Of Course Katie Hopkins is Being Ridiculous

facepalmI have a few rules for this blog (they’re really more like guidelines…) and one of them is that if 100 non-troll people ask me to write about something I usually do.  Today the whole Katie Hopkins debacle passed that threshold so here you go 102 readers:

If you aren’t familiar (you lucky thing) Katie Hopkins is famous for having been part of a reality show, and subsequently saying horrible things to get attention, without a care in the world about the bigotry she perpetuates.  She’s now taking her bigotry against fat people further with a ridiculous stunt in which she gained about 44 pounds so that she can lose it to “prove” that people can lose weight if they try.  TLC has given her a two-part documentary to, in their words and not hers, “confront her attitudes and put her beliefs to the test, by following her own physical and emotional journey as she gains and loses weight, whilst exploring the broader issues of body image in our society.”

So far she has lamented about how difficult it is to eat 6500 calories a day for three months (if she’s surprised by that then clearly her meal plan did not include a bowl of No Shit Sherlock flakes) and then whined “This is a stupid project. I hate fat people for making me do this…” I agree with the first part.  As for the second, I’ve seen plenty of footage of her and in none of it did I seen a gang of menacing fat people threatening to harm her if she didn’t eat a tube of Pringles.  As far as I’m concerned the only thing I’ve seen more pathetic than her whining, is people complimenting her for her “bravery” and wishing her luck on her “difficult journey.”

In what I hope is obvious, whatever the outcome the only thing that she’s proven is what happens to her body when she engages in rapid weight gain and then attempts to lose it.  This has actually nothing to do with the experience of fat people or the likelihood of weight loss success. Luckily we don’t have to rely on n=1 publicity stunts, because we have actual research on the efficacy of long-term weight loss.  While we know that there are some people who manage to lose weight and maintain it we also know that the successes are a tiny minority. And what happens if she isn’t able to lose the weight?  What does that tell us?

But at the end of the day her “experiment” is even more pointless than that.  Fat people have the right to exist in fat bodies without shame, stigma, bullying or oppression.  Even if we could be thin.  Also, we’re completely competent witnesses to our experience.  The thing  that I find so insidious is that this “experiment” is being reported all over the place. And the idea that there is any shred of validity to it is based on the idea that we can’t believe what fat people say about their experiences, so we need a thin person to “try out” being fat, and then we’ll consider their single, completely atypical, experience to be a credible report, more valid that the lived experience of thousands of fat people, and the results of actual research based on the Scientific Method and not the Unholy Bible of PR Stunts.

There are plenty of credible reports about what it is like to be an actual fat person, so those who are interested in our experiences don’t actually need Dr. Oz in a fat suit or Katie Hopkins eating 6,500 calories a day, they could just listen to us.

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Published in: on September 12, 2014 at 9:58 am  Comments (33)  

33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh my God! I hadn’t heard about this but I’d like to add that most fat people don’t eat 6500 calories a day!!!! What the crap?! She’s flipping stupid. I hate people. Also it’s not that it’s gained then lost. It’s starting from your actual weight with environmental factors added in. My thyroid doesn’t work but I bet hers does. Just auuuuuugh!

    >

    • *points to selkielady’s comment* Yeah, this right here is pretty similar to my reaction, only she said it in nicer terms.

    • Exactly. Maybe once or twice in my entire life have I had that much to eat in a single day. This would amount to about 4 large or extra-large fast food meals per day, drink included.

      That she apparently believes that this is how fat people eat is mind-boggling to me.

    • Yes. 6500 cals is about 3x as much as I eat. The thing that gets me is that if all we’re supposed to be doing is stuffing our faces, then we have to be loaded with money before this enterprise. Eating all day means we don’t have time for a job, and if we’re not working… then there’s no money. We would actually be poor.

      The fat-hate logic (!) makes zero sense.

  2. Okay, say Ms. Hopkins gains and then loses all the weight successfully.

    Then she allows herself the liberty to ‘fat shame’ all who don’t conform to her weight expectations- “I did it- so can you!”- kind of statements.

