Nicole Arbour has no shame about “Dear Fat People,” which has racked up over 3.6 million views since she posted it September 3. The backlash was immediate, but Arbour has no regrets, citing that she’s proud she’s started a conversation about women and body image.
In an interview with Time, Arbour made it clear her video is satire, and isn’t apologizing. “I feel it’s really important that we make fun of everybody,” Nicole told Time. “I think [what] brings us together and unites us as people is that we can poke fun at all of us.”
“Dear Fat People,” which was immediately labeled as “fat shaming” on social media, features Nicole telling overweight viewers that there’s no excuse for their weight. Arbour stresses that being overweight isn’t a disease, but instead a failure on the part of the individual.
In one scene, reports Time, Nicole insists “I don’t feel bad for you because you are taking your body for granted.” Nicole then queries, “What are you going to do, fat people? What are you going to do? You going to chase me? I can get away from you by walking at a reasonable pace.”
The backlash was swift and immediate, subsequently causing Nicole to be fired from the set of a film, reports People magazine. Nicole Arbour, who used to work with the Toronto Argonauts cheerleaders, was confirmed as the choreographer for a film called Don’t Talk to Irene.
After director Pat Mills watched the video, her attitude changed. It made the director “never want to see [Arbour] again,” Pat insisted.
Nicole Arbour, who has over 184,000 YouTube subscribers (a noticeable uptick from the 159,000 reported by Time on September 10) maintains that “Dear Fat People” is satire — and her haters are missing the point.
In her interview with Time, Arbour said she hopes the satire encourages people to exercise and get healthy, and insists she doesn’t find the video offensive.
“I find seeing someone’s head being blown off offensive,” Nicole told Time. “I find children starving in a country with more than enough food offensive.” Arbour continued, “I find women’s bodies being mutilated for religious purposes, that is offensive to me.” Arbour finished by insisting “But words and satire I don’t find offensive.”
Other celebrities have taken on “Dear Fat People.” Grace Helbig, host of The Grace Helbig Show on E!, called Nicole out on her own video, called “Oops, We’re All Humans.”
On her YouTube channel, Grace says she “was bummed that someone that seemed really smart and funny would speak about weight that way,” explaining that she’s had “issues with body image in the past, some really dark personal struggles I’ve really worked on. Most people with body image issues are pretty self aware deep down.”
In the video, Grace claims that Nicole Arbour created “Dear Fat People” to “leverage subscribers and attention in a really negative way.”
Nicole Arbour isn’t apologizing for “Dear Fat People,” insisting “if someone got something from it, then that’s great, fantastic. Comedy with a message, let’s do it.”
[Image credit: D Dipasupil / Getty Images]