April 1, 2014
I’ve had the title for this blog hanging around for a while, so seeing it is April Fools day why not use it hey?
I remember a few years ago watching something on daytime TV about a new miracle weightloss product not realising it was April 1st. The feature showed a special cream that is put on legs and feet and then these socks which when worn overnight made fat evaporate out of the body, the lady they had on the show said she has lost 5 stone in a year without dieting. Of course I could see that this was some kind of joke…but how is that funny when there are thousands of overweight people just waiting for that miracle weightloss cure.
I couldn’t believe that ITV had gone down this line and I wondered if OFCOM had recieved many compaints about it. One online forum shows just how upset some people were, and evidence that some people actually believed this, seems like some unscrupoulous individuals started selling a product with the same name on ebay – you see this is how desperate some people can be.
Making fun of Fat people is nothing new though, it has been around for years, and I guess we are all guilty of teasing others at school or making snide comments like ‘cor she ain’t half got fat’, so this is not me being on my high horse saying that I have never done it, because I am sure I have. I am more aware of it these days I suppose.
Besides even Fat people like making jokes about other Fat people, but we are allowed of course because we are Fat…but are we allowed? Does the fact that we are overweight ourselves make it OK?
No I think not.
I am working on a proposal at the moment for a comprehensive running book for plus size runners and each chapter starts with a quote from a female in the public eye many of whom are overweight themselves. I love quotes so have a collection of them to hand, quotes that make me laugh, make me think and generally inspire me to make better choices with my own life. But I am still missing a few, so last night I was browsing a quote website to see if I could find some new ones, which is when I came across this…
“What could be funnier than a fat person trying to run a marathon” Jo Brand
Now I have no idea when or where this was said or in what context but it shocked me completely. Yes I know she is a comedian and its her job to shock people and be crass etc, and she is the first to mock herself and her appearance but I just don’t get why it is funny? What is humorous about a Fat person trying to run a marathon, is it the way they look? the fact that they are pushing themselves to the limit? the amount of energy it takes them? how much slower they go than everyone else? Is it funny if they complete it, or only if they try but fail…I just do not get why the concept is so funny.
Am I missing something or is she simply saying what everyone else is thinking?
After a little bit of digging I think I have found what it might be to do with, a campaign where Jo herself is captured on film running. I am still not completely convinced though…but I feel a little better about her dig knowing that at least she is aware of what it takes to run as a larger lady.
Laughing at fat people is ingrained in us from an early age, we have just become used to it. TV & Film companies cast actors simply because they are fat for comedic roles. Would Heather from Eastenders have been so comical if it wasn’t for her shape, what about Roland from Grange Hill? And what about Mr Blobby or Chunk from the Goonies…so now we are laughing at fat kids too (remember my Mock the Fat Bird post?).
But having excess body Fat is no laughing matter. Being the butt of everyones joke, putting up with sniggers when you do something remotely embarrassing and not because of what you did but the fact that you are Fat and you did it. It is exhausting.
Being overweight has serious health consequences that are definately not funny and for many of us our weight cause bouts of depression, great unhappiness and stress, it is litereally a weight which drags us down and reminds us of our failures and struggles with food and exercise. Yet we laugh.
A popular April Fools joke that goes around on social media each year is statuses that read “Guess what I am pregnant” and then after all the congratulations you get the “Fooled You” message and we all smile at the fact we have been got again. But this year a campaign has been launched to make people think twice about posting those fake pregnancy jokes.
Because if you are desperately trying for a baby, going through IVF, have recently lost a baby or simply just can’t have kids it can be very painful to see everyone else making a joke of it. Some would say we all need to lighten up and just not take these things so serious. I say if anything we need to be much more serious about the issue of FAT in this world and be more selective with our sense of humor laughing at things that are really funny instead of things which hurt other people.
So come on guys no more FAT jokes!!!