One Body: A response to Nicole Arbur’s “Dear Fat People”

Rachel Dixon, Guest Writer

The body positivity campaign is a widespread movement for the social acceptance of all different body types and figures.
Nicole Arbour’s controversial YouTube video, “Dear Fat People” has gained over 3 million views since its posting on the 3rd of September. News of its offensive attitudes and mean-spirited language has reached the ears of people across the nation.

What most people find insensitive about the content in Arbour’s video is the frequent use of almost violent language in regards to what she calls “the 35% of North Americans who are obese.” The popular online comedian makes the claim that “fat-shaming” does not exist, that even those who use the “fat-card” are making a false claim to discrimination.

At one point, she makes the benighted statement that these people should “stop eating,” a statement that is not only highly offensive, but is extremely dangerous to say. No person should ever be encouraged to abstain from giving nourishment to their body, ever, regardless of size.

Sprinkled within her harsh words however are some little nuggets of wisdom, or at least some good intentions. The point she seems to be trying to get across is that if a person is larger (and they do not have a health issue or natural predisposition to be that way), that person needs to focus on improving their physical health instead of using it as an excuse.

She consistently asserts her concern for the well-being of extremely overweight people, and insists, despite her awful vocabulary, that she cares about the people she is criticizing.

Moreover, if the amount of a person’s extra fat content is causing health issues—Arbour mentions heart disease—the woman posits that they should perhaps look into living a “healthier” lifestyle, such as being more active and eating healthier foods. She even goes so far to say “You are taking your body for granted.” (“You” is in reference to the “35%” previously mentioned.)

I personally think that that is a very valid and correct opinion to have, and that it is one that the body positivity movement oftentimes glosses over.

What I believe Arbour means to say, and what I would like to bring attention to in this article, is that perhaps the body positivity movement needs to focus less on accepting your body however it is, but rather accepting your body in its healthiest form, whether it’s categorized as “overweight” or even as “underweight.” In conclusion, what I, and Nicole Arbour, think is that people need to focus more on the health and well-being of their bodies, instead of just accepting a number on the scale—a healthy person is a happy person, and that’s what the body positivity movement needs to be about. To quote the infamous YouTuber, “You got one body, one. It has to take you all the way to the end.”

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