Making Fat Jokes Could Become a Hate Crime

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FAT! It's the most dreaded thing you can call a woman. It can crush her self-image quicker than any other insult, including the c-word and b-word.

Well if British politicians have their way, using that confidence-killing insult will become a hate crime. Yes. An actual hate crime. A parliament committee on body image recommended putting "appearance-based discrimination" right up there with race and sexual discrimination.

Now, I am not sure if someone should actually get prison time for lobbing a "whale," "jelly-belly," or "blimp" someone's way. But I will admit, it can certainly feel like an assault -- an emotional assault, that is. You see, we women can own lots of things -- gangly arms, big feet, huge forehead. However, few of us can feel beautiful after being called fat. For so many, plus-size cannot equal pretty. And that's a serious problem.

It's all about body image, not simply thinned skinned pudgy people. That committee found a quarter of all 7-year-olds said they tried to lose weight by dieting. That's not just sad, it's alarming that this issue starts so young.

More from The Stir: Tim Gunn Stands Up for Plus-Size Women Everywhere

We live our adult lives constantly on some kind of diet or get-thin-quick plan. How else are we going to slip into those skinny jeans without that dreaded muffin-top or hit the beach in a two-piece without feeling like a porker. We know it verges on unhealthy -- and for many woman it is -- but we just can't turn off this weight obsession. We let the sizes in our closet dictate everything from our mood to how much food we can enjoy. Now, it seems, that neurosis has invaded the Barbie-doll loving set and something has to be done.

It doesn't help that society freely pokes fun at people who are overweight. Sometimes it feels like the last socially accepted form of discrimination. They are kicked off planes, looked at with disgust, shouted at, mocked, and are always the butt of jokes on TV and movies. So maybe a little more tolerance isn't such a bad thing. After all, if it causes so much damage to young girls's self esteem, maybe it is a crime.

What do you of making it illegal to call someone fat?

 

Image via puuikibeach/Flickr

body, beauty, diet, plus size, diets, eating disorders, body image, weight loss, eating habits

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nonmember avatar Gina

Oh yes, it should be illegal. Just like telling someone they're too skinny. It *offends* some people to hear that. Too bad eye rolls can't be seen over the internet.

nonmember avatar zuzysue

I think its stupid. Yeah the truth hurts so get over it! If you dont like people calling you fat then maybe you should accept it because its true or DO something about it. Lose weight!?

nonmember avatar blh

Omg that's such bullshit. Im not saying go be an asshole to everyone, but people have a right to say what they want. People have become so whiny, its disgusting.

Gilmo... GilmoreGirl29

So if I call a 300lb woman fat it will be classified as a hate crime, but if a "curvy" or "thick" or whatever other word makes them feel better calls a skinny girl anorexic or a crack whore or any other name that's okay?


Whatever....if you're fat, you're fat. Suck it up. Lately I have been bombarded with images and statements telling me I am not a "real" woman because I am a size 2 and an A cup. Well, last time I checked I have a period every month and I've birthed 2 children, so I'm pretty sure I qualify as a real woman.


Names hurt, I get that. But how pathetic that we are becoming a society where anythig that hurts someone's feelings is going to be considered a crime.

Doomy234 Doomy234

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Why should it be illegal to call someone what they are?

If you're offended that someone called you fat then do something about it (you know, like putting down that box of donuts) and dont go tattling to the government because somebody pointed out the obvious!

So these people are just making problems for everyone else because they have a problem with themself. Stupid!

PonyC... PonyChaser

Yes, the "fat hate" needs to stop. But it should not be illegal. Calling someone a name, whether it is "fat" or "the N word" SHOULD NOT BE ILLEGAL.


This "Hate Crime" idiocy has GOT to stop. In America, we have Freedom of Speech, protected by our Constitution (which is being torn to shreds on a daily basis, but that's for another day), and calling someone an obscene name falls under that right. And I understand that this is taking place in Britain, not here..... yet.


If you murder someone, you've murdered them. It doesn't make it worse because you had "hate" in your heart and murdered them because they looked a certain way. The same applies to calling names. It's wrong. It's low-class. It's mean. But it shouldn't be a crime, 'hate' or otherwise.

Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

Stop the insanity already...........I'm so sick of hearing about people being offended. This world is becoming pathetic in the attempt to cater to anyone who's different in any way and a ridiculous need to be pc. Tolerance is good, and I wouldn't suggest otherwise. But come on, stop spending all your time being offended.

nonmember avatar Christie

So all of you guys wouldn't be offended by it so it must not be offensive....
You need to take yourself out of the situation to fully understand it, I work with men who make comments about other people being fat, and I am over weight. This hurts me a lot. It would be the same as someone commenting on foreigners when someone who is foreign with an accent is in the room or someone making a comment about someone being african american or indian when someone of that race is in the room....all of you would think that's offensive....but SCREW the fat people right? because it's their choice to be fat so they should have to suffer the abuse!
I am not saying it should be a hate-crime because all of this suing crap gets out of hand IMO a crime is a crime they are all hate crimes...but I do think it is offensive and that the people who make the comments should think twice because it is hurtful.

butte... butterflyfreak

The real problem isn't the "fat hate," it's the media and fashion industry that pushes the thin is beautiful line. We are bombarded with images of skinny women and that image is held up as the ideal that all women should be striving for, which is completely unrealistic as there are some women who will NEVER look that skinny, no matter what they do. So you have women buying into this and they talk crap about their own bodies and call themselves fat and our daughter see and hear that. You want to make sure your daughter doesn't have body image issues at the young age of 7, then make sure YOU are the positive role model that your daughter needs to learn to love herself as she is!


And, for the record, I would rather be called fat than a cunt. Just a personal preference.

amomm... amommy2jack

Bravo Christie!  Why do people feel they can say negative, awful things to any other person?  Does putting someone else down make these people feel oh so much better about themselves?  What are you teaching your children when you make nasty comments about other people in front of them?  Why can't we teach tolerance and acceptance of everyone and embrace our differences?  My family members are all of normal weight/height and appearance....my parents were very strict with us about what we said about other people, whether to their faces or behind their backs.  My parents taught us to be accepting of EVERYONE and mean to no one (for any reason).  Why is it now OK to teach our children to be hateful and unaccepting of people's differences?  I don't get it at all.

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