|Photo by Anthony D Thomas|
Today I was sitting down, watching Supernatural (I know.. guilty pleasure), and having a delicious snack of cucumbers and hummus when a commercial for Special K cereal came on. The tagline? "What will you gain when you lose?" meaning, of course, losing weight. The answers were pride, sass, and pizazz. So, fat people, I hope you heard that loud and clear- pride is for thin people and is, apparently, based on how you look rather than your talents, intellect, or accomplishments. Can someone explain to me why I can't have pride, sass, and pizazz without losing weight (that i'd have a 95% chance of gaining back, by the way)?
It's pretty awful when advertisers use body shame to sell a product. I'm not kidding myself- I know it's not the only dirty tactic they use. Advertisers very often stoops to sexism (very often), sizism, racism and plenty of heteronormativism- they forgo diversity for cookie cutter versions of what they imagine us to be and what they imagine us to want to be. It's all very effective and very backed by psychology tied in directly with social programming (which they had a huge hand in). It's a bit of a cycle- they create social ideals and then tailor their own success to the social ideals they helped create.
Now, I don't have anything against Special K or people who love cereal. I've certainly gotten into moods when I wanted a nice big bowl of Rice Krispies (and banana) for dinner instead of breakfast and for all I know Special K is a ridiculously delicious cereal. But the commercial does highlight a very prominent idea in society and that is that fat people aren't allowed to be happy, proud, full of life, or unapologetic. We're supposed to wallow in shame and apologize at every turn for all of our flaws (only because our "flaws" our visible- society doesn't seem to care about the flaws of thin people) then assure them that we're doing our very best to fit into their standards. The biggest problem that I see is that fat people often don't have those things- pride, sass, happiness, etc, but only because of bullies. Only because people think it's okay to shame someone's body and break them, tear them down, and then kick them for good measure. Fat doesn't make us unhappy, bullies do.. and if there's one thing we should take away from the recent suicides in the news it's that bullying is dangerous and deadly. Fat people- cower no more. Be healthy, be happy, then go forth and take over the world- because your body does not determine your worth.