Dear Fat People is either a video that Nicole Arbour created that’s both funny and sends a message that obese people should get healthy, or a fat-shaming video in which Nicole cruelly bullies those who are overweight. And that’s the big, fat debate that has become an ongoing battle on social media and beyond, reported Us Weekly.
Arbour argued that her “Dear Fat People” video combines humor with truth, insisting that it’s not fat-shaming or bullying. In Nicole’s views, it’s just another comedy bit.
“My aim was to make people laugh. I think that’s pretty darn noble,” said Arbour.
In addition, the 28-year-old comedian elaborated on the way that she creates her video, and defended her “Dear Fat People” commentary.
“Whenever I do a video, there’s always comedy mixed with some satire, some stinging truths, and a resolution at the end. I don’t shame people… I do a new bit every single week… I don’t shame anyone. I don’t actually believe in bullying at all.”
As to whom she directed her video, Nicole said that it is not intended for someone with a few extra pounds, but specifically targets those who are obese. She said she sees it all as comedy, and argued that she targets everyone in various comedic bits.
“The video was about obese people. I was very specific that it’s not the average guy with some cushion for the pushin’. [The message is that]…we want them to be healthy,” added Arbour.
But Whitney Way Thore, the reality TV star of My Big Fat Fabulous Life, doesn’t see it that way. She responded to “Dear Fat People” with a video of her own that talks directly to Nicole and explains to Arbour why Whitney feels she is fat-shaming, reported People.
With regard to Nicole’s insistence that fat-shaming is fictional, Whitney challenged what she sees as the relationship to body-shaming.
“Fat-shaming is not a thing. Fat people made that up,” claimed Arbour in her video.
Head of the No Body Shame campaign, the reality TV star contended that fat-shaming is real.
“Fat-shaming is a thing; it’s a really big thing, no pun intended. It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body-shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.”
In addition, Whitney responded to the “Dear Fat People” statement by Nicole that she had not addressed her video to those with a health condition.
“People watching this with a specific health condition, this is not aimed at you,” said Arbour.
But Thore, who has struggled with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), pointed out in her rebuttal that just looking at someone does not reveal whether that person has a health concern.
“The next time you see a fat person, you don’t know whether that person has a medical condition that caused them to gain weight. You don’t know if their mother just died. You don’t know if they’re depressed or suicidal or if they just lost 100 pounds. You don’t know,” added the reality TV star.
In addition to Whitney, “Dear Fat People” has resulted in more backlash for Nicole. Arbour was reportedly fired from a job on a movie, reported the Daily Mail.
Film director Pat Mills says he had been in contact with Nicole about using her to choreograph Don’t Talk to Irene, which is a dance movie about anti-bullying. Then he saw her video.
“Dear Fat People is an unfunny and cruel fat-shaming video that guises itself about being about ‘health.’ It’s fat-phobic and awful. It went on for over six minutes. I felt like I had been punched in the gut,” said Mills.
In addition, Pat revealed that he had been bullied himself growing up.
“I’m gay. I was bullied a lot as a kid. I am no stranger to ridicule and loneliness,” said the movie director.
After Mills saw Arbour’s video, he informed her that he would not work with her on his film, which he noted is the opposite of her “Dear Fat People” content because it focuses on “body-positive” messages.
“I’m not currently, nor have I been attached to any feature films as of late… I have never formally been attached to choreograph a film project,” Nicole said in contending that she was not officially working on the movie.
[Photo by D Dipasupil / Getty Images for the Shortly Awards]