This Article is About
fat person
insecurities
public eye
computer screen
plethora
movie star
Mind Your Comments, You Bully!
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An 800 pound 'bride'. Many readers may have seen the article. This lady is going for a record, has been on an Internet site designed to excite men who are into that kind of thing, and even featured on TV.

Like everyone else I read the article with interest and even morbid curiosity. It’s difficult not to have an immediate reaction and from this spews forth a plethora of comment.

When people put themselves in the public eye they are opening themselves to comment and possibly criticism. It's an understandable fact.

Sadly the one thing lacking in comments is the consideration that we're all discussing a person here as if she's out of the room. It’s like we’re telling secrets or passing an opinion behind someone’s back.

Is there such a thing in Internet land and on social media? There are certainly no secrets ‘out there’. Is it OK to enter into the public gossip?

Is there a distinction between a movie star who has ‘legitimate fame’ and a ‘normal’ every day person who just happens to be different in some way than you and me?

Are we allowed to criticize celebrities in their follies and is it just as OK to publicly discuss a fat person, a thin person or a lady who’s chosen IVF to have eight babies at once.

Is this not considered a form of cyber bullying of the same elk that we condemn our children for?

Is this individual reading the comments we are making? I would certainly be interested in how the world perceives me. Do we stand behind those comments and would we make them to the persons face?

Is anything allowable when there’s a computer screen between the day-to-day realities of life? Is our avatar anonymous enough for most of us?

The reality is that these people, despite their situation in life that is unusual at best, are just like us. They breathe, they laugh, and they cry, love and fear.

Perhaps their insecurities are just as valid as their bold and defiant stance against the world that forces their public display of “Look at me! I am here and I stand in the face of your opinions of what is ‘right’ in the world”

I see a soul that is the same size as yours and mine and a journey that isn’t over yet. A woman hoping for love and happiness in the best way she knows how to seek for it.

A bride! Her gown tailored to her size, her make up in place and her hair styled beautifully. A radiant beauty on the most special day of her life. A man who stands at her side and loves her for exactly who she is.

What right do I have to comment on this? I admit that from habit I did post a comment… although it’s made me think twice!


Street Talk

AnnMarie  

Unfortunately, gossip is often malicious because the people who spread it do so with all but good intent. Bashing people is "fun" to them. You are so right...there is a person with a soul in all of us. Cruel people wouldn't like the same bad treatment being performed against them but have no problem dishing it out. This article got my man's-inhumanity-to-man hackles raised. And it's not easy to stay out of the public eye these days, especially if you are truly different from social mores.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for your considered comment AnnMarie. Yes, this article stimulated a lot of emotion and, truthfully, more than I wanted it to. Your last sentence is very valid. While I don't think it's the case in this instance (she did apparently have an internet site to promote herself) I think it's tragic when ordinary people end up in the news for, often, very sad and traumatic reasons. Some people comment and just are spiteful and plain nasty... often without logic. I actually stopped reading comment sections on my internet news page. It was too negative!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
AnnMarie  

So true...I often can't believe how crass and cruel people are in comments. I believe it will come back to haunt them in some way...Kharma

  
  about 7 years ago

Good article. Valid points! Still, I feel sad for her and for her children. I know losing a pound is difficult. Each and every one:-) If or when this woman achieves her goal and wants to resume a normal life she has a very tough path.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes, Cynthia. There's not many people who haven't proved it's easier to put on than to take off!!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Lemuel  

Hi Heather. "An 800 pound bride" is a very interesting story that can easily attract negative comments, because she does the opposite in preparation for her wedding day. And there seems to be more negative feedback than positive. I wonder how she feels right now, but I'm sure she has prepared for this, the fact that she decided to be in the limelight. And yes no one has the right to judge others. Plus knowing also that her lover loves her the way she is, and are planning to get married, is very personal for me - something that I should respect. But in case, after wedding she wants to go back to her normal weight, I would gladly invite her to my website.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I would gladly refer her to your website Lemuel! ;-) Your comment reminded me of what we project to the world in order to get a desired response. We can't assume to know what this is for others, or even ourselves, but if she was low in self esteem or believed she is unloveable (etc etc and whatever) she is doing a good job of projecting an image publicly that gets the positive response to support her own internal belief system about herself. This is kind of deep maybe.... I should write an article but I'm a little over the issue! ;-)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

If this was an overweight lady that was being picked on simply because she is overweight then I would agree that we have no right to make hurtful comments and would be happy that she had found someone that loved her for who she is - but that is not what we are talking about here. This is a lady who was about average size and has gone/is going to extreme lengths to make herself as fat as she possibly can and is shouting the fact from the rooftops! She has no consideration for her young sons who have had to be pictured with her for articles and who will obviously be getting stared and pointed at in the supermarket when they go on their massive monthly food shop. Luckily for her she hasn't just met someone who loves her for who she is but someone who is happy to help her become the woman she wants to be - he is a feeder! She is not helping overweight women come to terms with the fact that it is OK to be fat she is probably making them feel even more self conscious about how they may be perceived - and yes I would happily tell her this to her face!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

