I only watched half of Nicole Arbour's "Dear Fat People" video. In my opinion, it was way too cruel for me to sit through the entire rant. The comedian had nothing humorous or productive to say about a disease that consumes millions of Americans. Here is why videos like Nicole's should not be tolerated:
1. They do nothing to encourage or validate the lives of overweight individuals. Being overweight isn't pleasurable and when someone shames a person based on their weight, it only creates a deeper sense of self loathing and pain.
2. Fat shaming is a real thing. Nicole Arbour claims it isn't, but when you attack someone for their weight, you are creating a sense of shame in them that gnaws at their self esteem. Note : this doesn't motivate. It destroys.
3. Food is an addiction. Obesity is a disease, regardless of how many times Nicole Arbur denies it. I truly believe if Americans would openly claim obesity as a disease, the weight problem in this country would start to decline. Why? Because saying it isn't a disease means overweight people can control it. They can't. Chances are, the majority of overweight people have tried diets most of their lives only to end up gaining more weight back. The reason is simple : Food is an addiction, but when society says otherwise, when it goes on hideous Youtube rants that say all you need to do is exercise and eat less, you no longer validate the overweight person's disease. It encourages the mindset, "Disease? No way! This is easy and everyone should be able to get down to a size 2. Overweight people are just fat and lazy. If they really wanted to be thin, they would be." Perhaps for the normal eater, this may be true. A normal eater may gain for various reasons and be able to efficiently lose the weight, but an addict is a different type of person. An addict wants to be thin and has most likely tried the most crazy and outlandish ways to achieve "appearance nirvana." Their desire is to lose, but they just can't stop eating. Once food hits their tongue, a chemical reaction takes place that is too strong for them to stop. Here are a few links to support the facts. Food is an addiction that triggers the brain in ways similar to cocaine or heroin. It is a chemical dependency.
4. To overcome obesity, you need to be surrounded by support. Not hate. Nicole Arbour's message was not out of love or compassion. It was a rant, plain and simple. Overcoming obesity requires the fine tuning to a person's emotional, spiritual, and physical well being. Videos like these crush an overweight person's emotions and spirits.
If you are overweight and saw this video, please know not all people think this way. I'm a compulsive over eater and I've been struggling with my weight for the past decade. I'm an addict, so I know what it's like to not only be unable to control myself around food, but I also know what it's like to have people tell me that my addiction isn't real, that all I need to do is exercise. Please know that this isn't the truth, and the sooner we can accept the reality of food addiction, the sooner we can take the shame off of obesity and begin to heal.
If you're interested in seeking help, I suggest Overeaters Anonymous. They have phone meetings as well as online meetings, so if there isn't a group near you, you can still connect with other addicts, people who know and understand your journey.
Don't let people like Nicole Arbour define your self-worth. Keep working at yourself and trying to get healthy. Understand that fall backs are natural, and get some support by loving and compassionate people. There's a whole community out there waiting to help. When you're ready, take the first step. You won't be disappointed.