Kindness need not apply if you’re overweight apparently…

My last post [What happened to being kind to one another ??] was written because I saw what was to me an unjustifiable attack on someone because of her weight. As your replies rolled in I began to ponder whether or not my post was also a form of bullying. In essence I too was being critical of another human being.

After much thought I felt I needed to offer the blogger a chance to reply to my post out of a sense of fairness. Perhaps I had mistaken her intent. Perhaps I had misjudged her. And then – perhaps not.

It would seem not only am I a man [she addresses me as Joe] but due to my past I am in a “serious mental breakdown” and need help:

because of your own internal relationship with food, being overweight, the early death of your mother, your relationship with your father and the many, many places you were forced to live at as a child has molded you.

The post I discussed is no longer available for viewing. Though the link is still up at the Weekly Photo Challenge: Big

Here’s my submission. Be prepared to laugh!
http://mylifeinfocusblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/weekly-photo-challenge-big/

So why after keeping her anonymity am I longer doing so ? She crossed a line with the last sentence of her reply when speaking of my child.

And the blogger has come to Chronicles under the name ‘anonymous photographer.’ to tell me not only to get help but…well…I have no words for what she said in the comment.

My comment to her was :

I have debated about telling you that I blogged about this post of yours because I was unsure as to your reaction. However, I feel you have the right to know I discussed this and what I said. I will give free reign to your comments so long as you remain polite. Which is what I tried to do with you before. You are of course also welcome to post any of the comments I made on this blog should you wish to.

I am not approving her reply on my blog as this will allow her access in the future. I do not want this to turn in to a saga of back and forthing. I shall post it here.Why – because I do not believe ALL Americans feel this way. While My Life in Focus feels it is NOT bullying…when reading the following from her comment…I feel terribly sorry for the woman in the photo and for what she is to experience the next time this blogger sees her because:

I am doing this fat women harm by keeping my mouth shut. Next time I see her, I am going to tap her on her shoulder and tell her she looks and dresses inappropriately. She is fat and overweight. She is disfigured and deformed due to her excessive eating.

This woman had in my opinion a ‘Rubenesque’ bum that at any one time you might have seen Jennifer Lopez sporting. I’ve seen obese. I’ve been obese. This woman is not obese. But as the photo is gone you can’t judge that for yourself.

Or can you ? What if someone had downloaded that photo ? Taken a screen capture of the post itself. I shall investigate the possibility.

I shall now leave it to you to decide who it is that has a mental health issue.

After this post I shall not be spending anymore time on this one.

***

From anonymous photographer…

Joe,
I understand you are from another country so I will excuse your ignorance. Here in America we have a serious obesity problem. The obesity is so rampant here in our country that it has become a national epidemic. 60% of our children are so overweight that they have heart problems as well as diabetes. Our government has decided that it can no longer be silent nor accept or be tolerant of this disease. That’s what being overweight is: a disease. Treating citizens with diabetes and heart disease has also been a drag on our national financial resources. Hospitals are inundated with higher and higher medical costs treating this disease. The problem has become so large and excessive our government has had to intervene.
Last month, as per President Obama, all public schools throughout our country have modified our student lunches to now be low-fat and calorie restrictive in an attempt to bring our obesity problems under control. Students now eat lunches that are under 700 calories vs the 1500 calories they ate previously. Here in New York City where I live, our mayor banned all restaurants and take-away from using high saturated fats in their food preparation. Our Mayor gave the food companies one full year to modify their recipes and remove all trans fats from the food products. Last month our Mayor also banned the sale of sugary drinks above 12 ounces. Other cities and towns across this great nation have also made new laws and modified food intake to all our citizens in a way to help bring our obesity epidemic at bay.

This is NOT bulling, as you have suggested. Do you think our President Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama are bullies because they passed laws to curtain the health of our obese population? Our own President has called us what we are: FAT! Americans are fat. We have now become the fattest people on the planet. Do you think we should be tolerant and silent as more and more of our friends, family, co-workers become sicker and sicker and die an early, painful death each and every day? This has nothing to do with the rights of women or acceptance of their body weight. We Americans can no longer accept our overweight children and adults. We are fat and if nothing is done about it, we shall all die an early, unnatural, painful death.

Thanks to President Obama we all have national health insurance. We all realize that if all of us are to receive health care we all must ban together and make sure we are all healthy, as to keep costs down. We Americans will no longer tolerate nor accept being overweight. We are all encouraged to eat better and to exercise. Massive education programs are now being taught throughout our country. Our elected politicians are passing laws banning fried foods and super-sized meal. We are being encouraged to start our own gardens and prepare our own meals.