;-) Thanks Sue! I appreciate your comments and haven't missed the irony that my article has stimulated yet more comments... One thing that can't be denied in this instance is that the lady has put herself out there as a 'public' figure. She was my example though. My thoughts were more aimed at what and how we comment! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts. I hadn't actually considered the impact of all this on her son.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I would like to say that I do totally agree with you about the commenting part in a criticizing way. I most certainly respect a personal choice.However, I really disapprove of any comments like: what a special goal, or an amazing effort or something like that, in cases like this when somebody chooses to do something that under no circumstances is it a model to follow. I mean, there are young people out there who read that stuff and do not yet have the critical judgement that adults and mature people have, so they just get the wrong message. Publicity should be attracted when someone has something important to say, has done something good, can be used as an example by you to your children to follow, when you are able to say: look he/she worked hard for a project or something. Maybe I am a bit cynical but all I can see to this is a woman crying out for attention and trying to die to get it. So, instead of commenting her I suggest we should comment on what was the reason that drove her to this condition and the decision to become the biggest person. And I think that this is the safest part of the story. That was an excellent article dear Heather!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Maria. I think her 'motivation' is the most interesting part of the story (from my point of view that is) although it's very unlikely she knows it herself. There's fine lines between reasons, the blame game (e.g. my mother made me do it...) and the delusion that what the person is doing it a personal achievement (similar to a child who is 'naughty' to get needed attention). As with all these things the discussion could go off on many tangents. Thanks for adding your thought. I do agree and hadn't actually thought about the impact these people may have in condoning unhealthy actions in others by their example. Well said!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you Heather for reading my comment so carefully. Sometimes I may be a bit cynical but then we can not always act as if everything is pretty normal when it isn' t.

  
  about 7 years ago
Kyle  

I will admit that I have commented on this as I do have my opinions about it. I think that people are entitled to their opinion and this is a discussion about someone that is attempting to get "publicity"...it did not just happen. This lady wants to be the "biggest person ever recorded". It is no different than a celebrity aiming to get exposure, if you put yourself in the public eye people are going to talk about you. If you make your weight the focus, people are going to talk about your weight. Health is something that is very important to a lot of people...and many people find this absurd, disgusting, and unfair (in particular if this lady has children). It is like someone claiming they are going to smoke the most cigarettes out of anyone ever, sacrificing their health for fame. If this lady were to make the claim that she is going to lose the most weight ever, I think the conversation points would be much more positive. And to your main point, I think people act as cowards in the age of anonymity. If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, then it should not be said. With technology, this has been removed altogether, but I still do have hope in the human race... :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

All is not lost then, Kyle, while ever there is hope. I do actually agree with everything you say. I commented too and realise this woman was putting herself 'out there' for comment (and criticism?) To be honest the comments were all reasonable. What I found amazing was that after reading them all I was left with a sense that the 'issue' was removed from being human. It was like discussing the fat content of salami. The media takes things like this every day and runs with them in attention grabbing headlines. I guess we are no different in publicly declaring our opinions?! Those who would know me would acknowledge I'm full of them! Thanks for joining the commenting here.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kyle  

Yeah, media will do whatever it takes to get a story out there even if it takes positioning a story in a way that is full of "half truths" and embellishment. I think that it is disgusting but I also think that someone that would essentially kill themselves for this sort of exposure is disgusting as well, the act, not the person. I guess we can just focus on our own personal actions and through our voice and opinions help change other people's perspective on the reality of certain situations so they are not influenced so heavily on the "surface story".

Reply
  about 7 years ago
joe witt  

Excellent article Heather and very pertinent in this day and age. While I find the anonymous comments aimed at people which are truly vicious and nasty to be the work of cowards; if you put yourself out there be ready for positive and negative feedback. While I have not seen this women or her story I find that sometimes people can be overly polite, and to be honest hiding or avoiding the truth isn't going to be helpful to anyone. I personally prefer blunt honesty, although there is something to be said for tact.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Perhaps the best word for all this is 'tact' Joe. It's a wonderful combination of honesty and truth but without the bluntness. There's not many things that can't be said from a position of kindness. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Mike Bond  

Again, I entirely agree with you. If you daren't say it to the person's face, then throw away your pen! Every good wish, Mike

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Mike.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
C4rmen  

It certainly feels like a world of anonymous avatars (great phrase in modern day by the way) at times. Which is why I think its all the more reason to only writewhat you honestly feel you would say in person. Good pick up on this topic Heather.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks C4men! One of those spontaneous articles but sometimes they're the important ones I guess.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you, Heather--this subject doesn't come up nearly as often as it should. One problem is people. The Internet, Twitter, Facebook--these are all just people in a different setting. There will always be nasty, little people who distract themselves from themselves by pointing and laughing at others. And there will always be thoughtful people who will never purposely hurt another's feelings, in cyber-space or out of it. To care--that is my religion. It is always the best thing to do. It is never wrong. To ignore things that should be ignored isn't 'dishonest', it's just good manners. When one hurts another, we should care--we don't have to agree on the reaction, we just have to care and the answer will present itself. To care enough to inconvenience ourselves for another's benefit--that is a gift we can all give, every day of our lives. And, to not care is the surest way to loneliness and despair. When we are busy caring, we are distracted from our own little wants and pangs--a benefit that nothing but morphine can equal--and caring doesn't destroy the body like morphine. Uh-Oh, that atheist is starting to sound like a preacher! Never mind, pretend I didn't say anything...

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Well you did say it was your religion so surely preaching on it is mandatory! Thank you for your comment Christopher. Enjoyed your input as always!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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