Women develop eating disorders at almost twice the rate of men. While men can turn on television or open a magazine and see men of various body types, shapes and sizes, women will do the same and see one size, one shape, and one type over and over again. And that type isn’t overweight. The concept that fat women are empowered by society and encouraged is simply not true.
The meme wants to say that men have to be fit, masculine and muscled, in order to be a real man. But the media and popular thought shows us otherwise. While men do face body image issues, they have a lot more body types available to emulate as well as a society that is less focused on their bodies and more focused on their talents and humanity.
Next is the entire idea that people should date within their own BMI bracket. As if dating someone who is overweight when you’re not is something that society needs to and should be commenting on. When in reality, who someone dates is no one’s business but the two people dating.
While gender looks to be the biggest issue in this graphic, the entire thing is just down to fat shaming. Fat people are creeps, fat people are the human embodiment of sloth, fat people aren’t real people. Fat men are no different than thin men, they just inhabit a different amount of space. Same with fat women. No person should be judge worthy or unworthy based on their waist size.
Memes like this only serve to infuriate me. No one should be shamed because of their body and no one should be told to date someone else because of their body. We don’t live in a caste system where no one can deviate out of the social place that they were born into.
When it comes down to it, the overweight man who made this cartoon just comes across as shaming anyone who isn’t a perfect body type. If he wants to be body positive for men, then he should have done that, not compound the shame for all overweight people. We’re never going to get anywhere with body issues if we’re not willing to come together and fight it as a whole.
Here’s my idea for a new cartoon. I can’t draw so I’m just going to write it out.
Picture: An overweight man with an average-weight woman. Caption: Those people look as if they are mutually attracted and enjoy each other’s company. Their relationship is none of my business and does not require my comment. I will now do something productive with my life instead of casting judgement on people based on their size.
Picture: An overweight woman with an average-weight man. Caption: Those people look as if they are mutually attracted and enjoy each other’s company. Their relationship is none of my business and does not require my comment. I will now do something productive with my life instead of casting judgement on people based on their size.
See how easy that is?