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Fat Shamers Get a Taste of Their Own Medicine by Being Publicly Shamed Themselves

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:34 AM
  • 123 Replies
1 mom liked this

Fat Shamers Get a Taste of Their Own Medicine by Being Publicly Shamed Themselves

by Maressa Brown

scaleFirst came the viral pic of the man on a train ride from Philadelphia who was supposedly raving on a train about cheating and, in turn, has been publicly shamed on Facebook feeds the world over. Now, photographer Kimberly Massengill, aka Substantia Jones, has started a Tumblr called Smile, Sizeist!, which invites anyone who has experienced fat-shaming to snap a photo of their harasser and submit it for publication on the blog, ideally with the story of the incident.

Jones told The Huffington Post that she started the site because "I want fat people to know there's a way to fight back non-violently, another way to shield against the shame and humiliation the harasser seeks to impose. I want to help facilitate a power exchange."

Given how shameful, out-of-control, and prevalent fat-shaming has gotten, I get why there's an impetus for something like this Tumblr. But I can't help but feel like the mentality seems to be, let's fight fire with fire, shame with shame ...

Plus, as in the case of the man on the train, there are the issues of privacy (photos of sizeist shamers so far appear to be mostly candid, although one was taken with permission), and also, how about ethical reporting? Sure, a blog is a blog, it's opinion ... not necessarily fact. But the way Substantia is presenting the fat-shaming incidents on the site, you would assume they were all true -- word for word, detail for detail ... But there's a chance what we're reading is more fiction than fact.

It's one person's story next to a photo of someone who -- in most, not all, of these posts -- has been given no voice to defend him or herself. Perhaps it was a misunderstanding, a miscommunication, something was misheard? And now their photo is on Tumblr for all the world to see next to a post that makes them look like they're a discriminatory jackass. Isn't something about that troubling? Or just ... not kosher?

Furthermore, doesn't going to the trouble of taking the person's photo, writing the story up, and then making it this big, hairy, publicized thing empower the fat-shamer? Make them a pseudo-celebrity (you know, of the lowest on the totem pole kind)? 

Fat-shaming is a serious problem that must be addressed, but I'm not so sure this is the best way. I'd much rather deny these insecure, hateful bullies any attention whatsoever. Ignore them, be above it. (Just look at Melissa McCarthy! Perfect example.) Because, in this case, an eye for an eye isn't going to get the message across that shaming -- in any form -- is just plain wrong.

How do you feel about publicly shaming fat-shamers?

by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:34 AM
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by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:49 AM
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I was about 6 months pregnant with I had a nurse that I did not know run up to me and ask if she could give me nutritional counseling. I told her "no, thank you." She started to sputter, "but, but, you're so FAT!"  Three years later my husband still comments on being amazed that I didn't deck her.

by Candy on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:51 AM
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I've got nothing nice to say about this so that's as far as I'm going.

by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:57 AM

i was 7 and a half months pregnant. waiting to the bus (in winter) to go to work. when a bunch of teens driving by yell "overhang" at me.... I laughed it off... but it hurt none the less

by on Jun. 14, 2013 at 8:58 AM
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I think this is stupid. 
I'm big and I could care less if someone doesn't like me for it. I can fight my own battles. Nobody has ever commented on my weight or "shamed" me for it. If they did, I would have dealt with it then and there.

People need to stop caring so much what others think of their looks. 

by Platinum Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:01 AM
5 moms liked this

 There are memes galore of people who have had their pics taken in a candid moment and that have not given permission for them to be used. How is this different than "People of Wal-Mart"? Because there's a story? I imagine that, whether completely factual or not, posting pics of their tormentors, plus their side of the story, has got to be cathartic for the victims of fat-shaming.

I hope this makes people who fat-shame think twice about their behavior. Do not make fun of someone's weight unless you yourself are perfect in every way. Do you have rock hard abs and a perfect sculpted body? Are your face and hair so perfect that when you walk out the door the angels sing your glory? No? Then you have no right, NONE, to comment on anyone else's appearance, and certainly not in a public, shameful way.

by Anonymous 2 on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

I gotta be honest, shaming, public or private, doesn't work on me. So if I was shamed online, I couldn't care less. But that's just me.

And to add, I don't do fat shaming.

by Anonymous 3 on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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People are over sensitive and that blog is ridiculous, one of the women didnt even say anything so why is it automatically about her being fat? Maybe fat people should stop being paranoid.
by Loree on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM
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Um no...not even if they lined up the *skinny bitch* shamers too.
by Platinum Member on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM
This seems childish. I've had comments on my weight before but I couldn't care less what random people think of me.
by Anonymous 4 on Jun. 14, 2013 at 9:09 AM
I think it's unnecessary and promotes and expands bullying... I think Melissa McCarthy is right... Ignore it... These people do not know you... If it is a habitual harasser then do something that legally holds them accountable...
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