A number of people shared an article with me from mic called “10 Celebrities Who Had the Perfect Response to Fat Shaming” I’m really glad that they published the article and I definitely loved a lot of the responses. But there was one that I want to discuss a bit more.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Mindy Kaling said “They’re like ‘It’s so refreshing that Mindy feels so comfortable to like, let herself go and be a fat sea monster.’ And I’m like I run and work out, it takes a lot of effort to look like a normal, chubby woman.”
Mindy Kaling is allowed to respond to fat shaming however she chooses (because, hey, Underpants Rule) and she’s certainly not the only celebrity to respond this way. She has also said a lot of things about self-esteem and body positivity that I really like, but this is definitely not among them.
What I think she is clearly doing here is suggesting that she shouldn’t be the victim of fat shaming because she is somehow better than other fat people (because she is less fat than them, because she runs and works out -as if there aren’t much fatter people than her who do the same- and is therefore a “good fatty“, because her size is “normal” or just “chubby.”
Engaging in this kind of defense against fat shaming is not so much creating a rising tide that lifts all boats as it is stepping on other people who are victims of the same stigma as you, and pushing them down to try to get your own head above water.
I think it’s really important that when we respond to fat shaming, we are clear that we don’t deserve to be fat shamed – and it’s not because of how we eat or if we work out or if we are the size of the “average woman” etc. but rather that we don’t deserve to be fat shamed because NOBODY deserves to be fat shamed, ever, for any reason, period.
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