Judge Judge Judge: Why The Internet Is No-One's Friend

You know that voice you get inside your head sometimes, the one that pops in and says something mean to you. Usually when you're standing in front of the mirror. Isn't that voice annoying? Wouldn't it be awful if that one voice turned into thousands, or worse tens or even hundreds of thousands of voices all shouting at you, telling you your every flaw. Horrible right?

Imagine my lack of surprise then, when after the Golden Globe awards this week Gabourey Sidibe was hounded by tweets, comments and opinions, even positive articles talking about Sidibe were hijacked by hate. Why? What did she do to deserve it you ask? Skin a kitten on live tv? Throw up on Meryl Streep? No. She just had the audacity to be overweight and in the public view. That's it. Shocking right?

I first became aware of it when Sidibe tweeted this:

Now you could say 'hey she's taking it on the chin' but why should she have to? Why is it ok for people to spout vile, hateful bile at people just because they're behind a computer screen? More to the point why do people feel the need to be hateful just because someone is overweight? 

I had a quick look at some of the comments, just a random click into a Facebook page which was actually an attempt at a positive article on the way she stood up to her 'haters' here's a fun brief selection:

'I bet you were alone on your private jet, maybe spend some money on a treadmill'

'You must have used twice as much fuel than a normal flight'

'Doesn't make her any less of a disgusting bulldog looking whale. I wouldn't sleep with her with Obama's member' (charming)

'Her weight is ugly she need (sic) to loose (sic) weight to improve her appeal.'

'Whatever Precious you're heavy cargo.'

'I've seen smaller 'SUV's... she is pretty though...pretty disgusting.' 

'Let's be honest she ain't happy no amount of money would make her happy when she looks at herself in the mirror.'

'Take some pride in yourself'

'Sure as hell ain't beautiful to me, I have the right to say in my opinion she is gross.'

'she needs a thousand lipozene pills, and a Tommy tuck (sic) and also a neck tuck and get the jiggly fat on the arm tucked away and finish her off with gastric bypass surgery.'

'should probably invest your private jet fund into a healthy lifestyle...you know yourself you need to change.'

'She will be crying all the way to the cath lab. All the money in the world won't help you when you have a stroke.'

'Maybe put her in some curtains if they fit'

'Looking at her gives me erectile dysfunction'

That's just a few from the one page, I didn't scroll through them all because there were thousands and honestly it was depressing, I'm sure there were much worse and a lot I won't have on the blog. My point though is why do people feel like they can say things like this to people? How is their comment in any way called for? More to the point would they say it if they weren't hiding behind a computer screen?

The thing is Gabourey isn't a solitary example shes just the most recent one I've come across, there's a saying, 'haters gonna hate' and I guess that's true but when it comes to weight issues there seems to be two very distinct forms of hate.

The first is just plain bile, it's horrible comments about size, people who are repulsed by size and think they're funny. I hate to say it but most of those comments above were all from men, it seems like if they don't fancy you then you should just vanish because what else is your purpose? Right? Serious fail there, I think.

The second is a slightly more creeping hate, it's the 'I'm only saying this because I'm concerned about your health' diatribe. I tend to be of the opinion that the health of people you don't know is not really any of your business, making judgments about their health when you haven't been asked, or more to the point when you haven't the slightest notion about their well-being is really stupid. It's a form of fat shaming that I personally find just cripplingly false, do you tell someone who is naturally thin that you're concerned about their health? No. But somehow it's fine to do it with anyone overweight. There are lots of healthy overweight people, (I have the blood tests and cardio rates to show it) and when people are judging my health for example based on how I look, they're going to be barking up the wrong tree. I feel like there's so many programmes on television just fat shaming constantly, those frankly freakshow-esque shows about very overweight people. Those tutting doctors, and fat vs skinny scenarios, enough already. Until food companies start actually tackling all the garbage they're putting into normal food, don't start blaming people for putting on weight, especially those on a lower income.

