My Take On Fat-Shaming Women

There is a difference between promoting health to defend against disease, have an energized life and shed unwanted weight to just flat out fat-shaming women - which has now become a huge problem.Fat-shaming is a relatively new buzzword explaining the harassment and judgements (basically bullying) that some people (mostly women) receive simply because they are perceived to someone as 'fat'.  This is seen within the media and every day situations.  Women are struggling every day through fat-shaming, which leads to even lower self-esteem, self hate and a lack of passion to pursue health any further. It's a vicious cycle where being in public eating anything turns into a form of criticism. If you're overweight, you'll get harshly judged by eating at a fast-food restaurant just as much as you will for being overweight but eating a salad. It's basically a lose-lose situation and harsh judgements are only keeping the cycle going.

In the past, I have dealt with fat-shaming before from very close family members and friends. Sometimes it's extremely direct (once I was told that next time I would see the person I should have lost the weight) and sometimes it's simply being around those who are chronic dieters or call others fat and ugly simply because they aren't as thin as them (as they eat their burgers and fries without worrying about weight gain).

While I was able to overcome a lot of direct fat-shaming by losing weight after the above comment, I have dealt with fat-shaming within society and the media to the point where I was completely lost in feelings about myself. I didn't know if I thought I was beautiful because I was constantly being told I was by some and not by others. As someone who has a larger structure genetically (I pretty much own the pear shape) it was impossible for me to get to a size and structure of every model and beautiful woman in my eyes throughout the media and where I was raised. I was a chronic dieter who suffered from digestive problems, hunger pains, social anxieties and worst of all, self-hate.

Fat-shaming is something I see everyday and something that I will admit have done in the past. I couldn't fathom why someone could simply be so overweight and not care to change it. By doing this, I didn't think about the struggles they may go through or their idea of beautiful. We all have different ideas of what we see as beautiful and attractive and that's fine. Someone that you think is 'fat' may be an ideal body weight to someone else. The problem is when we start to hurt peoples feelings by staring, making comments, shaming on social media, or just straight up being an asshole about it, which is simply bullying someone for something you know nothing about. It is an absolute privilege to be able to afford trainers and organic meals at all times of the day and realizing that is the first step to abolishing fat-shaming those who may not have that privilege.

As I am studying to be a Nutritionist, you're probably now saying to yourself: "Well aren't you trying to HELP people to lose weight?"

I believe in educating and inspiring those interested in health and nutrition for the sole purpose of losing fat for energy, healthy bones, fighting disease, overall happiness and sustaining a long and happy life. I will never help someone lose fat because they think they need to look a certain way and aren't concerned with the negative aspects of being overweight or underweight. Just because you're thin does not mean you're healthy. Once you are healthy, you'll be at the weight you should be at and you'll love the way you are no matter what. I only want to help those who see the benefit in getting healthy and want to change their lifestyle, as well as those within their family. Realistically, I will never promote obesity because it is an absolute threat to health care, your family and obviously yourself. However, weight loss begins with wanting to lose weight and not being forced to. Waking up and realizing you don't want your joints to hurt, feel a lack of energy or just not want to look in the mirror anymore is not something I see as mentally healthy. Changing habits for the better starts with yourself and not by being fat-shamed.

My mission is to educate people on the right foods for optimal health that will fit within their specific needs. I also want to bring awareness to the fact that we are constantly being marketed and sold to within the food industry. Grocery stores are marketing to our mouths by using foods like "low fat" and "gluten free" but throw in excess sugar for flavor because that's a LOT less harmful, right? I personally believe that educating yourself and perusing a healthy lifestyle the best way you can is how you can overcome fat-shaming, harmful marketing myths and self hate. By doing this, you won't necessarily be fat and you won't necessarily be thin, you will be you and that's all you should be!

It's not necessarily you that is unhealthy, it's our society and the systems that create our ideologies that are unhealthy. It's hard to overcome this but we can continue to try to through social media campaigns, educating others, pushing policies and self-love. In the mean time, realize that there are millions who go through what you may be going through and that you are so much more than your physical appearance.

Let me know your thoughts on fat-shaming. Have you experienced this in your life?

Chelsey Labusch