    This is just a form of fat shaming. And, yesterday, University College London issued a study showing that fat shaming does no good in prompting weight loss. In fact, it results in weight gain. So if her goal is to help folks shed pounds, she’s going about it the exact wrong way.

    Conclusion: she’s just a bully.

    (Side comment: they needed a study to document what many of us know for a fact?? Gee, I could have saved them a lot of trouble.)

    • This experiment is nothing new- several people and groups of people have attempted to gain weight on purpose and found themselves losing it- but what they don’t seem to realize is that it supports *our* point, not theirs. If your body has a set point and decreasing calories to make it lower doesn’t work for more than a small minority of people, then it makes sense that *increasing* calories to make it *higher* won’t work for more than a small minority of people, either. Every time a thin person artificially gains weight by eating an amount of calories nobody can consume without deliberately setting out to do so and then loses it by returning to their normal eating habits, they are kicking the legs out from under their own argument. OF COURSE their bodies return to their set points… just like fat peoples’ bodies so.

      • *bodies do. Sorry ’bout the typo.

        • Exactly!
          Hence, Ms.Hopkins is just being a bully.

      • Absolutely. The companion piece to the Minnesota Starvation Experiment was a prison overfeeding study. They promised whoever gained the most weight over a certain amount would get out early. The guy who gained the most weight started off eating 6500 cals. for a few months, then upped it to 10,500 cals a day for about 6 months straight.

        He gained a total of: 10 pounds.

        It proved the set-point as well since as soon as they stopped trying to gain weight and returned to their normal eating habits, they all returned to their pre-experiment weights. And it also disproved the 3500 cals = 1 pound of fat, since the weight gain was not all proportionally identical, and their weight didn’t skyrocket.

  3. Why isn’t TLC being boycotted for this? Seems petition worthy! This is just shameful and ridiculous!

  4. I will consider her side when she gains and loses 244 pounds. Let’s see you do that, bitch! Try doing it with a screwed up thyroid, diabetes and PCOS! AND keep it off too while you’re at it! Then, we’ll throw you a damn congratulatory parade!

    Okay, sorry…she pissed me off! Who in the hell eats 6,500 calories per day? People are so freakin’ stupid!

    • That’s what thin people think fat people have to do to get fat. lol

      No, it’s what bodies that are naturally inclined to be thin have to do to get fat. And bodies that are naturally inclined to be thin only have to return to eating normal amounts of food to get back to their set weight or the weight their bodies tend to be at naturally.

      That’s one of the most insidious and disgusting myths, that in order to be fat you have to be eating HUGE amounts of calories to not only get there, but also to stay there. That’s the idiotic assumption that has saturated our society for so long, since that’s what it takes for naturally thin bodies to become fat.

      The idea that naturally fat people and naturally thin people might have totally different experiences and realities when it comes to calories and weight just doesn’t compute in their fat-phobic brains.

      • Well said.

      • That goes back to what Ragen said about society only considering the experiences of thin people reality. The fat undereater who regains and the thin overeater who, er, reloses are two halves of the set point homeostasis whole… but since fatphobes don’t consider fat people real and therefore mentally discount our experiences as aberrant or “lies,” they throw out everything except the part where a thin person gained weight by eating a lot and lost it by eating less. It’s an insidious form of solipsism.

      • This is pretty much everything I was going to say.

  5. I am speechless. Absolutely SPEECHLESS.

  6. And Katie Hopkins crosses the channel. Lucky you.

  7. Katie watched SuperSize Me! and made a mental leap…how daring, how original, how brave.

    Oh, wait, I meant vile.

    I don’t envy her what she’s about to find out, in terms of what her body will and won’t do on demand. I feel much more sorry, however, for anyone who has to share a room with her. ::::shudder::::

  8. Sixty-fi…I don’t think I managed to get that much down even that day when I was pregnant and weeks of trying to be “good” led to me slipping into a hypnotic daze and eating the topping off an entire all-meat pizza because my body was all “OK, if you’re going to ignore my demands for saturated fat, I WILL build this baby’s central nervous system any way I have to.”* Actually I weighed 7 pounds less the week after I had the baby than I had the week I conceived! (This was before I quit weighing myself.)

