Yesterday, a somewhat well-known blogger wrote a post fat shaming kids.
Yes, that’s right. Fat shaming children.
I’m not going to do her the honor of linking to her blog, but I’m sure you can find it by googling the details that I’m putting in this post. To sum it up though, she went to the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and saw a bunch of school-age kids, some on a class trip, some with parents. They were in the section at the end of the tour where you can get little cups and try different products that Coca-Cola sells around the world (kind of like you can at Epcot).
In her opinion, this was inappropriate for the kids. Kids shouldn’t drink soda! And then she took it a step further. She took pictures of the fattest kids she saw. She put boxes over their faces and put the pictures on her blog, purely to point out that hey, these kids are chubby! Who in their right minds would let them drink soda?
Now, I’ll be honest. Kids probably shouldn’t subsist on a diet of soda and Cheetoes. At least not until college. But first off, there’s nothing wrong with letting kids go a little crazy and have some sugary soda. Tiny cups. They can’t have consumed that much. Sure, I feel for the teachers on that school bus ride back, but whatever. Special occasion.
However. That’s not the point. The point is that an adult, a mature, allegedly responsible person, is fat shaming children. Do you think there’s a chance one of these kids saw her taking the photos? Do you think there’s a chance that someone will see these pictures and identify the kids? I certainly think it’s possible.
This makes me mad and incredibly sad all at the same time. When I was that age, I was the chubby kid. Maybe not the biggest in my grade, but I wasn’t a small girl either. (I’m still not.) But I would have been that kid running from soda machine to soda machine, trying all the different flavors. I still would, though I’d probably go for the unusual flavors – I can have regular Coke whenever I want.
I cannot imagine finding a photo of myself on the internet used to point out how fat I am. It would hurt now, and I’m fairly self-confident. I know I’m awesome, and I’ve come to terms with my body. I’d like it to be smaller, but it is what it is. However. It took me years to get to this point. If this had happened to me when I was the age of these kids, I would have been mortified. That’s humiliation beyond imagining. Kids deal with enough as it is. They don’t need adults on the internet helping mock them.
I am so glad that the internet wasn’t big when I was young.
I don’t know that I have a point here. I’m just so incredibly appalled. And I’m sad that some people in our society think that this is okay. Fat shaming of anyone is not okay. Fat shaming of children is most certainly not okay. And I don’t know what we do to stop it.