Fat Shaming – Smoking Shaming: A Comparison

I wrote a post a while ago about the danger of fat acceptance.

Right up to publishing the post I debated in my head whether I should pull it and post something a bit less opinionated.

I felt mean, like I was fat shaming – but cooler heads prevailed and I decided to post.

But it did get me thinking about fat shaming – is this an acceptable and effective method of encouraging someone to lose weight?

If you look at the plight of the smoker for years they have been shamed into giving up smoking – look at these adverts below:

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY DECEMBER 29 BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout issued by Public Health England of a graphic anti-smoking advert which will be released, showing a father lighting a hand-rolled cigarette full of rotting flesh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday December 29, 2014. Public Health England (PHE) will launch its new shock campaign alongside an expert review of the role of smoking in the progressive decline of the body's major systems. See PA story HEALTH Smoking. Photo credit should read: Public Health England/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

smoking3

smoking2

Pretty horrific right?

The first two are based around the health reasons for not smoking – a more effective approach I personally think than a childish put down of “you stink…”

But why when fat people are shamed with similar approaches met with such rejection and resistance.  The term bullying is used too much.  Look at this recent campaign for a gym “They’ll take the fat ones first…”

fatlossad

When I was a kid and I started to become fat I became subject of teasing bordering on bullying by my peers at school.

For years I felt sorry for myself and made excuses why I was fat.  But I got to the point where I eventually had to take personal responsibility to losing weight.

Why have people become such pussies on the fat issue?  It’s not even just people making fun of  the fat, remember the Protein World ad which was considered ‘Fat Shaming’

proteinworld

“Everyone is beach body ready” the London Liberal elite cried…

In response, many started ‘thin shaming’ the model on the poster – “she can’t be real”, “probably has an eating disorder” where some of the cries, under the delusion that the only way of looking like that is by sticking fingers down the throat!  Perhaps it was those people’s feelings of inadequacy that fueled that reaction.


In conclusion people are all different – some will listen to these scary adverts, others will stubbornly put there foot down saying “can’t the government just let the people have their bit of pleasure.” And then proceed to bitch and whine about how nasty the rest of us are for toting facts.

A good friend of mine is a heavy smoker he says “Well… we are going to die someday… might has well enjoy it while it lasts” usually followed by a large drag.  He accepts the health risks of smoking but doesn’t feel the need to cry every time there is a public health campaign using the strong tactics seen above.

For me it’s as important to be able to walk down the road without getting out of breath, or blackening up my lungs.

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5 thoughts on “Fat Shaming – Smoking Shaming: A Comparison

  1. Fat shaming is wrong because you don’t know why that person is overweight. You’re assuming it is because they are just lazy or have no will power to stop overeating. The reality, in many cases, is the condition could be medical. In my case, my thyroid went kablooey, and until the doctor finally diagnosed it and found the prooer dosage, I couldn’t lose weight. My metabolism was too slow and i didn’t have the energy.
    On the other hand, smoking is a choice. You chose to slowly kill yourself and the only thing stopping you from quitting is you.
    The biggest difference is, you don’t have to smoke to stay alive, but you do have to eat.

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