It just maddens me, I get so angry, not just about the atrocious spelling and grammar although that's bad enough. I just think what is wrong with your life that you're feeling the need to say atrocious things online about others? I always think people react with hate and just overblown nastiness when something picks up on their own issues with themselves, and certainly a lot of the comments from women were easily read that way. The men? Why bother going onto a website being supportive of Sidibe just to say something hateful? I don't know, that's a lot of effort to go to, maybe they think those lucky women they fancy will start modelling themselves on Sidibe and their lusty thoughts will be ruined if they don't intervene? Who knows, maybe they just over value their own opinion. 

As my grandmother always used to say, opinions are like arses everyone has one. So on that note, what's your opinion on commenting online, Sidibe, fat shaming or anything I've missed?

Much Love


Tru said...

Oh Dawnie, where to begin?! Speaking as someone who has heard it all, and often to my face, I can honestly say that FAT is THE most reviled & horrendous thing to be EVER. I think I'd go as far as to say that, by contemporary standards, it's even worse than being of colour. It's acceptable to be as thick as two short planks (& seemingly proud/blissfully ignorant of it judging by levels of literacy on the internet), but you must never be fat or you'll be pilloried mercilessly. I once appeared on a Youtube video of a very popular friend & the comments were vile. One particular one went on about 'how dare I PARADE myself & my fatness IN PUBLIC & subject innocent bystanders to said horror'. That one actually made me laugh & I replied, the gist being 'parade? Now there's an idea! Let me just research your IP address & me & all my fat friends will cone & have a glorious parade of plumpness down your street'. I have a thick skin though. Probably because of all the fat beneath it.

When you overhear children getting antsy you'll hear the word Fat. When folk on Jeremy Kyle get insulting they'll use the word Fat. When the upper classes of our country want to berate the plebs they use the word Fat. Fat has become far more than an issue of size; it's now an issue of control & fear & shame. Eight year olds are being treated for eating disorders because the shame of being PERCEIVED as fat is so horrendous that they'd rather starve themselves.

I'll let you into a little secret of they male psyche when it comes to Fat. Men are terrified of the sensuality of a Fat Woman. Being fat has connotations of indulgence & letting yourself go & giving in to temptation & this immediately makes men think of sexy things. I've lost count of the times it's been assumed that my being nice to someone is a come on for some rumpy pumpy. Seriously! There's something SO appealing about a bit of jiggle that men are TERRIFIED of it. They'll say the most outrageously sexual things then try to make a 'joke' out of it.

We've come to a time when denial, self control & all it's associated misery are what women are expected to do to meet a body ideal which appeals to men. It's the equivalent of wearing a burka so as not to inflame the desires of men.

Haters ARE gonna hate & it's fear that makes them do it. Real primeval fear. The shame of being fat, the shame of liking fat are simply too much for modern society.

Fear & Shame coming soon to a body near you!

My advice? Be who you are, how you are & where you are & fuck 'em. Their opinion is ultimately meaningless and, in times to come, something else will be the epitome of shame. I don't give anyone the consent to make me feel ashamed of who I am. I KNOW they're afraid of me & what my body represents; all those sensual pleasures they deny themselves all their lives and for what? None of us get out of this alive.

Callie Thorpe said...

The problem is with this day and age is that it is so easy for people to bully, with the internet being so accessible to many bullying is on the rise. Fat people are constantly a target. As a plus size blogger I come up against trolls and bullies from time to time and at the beginning it was so awful I used to just cry in my boyfriends arms. Now my skin is much thicker, I think it has a lot to do with the fact I like myself a lot more. Now I laugh at imbecile comments because they are just that - comments from imbeciles. Arguing with them is pointless and I agree with you 100% that we shouldn't give these people consent to bully us. F**k them, so what they don't like my body, I don't like lots of things but I know when to keep my mouth shut. People like them are raised badly, they have no respect for others feelings, the body policing is ingrained in them. I could go on and on but basically I agree with you lol I love Gabi and she sure as hell is the one coming on top in this one.

Dawniepants said...

You said it all tru and better than I could have! Snaps for tru!

Dawniepants said...

Hahahaha totally! You're right though it's sometimes too eAsy for people and also some people are just horrid, they're the people that if they didn't have the internet they'd shout in the street, just now they can be more cowardly!

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