    *Homestyle canned wild salmon, whole milk, and whole eggs are cheaper than this, BTW, and less messy. I learned my lesson and ate plenty of those for pregnancies 2 and 3.

  9. I hadn’t heard of this tool until now. She must be desperately unhappy and insecure. It would be ironic if she permanently harmed her body by this ridiculous publicity stunt.

    And since TLC, which way back in the dark ages used to be called the The Learning Channel and actually had decent programs, has become nothing but a source of tabloid trash. So who could take seriously anything they show?

  10. And if she doesn’t keep the weight off for five years? Will we hear about that? Of course not. Although if she’s got the kind of body that doesn’t hold onto much fat, it won’t be an issue.

    And all oppressed people lie about their experiences. We aren’t oppressed at all, just whiney.

  11. I would challenge her to watch this BBC documentary where scientists tried to get thin people to “overeat” to try to induce weight gain: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hbsk2

  12. Like to see Ms. Hopkins document going from ignorance to educated in regards to bariatrics by way of reviewing the actual peer-reviewed science behind weight loss, weight gain, etc. That would make for some interesting viewing as she puts to rest her prejudices regarding weight. But that would require Ms. Hopkins actually learn something.

    Oh, but we can’t have that- ratings, you know.

  13. What about the whole thing where you can’t make a naturally thin person fat long term, either? I mean isn’t this a big part of why celebs who gain weight for movie roles tend to lose it so quickly afterwards?

    This kind of “example” infuriates me. I remember that personal trainer who did this and was applauded because he dared to imply it gave him insight into how it felt to be a fat person, and how to better interact with his fat clients. Uhm. Fuck off. Really, I have no better way of saying it.

    Being fat for five minutes (and we’re talking 44 pounds in this new example, not 100 or more) in a way that’s completely inorganic (meaning you are forcing it to happen with cleverly crafted food binges), and then losing the weight just as rapidly (if not more so, though I’m not going to lie… a mean and totally unashamed part of me hopes she fucks up her metabolism and finds losing the weight isn’t the cakewalk she expects it to be) is hardly the same experience as being “obese” since childhood (2+ decades in my case). A blip of fatness on the radar of your life hardly qualifies you to be an “expert” of the experience, especially when it’s “experimental” fatness and not organic fatness.

    It doesn’t tell you what it’s like to live with an eating disorder that is brought on by years of strictly enforced dieting from your family. It doesn’t tell you how it feels to hit puberty and develop PCOS and suddenly feel like a stranger in your own body. It doesn’t tell you what years and years of dieting attempts – hardcore, serious dieting attempts – that inevitably fail – do to you metabolism, not to mention you r self-esteem and sense of self-worth. It doesn’t tell you what it’s like to lose 30 pounds, when you’re told you need to lose 200 pounds, and NOTHING you do… absolutely none of the tricks you play with you food, or the games you endure with your exercise routine, will make that scale budge anymore… and then you find out your body, once again, has betrayed you and you have developed Hashimoto’s disease.

    This piece of crap “experiment” won’t result in any of that. Here are my predictions on how this will end. Best (and least likely)case scenario, Katie Hopkins manages to mess up her own metabolism (though I find that somewhat unlikely in a short term “experiement” like this). She gains some insight into her hatred and is lauded as having “grown so much” as a person (gag me). Worst (and probably far more likely) case scenario we have someone who already hates fat people, who will live a short time in a fat body she’ll hate probably even more than most fat people hate theirs… because she’s used to sitting on her Throne of Thin Privilege and judging as she looks down upon fat people everywhere. She’ll talk about how it IS absolutely impossible that ANY fat person IN THE WORLD could enjoy life in her fat body… because of course, in her limited time as a fat person, she will become an expert witness to the experiences of fat people everywhere. Then, when she loses the weight fairly quickly, as is likely since this is not someone who is naturally fat, it will TAKE FOREVER in her estimation, and require a LOT OF WORK… but she’ll “suck it up” and do it for the “cause,” for the “greater good.” And then she’ll climb back up on her Throne of Thin Privilege, an expert now in “what it means to be fat and lose weight.” She will proceed to tell the world how yes, it’s OH SO HARD to lose weight, but that’s because most fatties don’t tough it out like she has.

