Beating Your Head Against A Wall

I have a headache, and honestly, it’s a bit of a self imposed one.

Last Thursday, Nicole Arbour, a “comedian” out of Canada took to her YouTube channel with a video entitled “Dear Fat People”. I’m not going to link to her channel… instead, I’ll share this response by another comedian, Shawn Halpin. Honestly, I’ve never heard of either of these folks before this weekend, and part of me wishes I hadn’t. Well, Shawn seems decent enough… but I think you know what I mean. WARNING! This video contains some vulgarity and… well… the overall content on Nicole’s part is rather… crappy.

I’ve been spending a lot of time this weekend on Twitter, trying to get the point across that what she said was just plain wrong.

Shaming does not work. Judging someone based on how they look is a bad idea. You can’t tell someone’s medical/mental health simply by looking at them. Dehumanizing others in the name of “helping them” is… irrational. And while there are literally thousands of others out there speaking out, there just seem to be way too many that feel the original video was no big thing.


Honestly, it’s… not been an entirely fun experience. There are way too many people that seem to be ok with this sort of thing. That agree that shaming someone will help them. That obesity is simply a choice. That you can just look at someone and know what their medical and mental health is like, and judge them accordingly.

I’ve included Nicole’s Twitter handle on most of the stuff I’ve posted, don’t know if she’s ready any of it. But lots of others are. I’ve gotten a number of retweets and favorites, so there’s hope. There do seem to be a great number of people who are also speaking out about this. One person this weekend asked why we don’t just let her die down in obscurity, that she’s not worth the time. To that I said something to the effect of that this sort of darkness will only ever go away if we continue to shine light on it.

There is absolutely no indication that Nicole is going to come around in her thinking that it’s alright to post these sorts of things. Heck, for all I know she is a nice person who is simply doing this as part of her “thing” for her acts. Which honestly, would only make it worse. I’d rather hold out hope she’s doing this out of sheer ignorance than find out it’s part of a calculated business strategy. But… having just looked at other video titles and such, this does seem to be a trend with her.

I managed to get away a bit yesterday, and had a fun day with a couple friends… and I am going to step away again for awhile today. I am working on a batch of Worcestershire sauce. I wish I could say I will stay away… but it likely won’t happen.

Too many people feel what she said is the “truth”, that shaming works, that what she said makes sense. So I will be back, because shaming to “fix” someone never makes sense.

There have been a number of other great video responses to Nicole… I’m going to share some of my favorites so far… also, I should add, this isn’t simply about obesity. This is about both sides of the spectrum of weight bias, and about overall body image issues. So yea, check ’em out. If you found one you particularly liked, let me know about it in the comments please.


And for the record, to those who have been insulting Nicole… calling her names (many of which I would never repeat), or worse, stop. That’s not the way to get your point across. Please.


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1 Response

  1. john portinga says:

    Rob, friends and. Readers,
    I’ll start with saying how much I admire you and what you have done with your life. I know over weight, large, fat runs in our family. A Mom, grandparents, 4 sisters and me are all in the plus size range. I wish day after day that I could be more like you. I tell myself that I don’t have what you have when it comes to eating control. I’m to old to make the huge changes in my life like you have. I watched what you change to loose and control your weight. Then I’m sure to tell myself I can’t do that.
    So I lean back to better see and admire what you and so many of you friends have changef to have a better, longer life.
    That failed comic who came out with a rant of hate directed at me and any other human like me is wrong. I know what is the reason for all my extra pounds. Being made fun of never helps. I hope the poor child learns something. From the replys to her rant.
    Rob, you and your friends are great. Your father wishes he could be more like you. I’ll always wonder how I ended up with wonderful children. Love to you and all your readers, Dad

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