‘Tis the season for micro aggression against fat people. Whether it’s a family member going “oh you want three Yorkshire puddings?” coupled with a knowing look, or a stranger passing comment on your outfit with a “oh you’re so BRAAAAVE wearing that out“. It seems like Christmas brings the judge-y chat out of everyone. The worst one though has to be, without a shadow of a doubt, “…that’s just my opinion…“.
It’s not just thinner loved ones/strangers that say these things though. I’ve seen so much fat-on-fat crime recently. Especially around festive outfit planning. In spaces where fat people should feel free to be themselves without judgment, there’s been a noted increase in the amount of unwelcome opinions on people just living their lives. You just have to have a look at well known retailers Facebook posts to see what Noreen from Grimsby has to say about the confident fat woman in the picture they posted. What is it about seeing a confident fat woman that brings out the shitty hot takes?
“But that’s just my opinion…”
More and more fat women are turning against their fellow fatties. For example, someone trying out a new outfit posts a photo of themselves in a fat-positive group and asks for opinions. Now, for some people that means fair game, right? If someone is asking you for your opinion, you can go HAM with the “I wouldn’t be seen dead in that” hot takes, right? WRONG. Let’s try putting ourselves in each others shoes, shall we?
You’re trying out a new look. It’s nothing like what you would normally wear. You might even have a bit more flesh on show than normal. Your opinion of yourself is unsure, so you turn to a space where you feel comfortable to ask for help. You’re hoping that your fellow fats will understand your worry and be kind. Instead, you get people saying “I wouldn’t wear that, but if you’ve got the balls, why not?“. Or maybe the classic “it’s just not flattering on you hun, that’s just my opinion“. You’ve not noticed the 35 other people saying “you look hot, I love it!” because those micro aggressive comments stand out like horrible beacons, confirming your worst fears about yourself.
Maybe someone stands up for you, replying to one of the comments by calling them out on their shitty thoughts. They reply to them, saying “hey listen, she asked for opinions and that’s just my opinion“. You sigh, realising that someone feels so strongly about your look that they stand by their shitty thought because, “it’s just their opinion“, right? You feel that little bit worse, and you take your brand new, super hot outfit and put it to the back of your wardrobe. “Maybe I’ll bring it out again later on when I’m feeling more confident“, you tell yourself. But the damage has already been done. You’ve already decided to never try anything new again.
Let’s not be dickheads to each other
It’s not a good feeling, is it? Just because a person is looking for an opinion, it doesn’t give you free reign to be nasty because you don’t agree with something. You know the age old adage of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all“? That totally applies here. No one is saying that you have to lie to a person if you don’t like the way they look. You just don’t have to tell the person that.
Remember WHY this person has posted – they are feeling vulnerable and want help. If you think that something else might help them, suggest that – politely, of course. But if all you have to say is negative, scroll on past. Chances are they are already worried about the thought you’re having. It’s not productive to tell someone you think they look shit, or that you wouldn’t wear what they are wearing. That’s just downright rude.
It’s almost as though people believe the act of being a dick to someone is erased if you stick “that’s just my opinion” at the end of a sentence. It doesn’t mean that the person reading your aggressive opinion has to accept it. In fact, it just makes you look even more terrible than if you were to just say something shitty. In saying “that’s just my opinion“, you’re admitting that you feel so strongly about a person’s appearance/actions/life that you’re willing to attribute it to your inner self. Is that really admirable? To own your aggression towards someone so fiercely?
In a world where we are constantly being told that we’re not good enough, the last thing we should be doing is turning on ourselves. This festive season, let’s be nicer to each other eh? Give the gift of not being an insufferable twat. It’s a gift that all of us will appreciate and enjoy. Leave the judgery to Uncle Dickhead and Auntie McHatesHerself and sparkle on, sparkle queen!