Many Americans are in denial of this epidemic. Because of this we can no longer be tolerant and understanding nor accepting of our overweight population. We can no longer be concerned about hurt feelings or so-called ‘women’s tender feelings’. We are fat and if something isn’t done immediately, we will be fatter, more un-healthy and more of a strain on our economy.

The street photography photo I took of an obese woman, who was so hideous overweight in her ass is a perfect example of the denial most Americans exemplify. She thinks she is a size 2 yet she squeezed her fat size ass 16 into a skinny woman’s clothing. She was pathetic. She was ridiculous. She was laughable. She is a disgrace. Our continuing to be silent over her appearance just propagates the lie and the denial. This is not about her right to be who she wants to be anymore. This is not about her right to dress and be whomever she wants to be. Here in America today this kind of attitude can no longer be accepted. Obesity is a national disease. Obesity in America has weakened our national defense system as many new recruits are turned away due to their weight. I am wrong to keep my mouth shut over this woman’s weight. I am wrong to ignore and accept her appearance. I am doing this fat women harm by keeping my mouth shut. Next time I see her, I am going to tap her on her shoulder and tell her she looks and dresses inappropriately. She is fat and overweight. She is disfigured and deformed due to her excessive eating.

People like her need to be laughed at. People like her need to be told they are fat and overweight. These people need help. The tolerance of the past isn’t working. We need to get more aggressive and active. We can no longer be concerned about ‘hurt feelings’. Our citizens are dying because of their obesity. Personally, now, I see it as my national duty to inform this woman because I just may be saving her life. And the life of her baby daughter she paraded up and down the avenue in her baby carriage, while exposing her own fat ass, in extremely tight, see-through leggins for all the town to see.

From reading your blog Jo, I realized that because of your own internal relationship with food, being overweight, the early death of your mother, your relationship with your father and the many, many places you were forced to live at as a child has molded you. You have placed your own mental shortcomings and insecurities onto my photo. You have wrongly internalized your own mental anguishes and problems onto my street photography. 99% of people who have viewed my photo have called it ‘hilarious’. It’s probably an American thing and not a New Zealand thing. We Americans can no longer accept nor tolerate obese people. The gloves are off. We are in a battle. We need to save lives, help our children get their weight under control and get our health issues back in line. You Jo, have blown this matter all out of proportion due to your own mental issues. As I have stated you do need to see a psychiatrist and the fact that you wrote an entire post about this, gave your readers a distorted version of something that didn’t even happen makes me think all the more that you are in a serious mental breakdown.

I only wish you the best. Please get the help you need. If not for yourself, do it for your daughter.

***

I know how this makes me feel. There are almost no words to describe it. I would love to hear how it makes you feel.

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Author: Jo Bryant

I was born in the land of Banjo Paterson, gum trees, and weather extremes. I am a freelance writer. I live in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, but still like to claim my Australian heritage. I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications in 2008. I am writing my first novel. I love to write poetry, short stories, and also write for the web. And there is nothing that is on a par with a sunny summer's day spent at Waihi Beach.

90 thoughts on “Kindness need not apply if you’re overweight apparently…”

  1. I can vaguely remember your other post and if I remember you had vid as well. I like your post and admire you for your tolerance..I will not lower my self to comment on these comments by anonymous..hiding behind masks says a lot.. however nice read eye opening one…;)

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    1. Hi Gerry,
      Thanks for your thoughts on this one. I think the usage of anonymity tells us two things. The person using it is not often sure of their facts and they are the worst type of bully. I am not always right about issues [did I really just say that…hehehe], but I do not hide when I voice my opinion.

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  2. Ok Jo. Here is my feedback as I’ve also been drawn into this topic. First of all, I had no idea that this was from a fellow WP blogger who did the incriminating post under the photo challenge BIG. Wow, that takes some guts. While she is 100% correct that we have a pandemic here in the United States and western world on Obesity and it is a taboo topic in the media (all the things she said is true) why on earth she felt it was OK to humiliate another human being due to a “disease” as she calls it is beyond words. If someone had Downs Syndrome or was born blind would you take a picture of this stranger and humiliate them on a blog? This is UNACCEPTABLE no matter how fat someone is. Yes it is a huge problem that MUST be addresses but NO WAY is it ok to humiliate and ridicule someone like this. I think it is so out of line that it makes me sick. Maybe she wasn’t thinking but talk about a lack of human rights.
    As for a random fellow blogger, someone whom you’ve never met, attacking you personally is even worse. How on earth can anyone presume anything about anyone if they have never even met them? I’ve had a couple people do this to me on my blog and realized that these kinds of people are a waste of time.
    Yes, obesity is a huge problem that needs to be addressed worldwide. But not by humiliation, ridicule and other methods. I believe in the freedom of free speech. Yet if you are going to post something like this on a blog for a photo challenge, then you better be ready and able to accept some criticism.
    Now like you said, let’s move on and I hope to God you aren’t taking a word this woman has said seriously!!!! Otherwise I’d be mad at you Jo! She sounds like she is the one who needs help or at least an apology. 🙂

