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On Fat Shaming: About my previous article


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The below response from Hannah Bennett is in relation to the article Can fat shaming be defended? Yes!, published on 14th September 2015.

I am not very good at saying sorry. I’m a very very stubborn person and firm with what I believe. Sometimes I speak without thinking, like everyone has done at some point in their life, and sometimes I speak without explaining myself and justifying what I’ve said.

A friend of mine (not so much now though) has told me my article defending the “Dear fat people” YouTube Video by Nicole Arbour was “driving people to suicide”, and that I’m a bully.

I want to make it clear how utterly untrue this is and how vile this is to say to someone in itself. I have a rule with myself that no matter how personal the comments get about my writing, I will not respond and give strangers on the internet (where everyone is 10ft tall) the satisfaction that they have got my attention. But I guess for this I’ll have to make an exception.

First of all, I looked at a LOT of comments on twitter and Facebook about how shaming of any sort should not be tolerated and upon reflection, I agree. I absolutely take back saying there is a fine line between fat shaming and bullying. There isn’t a line at all. They are the same thing. I never meant to portray in my previous article that I think we all need to go out and throw things at overweight people and call them names until they lose the weight.

Obviously I don’t think that. I understand completely some people have illnesses that cause them to gain weight and they can’t help it. I wasn’t referring to them at all. I just meant that nurses and doctors SHOULD be allowed to tell their patients that they’re overweight and in danger, without this fat shaming card being flung out.

I stand by how I feel about the morbidly obese people who continue to cost the NHS money and have no try in getting themselves back to health again. Maybe I should have made all this clearer in my last article. I am not a junior Katie Hopkins with no feelings; I have insecurities and feelings too. I love comments on my article (positive or negative), but personal attacks calling me uneducated and a bully doesn’t really make you look any better than me either.

I used to be overweight and bullied for it, and because I knew my weight wasn’t healthy I simply changed it. I guess I couldn’t understand what, since I did that, was stopping everyone else from making the same change too? I am sorry to anyone who was hurt by my words, but I felt opinion writing was about giving my true opinion (however controversial it may be) and I didn’t think I had to justify myself. But now I know obviously I do.

As for the comment that said I was driving people to suicide - you could not be more wrong. My best friend struggles with insecurities about her weight and about her dark thoughts and every day. I am there for her and every day; I’m proud of her and encourage her to keep going. I am more than attune to people’s feelings when it comes to dark thoughts of that nature. Because I have had those same thoughts myself during particular periods of my life.

I’m a 19-year-old who is new at writing, and  made an insensitive mistake. I am sorry.

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