Youtuber Nicole Arbour posted a video on her channel titled Dear Fat People that caught the attention of many and got over 21 million views on Facebook. The exact amount of YouTube views is unknown because it was removed from the site due to it being offensive to many people.
Arbour’s video created a huge debate all over the Internet. If you have a Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, or any sort of social media you probably saw something about the video in the few days after it was posted.
The video is six minutes long of Arbour implying that if she bullies fat people enough, they will lose the weight. She goes on to complain about the problems overweight people create. Throughout the video she makes statements like “fat-shaming is not a thing” and “plus-sized stands for plus heart disease, plus knee problems, and plus diabetes.” The Youtube star also pokes fun at the body positive movement on Twitter. “You really think that if enough of you hashtag something bad for you it makes it okay?” She even compares fat-shaming to “the race card.”
Arbour’s video sparked quite a lot of backlash. Whitney Way Thore, a TLC star, made a video in response to Dear Fat People. In the video she argues that “fat shaming is a thing. It’s a really big thing, no pun intended.” She goes on to explain that fat-shaming comes from an even larger problem; body-shaming. Which, according to Thore, has been experienced by almost everyone on the planet. The word body-shaming is pretty self explanatory. It’s criticizing someone for the way their body looks.
Meghan Tonjes, a singer-songwriter, also posted her own video response to Arbour. In the video, Tonjes gets very emotional and is crying from the start. She explains that “it’s not necessarily the video. It’s the mindset I find really upsetting.”
When Benicia High School students were asked about fat shaming they shared the same views as Tonjes and Thore. Ben Miramontes (12) felt strongly about the issue of body-shaming. He commented, “any kind of shaming or making fun of people is terrible.” Eliza Partika (12) stated, “discrimination against anyone is wrong. Everyone is an individual and we need to respect that as a society.” She believes that videos like Arbour’s shouldn’t even be made.
In her video, Arbour states that fat-shaming is just a thing that fat people made up to make themselves feel better about being fat. Sierra Clayton (11) disagreed with that statement. She responded to Arbour’s comment by saying that fat shaming is, “something real in society that we need to address.”
Many wonder if Nicole Arbour would have made that video if she knew that over 30,000 kids stay home from school each day due to bullying. Did she know that bullying victims have a 7% to 9% higher chance of committing suicide? Hopefully not, or she would understand that shaming someone for the way they look will not just make them lose the weight. It can (and often will) cause bigger problems that she must not understand.
Written by: Madison Goodmiller