Monday, March 30, 2015

Fat Shaming.

Normally, I am all about award shows. I love to see what everyone is wearing, whom is sitting next to whom, the performances, the cheesy jokes. Last night the IHeartRadio Music Awards were on tv. One would think I would be glued to that television. But it actually didn't interest me. I flipped it on just in time, though, because they announced that Kelly Clarkson would be performing next. I kept it on to watch her do what she does best- sing.

Her performance was great, she sang the way she always does, and she looked adorable. I can also pretty confidently say that she probably out-sang 90% of the other performers. End of story.

Later I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and noticed that Kelly Clarkson was a trending topic. My initial reaction was excited, I was willing to bet that people were talking about how fantastic she was.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. Almost all of the tweets that I read were about Kelly's weight. Let me show you a few examples.

Note: I can only assume that this guy is talking about Meghan Trainer. Who, by the way, is stunning.

Yes, these are just four of the disgustingly mean tweets about Kelly Clarkson's weight. And I feel the need to speak up.

For starters, let's just get this out of the way: Sure, Kelly gained weight. Yes, she is bigger than she used to be. But where I get lost is here: Why does that matter? Why does it concern you, and why are you so upset about it?

We also need to remember a few facts:
-Kelly Clarkson once battled Bulimia. She was in high school, but that doesn't take away the cold hard truth that she overcame an eating disorder.
-Kelly also battled depression for a few years when she started her career. There are a few articles backing me up here.
-Kelly's weight has always fluctuated. Because, you know, she's human. Kelly has been in the spotlight since she was 20 years old. I ask you: Has your weight changed since you were 20?
-She had a baby 7 months ago.

But, to be quite honest, I shouldn't even have to give these facts. It simply SHOULD NOT MATTER that she has gained weight.

The real problem with these tweets is that most of them give the indication that being fat is the worst possible thing a person can be. The statement "Kelly Clarkson got fat" is followed up with sad faces. According to these people, and countless others, to be fat is unacceptable.

And the fact that so many people have this idea makes me terribly sad. In Kelly's case, it makes me even sadder, because her talent isn't good enough. She's fat, therefore people don't care about her voice or her music. She's fat, so she's not worthy. One of the tweets I shared here says that the person USED to be a fan- but not anymore, because she's fat.

I mean come on you guys. What is WRONG with us? Why are we programmed to believe these things to be true? Because they are not. A person's worth is not determined by what they look like. No one should be judged or mistreated because of their weight, their skin color, their sexual orientation. Our acceptance of others should be based on the PERSON that they are, the way THEY treat others. Instead, all we do is pick apart each other's flaws. We have got to do better than this. We can do better than this.

So I am encouraging you to take action. Stop someone in their tracks when they start to judge another person. Stop yourself, too. Before you say- or tweet- something mean, take 10 seconds to ask yourself if it's really necessary. Maybe you should also ask yourself why you care so much. Seriously. Sit with that question in mind. "Why do I care that Kelly Clarkson is fat?". Are you truly, honestly, concerned about her health? Great, but that doesn't make you a saint and the likelihood of you "fixing it" or "helping" is pretty slim, so focus on something else instead. If you don't care about hear health and just think it's "gross" or "unacceptable", keep reflecting, because you have work to do. Why? Why is it gross? Why is it unacceptable? Dig deeper. I am certain deep down there is something YOU are battling that you are projecting onto someone else.

I'm not sure how to close this blog other than to say that as a fat girl myself, I'm asking you to give girls like me and Kelly (and Meghan Trainer, since apparently she's fat as well) a chance. We aren't scary, we aren't pathetic, we aren't bad people. Our "fat" does not define who we are, same as your skin color, hair color, age, and sex does not define you- because you are you and that's pretty beautiful.

And for good measure, maybe you should just take a listen and realize that her weight doesn't actually matter.