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      1. Thanks to both of you, Nicole and Alistair, for your kind words. And you can rest assured I never believe anyone who:
        1. Is skinnier than me [most of the time…hehehe]
        2. Who uses anonymity to spew forth their vitriolic opinions.
        So – this ignorant New Zealander is now going to busy herself writing a nice long post about episode 2 of Supernatural and immerse myself in The Boys adventures.

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        1. Well this Brit is going to watch the first episode of season 3 of The Walking Dead and will be watching Supernatural tomorrow 😀 Not for the boys for me though. I just like the series.

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          1. I liked her…even though she was terribly mean to The Boys. I felt so sad when she went to Hell. Oh my…I have to stop watching THAT show. But I can’t. No…I can’t.

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          2. LOL That’s true. Dean in hell once, Purgatory once. Dead about 3,000 times, Sam Hell once .. not himself once ..dead once or twice

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          3. Haha yes. I like the episode that was the Groundhog Day where Dean died and died and died and [rinse and repeat]

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          4. Oh yeah…when Gabriel/The Trickster kept knocking him on the head. That was funny when Sam chainsawed him in the museum.
            😆

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  3. P.S. One more comment. Sometimes things get really misconstrued over email and not talking face to face with people. We read into things and put our emotions into it. Perhaps it was a silly honest mistake. But now it is time to move on, right. Forgive and forget! 🙂

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    1. That is a very good point Nicole. I am off to take some photos and start tidying the house. We have a long weekend coming up and both the kiddywinkles and The Son’s partner are heading home for a visit. I’m so excited…and I just can’t hide it !!!!!

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  4. What. A. Jerk. I’ll be glad to revoke its citizenship for it.

    From what I’ve read, anonymous photographer is distorting statistics to make things far worse than they really are. Then again, anybody who feels free to make such an over-the-top screech of contempt for other people is surely above getting its facts straight (or giving its real name).

    Yes, there are a number of seriously heavy people here in the US. It’s also true that there are many parts of the country where, for various reasons, it’s almost impossible to get a reasonable amount of exercise even if you have the free time to devote to it (we’ve built a world around ourselves where, unless you live in a large eastern city like New York, it’s hard to do much walking). It’s true that many people can’t afford lean meat and fresh produce. It’s true that if you work long hours, you may not have time or energy to prepare low-calorie meals.

    Beyond that, we just don’t know what a generally-effective fix for obesity is. We know that energy balance is key; but how do you stop the body from slowing down metabolism and cranking up appetite to sabotage attempts to restrict how much we eat long term?* As it is, so-called successful weight loss seems to be defined as shedding five to ten percent of your starting weight and keeping it off for, maybe, a year. That wouldn’t meet anonymousP’s beauty standards, I’m afraid.

    Personally, I’ve been trying to get and keep my weight down – not to the anorexic level anonymous photographer would probably approve of, but to within twenty pounds of my teenage weight – for thirty years. In spite of plenty of walking and vegetables and fish, it’s not happening. Weight loss is HARD.

    Politeness is easy. Let’s master that first, okay, anonymousP?

    Having snarked on your harasser’s false name, Jo, I feel as if I should come clean with my own identity. So, keep up the good work, and illegitemati non carborundum,

    Sharon Wolfgang

    * Methods of weight loss – here in the US, there’s been some medical push recently in favor of stomach reduction surgery as THE solution. I used to know two women who had this surgery. It killed them both. If surgery is the only fix, I’ll stay fat – it’s healthier.

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    1. Can you do that ? Revoke citizenship ? Remind me to ALWAYS be nice to you.
      Did you know that statistics prove that people who carry a little weight ACTUALLY live longer than skinny people. FACT !!!!! We are not meant to be stick thin…particularly women. That’s why we always have a higher % of body fat than men. Bullying people will never address obesity. Neither will trying to shame them. But then the people who use such tactics already know this…they just want to be able to throw their weight around [pun intended].

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  5. Good Heavens, Jo! What a liberty. I wouldn’t give this self righteous woman another thought. We had a few such vitriolic bloggers on the last blog site I was on. The lowest of the low, in my opinion.