    She will wind up praised by people who share her bigotry and prejudice and will likely learn nothing of any real value from this experience. I wish I thought more people would see through this charade, but I fear this will not be the case, and I’d like to write TLC one hell of a scathing letter for giving ANY sense of credibility to this… person.

    • “..she’ll climb back up on her Throne of Thin Privilege, an expert now in “what it means to be fat and lose weight.” She will proceed to tell the world how yes, it’s OH SO HARD to lose weight, but that’s because most fatties don’t tough it out like she has.”

      Yep, I bet that’s exactly how it goes down – giving her even more fuel for her bigotry. In her mind she’ll have “proof” that fat people are just lazy and the only reason why they are fat is because they don’t “try hard enough”.

      She’s already convinced that all fat people hate their bodies and want to get rid of it for a thinner one and after this “experiment” she will feel justified in her bigotry and that she’s “doing the right thing” by showing the poor, sad, lazy fat people that “it’s ok” “there is hope” “just do what I do and try harder and it’ll be all better”. Ugh. This whole thing is, undoubtedly, going to be just one more way to help reinforce fatphobia and weight bigotry in our society.

    • Yes. This. All of it. Typical arrogance on Hopkins’ part. Not only can she hate and shame fat people (not that she’s ever had qualms), she set out to prove she’s even a “better” fat person than any of us who come by it naturally.

      According to a TVWise article, “the special was commissioned by Discovery Networks International’s Vice-President of Production and Development for Factual Entertainment Sarah Thornton…”

      Searching for some kind of contact info to send emails…

      • The “Viewer Relations” section has no email address, only a set of data-mining windows followed by a drop-down list of programs about which to comment. Hopkins’ program is not on the list. I did see enough fat-exploiting other titles to make me feel sick.

        Shocked. SHOCKED.

  14. Oh Lordy, La Hopkins comes to your attention… she’s a failed businesswoman, famous for being FIRED from The Apprentice tv documentary show… brassy, completely 100% self-confident, with an indestrictible sense of her own self-importance and value to society. Horrible, horrible woman. The mainstream media trot her now every now and then to get a huge backlash of hatred and anger (any attention’s better than none) to her motormouth arrogance.
    She is one person I actually hope will totally screw up her metabolism by this stunt, so she’ll be battling to keep weight off for the rest of her publicity–seeking life.

  15. After putting on the weight Katie Hopkins is quoted as saying “Now I understand when women say they have nothing to wear – they really mean they don’t feel good in anything.”

    No, you asshat, it means the vast majority of stores don’t make clothes in my size and the ones that do charge ungodly amounts of money. That’s what many of us mean when we say “we have nothing to wear” …FFS.

  16. I am absolutely appalled this woman has been given a platform for a completely unscientific and unhelpful experiment. I am truly at a loss for words and even a starting point for discussing why this “experiment” is ridiculous.

    Ugh.

  17. Reblogged this on Stargazer's Haven and commented:
    This is really worth reading… My sentiments echoed entirely. Being only just over 5ft 1in, and weighing in at around 16 1/2 stone (some gain due to medication!) I feel every inch of the nastiness that comes with prejudice against fat people. Awesome blog post!

  18. My mother regularly bullies me about my weight. Despite my recent clean bill of health from my doctor, my mother keeps trying to convince me that I’m suddenly going to keel over. She’s been doing this for the last three years. My sister told me today that if I know that my mother had such a problem with my weight than I shouldn’t have let it get this far. Apparently I’m only worthy of respect if I do exactly what everyone else wants me to do.


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