‘Dear Fat People’ is Not Funny…and It’s Definitely Not Effective

What was she thinking?

Why did Canadian YouTuber Nicole Arbour think Dear Fat People was a good idea?  Did she really think this was funny and going to help anyone?

I’ve posted Nicole’s fat-shaming video rant below, but not because I want to give her any more exposure.  It practically broke the Internet over the weekend and YouTube temporarily suspended it (or so she claims: #censorship).  The video actually sickens me, although I’m hopeful that something positive will come out of all the conversation this has sparked.

In the video, the pink-haired, self-described comedian Nicole says:

“Fat-shaming is not a thing. Fat people made that up. That’s the race card, with no race.”

She goes on for 6 minutes mocking and complaining about “fat people.” At the end, she claims this is about helping people who need to lose weight.  Understandably, there was a strong reaction and the video quickly went viral, racking up over 20 million views with lots of backlash on social media (see Huffington Post and CNN).

There were many response videos made, including this one from Whitney Thore from TLC’s My Big Fat Fabulous Life.  As she explains:

 “Fat shaming is a thing. It’s a really big thing.”

14353653442_7180b4ce3f_o She points out that while Nicole might not be targeting people with health conditions, “You cannot tell a person’s health, physical or otherwise, from looking at them.”

She concludes in such a powerful way, which I hope everyone remembers: “Your weight does not measure your worth.”

The video spawned dozens of response videos — some were motivated by the banning of comments on Nicole’s video.  Take a look below.  You’ll find videos from Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley who are also YouTube stars, and others who make some really strong points: Shame is not a motivator.  Hate is not satire.  All so true.



I’m glad people were outraged. We need to talk about this. Nicole Arbour is insulting, she’s insensitive…and most importantly, she’s wrong.

I even tweeted about her, joining the tidal wave of criticisms.  My plea, let’s don’t make her famous. Let’s shut her up. Let’s have a productive conversation…focusing on effective approaches. Let’s show some respect.

Here’s what some of my nutrition colleagues had to say:
Elisa Zied

What do you think?


Photo: Whitney Thore by Fitty Smallz on flickr

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