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  6. Take heart Jo and move on. Life is too short. I’m fat, I know I’m fat and I hate being fat. Yes the USA does have an obseitiy problem and it was not until I went on a P&O Cruise did I realise how much until I witnessed it first hand. To be honest I felt anorexic by comparison 🙂 as I stared in disbelief at their distorted bodies. God only helps those who are willing to help themselves and I’m a helpless case, I know. I can relate to their distress and discomfort and name calling and bullying will not help the problem, only compound their misery.

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    1. You are right on all points PP. I am glad to say she has taken that post down and therefore also the image. I just hope that some of the 99% she claims found it hilarious might also read this and realise just how vicious she really is and not encourage her further.

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  7. I don’t think you’re the one who needs help.

    BTW: Sociopathy occurs in one out of 200 worldwide, but one out of 100 in the US.

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  8. Wow…I don’t even know what to say. This person is completely out of line and…well I probably shouldn’t write what I want to. What’ wrong with some people?

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    1. I don’t know what her problem is actually…but you go right ahead and write whatever your little heart desires !!!!
      She sure did !
      The part that horrified me the most was how she spoke so nastily of that poor woman in the photo – the horrible names she called her all because she thinks the woman’s bum is to big.

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  9. There’s seriously something wrong with that disrespectful photographer…who died and made her fat-police anyways. I agree with thirdeyemom.

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    1. I agree totally. The words she had above that photo on the post were terribly disrespectful. But the words she used in her comment to me about the woman in the photograph were even worse. She said the most dreadful things about her…someone she doesn’t know at all.

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  10. Nothing is really “anonymous” in the blogospehre or on the internet. “Anonymous photographer” might want to check libel laws. If the woman photographed feels she has been defamed and humiliated, she might have grounds for a lawsuit. From the Associate Press (AP) Stylebook, “Libel is a defamation expressed in written or graphic form that tends to blacken the memory of the dead or that tends to injure a living person’s reputation and thereby expose the person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule …”

    Yes, obesity is a problem – health wise and other wise. But that doesn’t – or shouldn’t – mean it’s open season on those who are overweight. Kudos to you for standing up for the woman who was held up to public ridicule.

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    1. Thank you Judy !
      It just really affected me seeing someone be so intentionally nasty about someone they don’t know. I detest bullies – especially bullies who use the internet to spread their venom.
      A part of me wishes it were possible to track down the woman in the photo and show her what was on the post, so that she could take legal action. If that wasn’t defamation I don’t know what is.

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  11. Jo, I’m astounded. And I’m sorry that you have been on the sharp end of this.
    I suspect that as the original blog post was removed then she probably knows deep down that you are right and may even feel some kind of guilt. But that long rant suggests to me that she is still trying to convince you, and possibly herself that she is right. Sure obesity is a problem, but we sane people know that humiliation is definitely not a solution.

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    1. You’re not the only one. When I saw it I thought I was seeing things. I’d like to think you are right Georgia. Yet I wonder. She seems as if she has no remorse at all about what she did. I am not sure why she took the post down…I hope you are right. But if she is still on point to confront this poor woman I have to wonder if she possesses any empathy at all.

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      1. I’m guessing the post was removed either as a result of other comments similar to yours, or in anticipation of some being posted. She probably feels that she can no longer be judged.

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      2. Hopefully she isn’t in a state where they carry guns, I hate to think of how someone would react to a complete stranger coming up to them and ranting on about how fat they are and how badly they dress.

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  12. First of all, is this whole thing a comment????? God…. I am so NOT going to comment her sayings. I am just going to say that obviously “People like her need to be laughed at” and a note with that – people are judged (and laughed at if you like) not only by their appearance but also by their beliefs and talks.

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    1. I understand what you are saying but I also feel that sometime you should acknowledge and comment on an injustice. Silence can signify acceptance of certain behaviours. I think why in this case I felt compelled to speak up was that though not many, there were a few comments that while not in support of her stance perhaps did by their words still seem to accept it.

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        1. I went over and read your piece on Jennifer. I think the biggest differences with Jennifer’s situation and this one are twofold. Number 1. Jennifer is a public figure. By that very definition you open yourself up to criticism. Fair or not it is a fact of life. I do agree with her though – this man has made comments to someone without knowing her situation. Perhaps she has a physical condition. whatever the case…without being informed about the person you are speaking about how can you dare to judge. The other difference I see is that the man [while misguided perhaps in his actions] remained polite and kept the subject away from personal venomous attacks. This blogger I spoke to and of, was both venomous in her attack on a completely unknown woman and was encouraging others to behave in a similar way on her blog. This is what disturbed me the most. She in no way exhibited any empathy for the person she was ridiculing. To actually deliberately take a picture of someone with the intention of placing it in a public forum for ridicule is and always will be an despicable act. Maybe that is why the reaction you found on here was different to your own post. I am not advocating obesity…I know it is a problem. I also know how hard it can be to lose weight. I just don’t understand this need to judge other people of whom we know very little.

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  13. Another US voice to chime in here: yes, there is an obesity problem in the US, and yes, a lot of legislation is being used to address it…those things are true. But although Michele Obama promotes physical fitness she would never BULLY someone over it. In the US we have freedoms to choose our own lifestyle…I don’t smoke, but I don’t walk up to others and tell them it is a dirty habit and they have no right to do it! She’s twisting the statistics to support her own rude behavior.

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    1. There’s no debate really Hook. I just felt I needed to say what I did…for me. Would she listen…didn’t really think so. But it was more about not standing by mute for once when something bugged me. With this post I did feel that I owed her the right of reply…to be fair. Even if she did hang herself with the rope.

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      1. Well said.
        I’ve entered into a similar situation with a Calgary mom who decided to go on strike for six days. She has rocketed to fame by dragging her daughters’ names through the mud…
        She’s doing all the talk shows after six or seven blog posts! She’s not even considering the effect this is having on her kids, who just being messy kids!

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  14. Judgement is easy. It obviously never occurred to the photographer that the person pictured may have already lost half her original bodyweight. I think it’s important to note that fat people can always lose weight whereas people with an unpleasant personality have it for life.

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    1. I love that comment: “fat people can always lose weight whereas people with an unpleasant personality have it for life.”

      Just love it – it perfectly sums up the situation.

      You know it wasn’t until she replied to my post that she even discussed obesity. In the discussion she and I had on her post her main beef with this lady was not about the weight. It was about the clothing she was wearing. She felt that the woman needed to spend some time getting dress tips from “glamour magazines” about how to dress appropriately for her size.

      I have wondered at her sudden switch in focus from appropriate clothing to obesity.

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      1. I saw the original post and was a little taken aback. I presumed it was a picture of her derriere! It isn’t a blog I follow. In fact, I’ve forgotten which one it was. 😉

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  15. OMG! I hope the anon photographer never does talk to the owner of the ‘BIG’ derriere. You cannot solve the obesity problem by bullying it away. We should fight obesity but not the individual. Does she stop to think that some people don’t become overweight just because they eat too much? I didn’t see the pic or the original post but the reply on your present post is absolutely despicable. It shows ignorance, intolerance and complete disregard for others’ feelings.

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    1. I hope she never does. But by the sound of her I think it is quite possible she will. Let’s just hope this lady in the photo doesn’t carry a gun…or a good right hook.

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  16. I have more than a few choice words for the “anonymous photographer” and she better hope I never run across her vapid, self-righteous, shallow, disgustingly holier-than-thou attitudes anywhere in the blog-o-verse, because I would dearly love to take her down a few pegs. Brave words coming from someone who hides behind the anonymity of a fake name and an internet screen.

    There is an old saying that about sums it up: “Arguing with someone on the internet is like arguing with a pig; it frustrates you and irritates the pig!” Good for you for not stooping to her level. The fact that she has removed the post and picture lead me to believe she received quite a bit of negative backlash for it and I sure hope to hell she did. This woman is building her own karma, and it’s better not to get sucked into that kind of drama. More than likely, she is a very unhappy person who feels the need to attack and belittle others in order to make herself feel better. She might even be pitiable, if she weren’t such a nasty, negative, venom-spewing piece of excrement herself. Honestly, ignoring her is the best thing anyone can do. Some people just never learned “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything.” Trust me, what goes around, comes around, and it will definitely come back around for this poor soul and probably bite her in the arse. 😉

    P.S. You’re my heroine, Jo, for standing up for injustice when/where you see it. ❤ xoxoxo

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    1. Now I am a heroine…today is a good day for me.
      😉
      I just HAD to say something. Just had too. I was horrified at the way she ridiculed the woman. Horrified and astounded. She really isn’t someone who should be talking about being disgusting. To me…she is disgusting.

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  17. Oh my! Such hatred, cruelty and miserable mentality. Yikes! I kind of felt sad for the self-righteous Anonymous Photographer. I shouldn’t have read those words. I hate to think that people actually have that kind of mentality or point of view in life. What makes being fat lesser of a human than being thin? What, suddenly, being thin is a way of high standard lifestyle? I don’t get it. The society really is foul! The world is indeed cruel.
    Like what Mika sings -“Big girls, you are beautiful!”

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