LN – Gordophobia. What’s behind the viral jokes that make fun of obesity

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Quarantine is often heard as an opportunity to bring out the best in us. However, with the passing of the weeks it has become evident that social intolerance continues, even exacerbated by this technological environment in which everything goes viral with amazing speed.

Among all the social groups that have been teased, there is one that, by far, tops the list. Memes and stickers

fat bodies

they present themselves to us as that inexorable destiny towards which we all turn because we are connecting in a more pleasant and less guilty way with food. The images circulate everywhere and, in all, the warning is the same even if it is said in different ways: ”

so we will be after quarantine

That of obesity is not a minor issue in our society. In Latin America it is estimated that six out of 10 adults suffer from it. At the national level, according to the 4th National Survey of Risk Factors, prepared by the Ministry of Health and INDEC and published in 2019, if we add to overweight and obese people, the total involves

more than 60% of the population


It is said that if something doesn’t make everyone laugh, it’s not really funny. Far from making people laugh, obesity jokes are generating different types of reactions. Under the hashtag


, Many voices are making it clear on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that what some consider funny is, in fact, a new example of the discrimination that fat people had been objecting to since before the pandemic.

But there are those who believe that this kind of discrimination has nothing to do with a phobia and that is why they call it ”

fat hate

Jime Carol, dancer, performer, plus size model and fat activist, is among those people. “I never saw anyone crying in fear when they saw me. I do see people who laugh at me and question my health and habits.

We live in a fat fat society

And, curiously, we have a very high rate of eating disorders. In general, the fat body is ridiculed and is considered outside the market of pleasure and enjoyment. Then you hate what you don’t want for yourself, “reflects Carol, also known as” the Pichi “.

Discrimination in the form of jokes against fat people was one of the triggers for a document produced by the Inadi. “In times where the priority is the promotion of speeches that call for solidarity, responsibility and multiple care, the appearance of questions, fears and suggestions about the bodies

they only strengthen the ridicule and stigmatization of the body diversity of people

“reads the paper entitled” Discrimination in times of coronavirus: reflections on the use of networks in a pandemic “.

“The stereotyped view of bodies places fat bodies in an inferior relationship with respect to skinny bodies, because they” represent “, on the one hand, the failure of beauty, particularly” feminine “, and on the other, the failure economic associated with the prejudices of neglect, unproductiveness and poor diet “, analyzes the aforementioned report.

Karina Iummato Coordinator of Investigations and Observatories against Discrimination Inadi considers that this type of actions

contribute to increasing exclusion and inequality

. “The widespread concern about the aesthetic effects of preventive and compulsory social isolation strengthens the hegemonic model of beauty that is absolutely naturalized in our society, fueled by the circulation of fat-phobic and fat-hate prejudices and stereotypes that build a discriminatory social discourse, nullifying diversity of the bodies as something desirable, “he maintains.

Plus size model Brenda Mato believes that the fat jokes that are circulating are part of

the same discrimination as always but in “quarantine mode”

. “It is the same one that we suffer when we cannot find the clothes that we like in our size, when we see that the seats on public transport are getting smaller, when we cannot get a job because it seems that you cannot have a good presence if you are Fat, when you find it difficult to relate to others without others judging or giving your opinion and when you cannot eat quietly in public, be it a salad or a hamburger, without someone pointing out what you eat, “she exemplifies.

See this post on Instagram

The other day I took this picture after training at home. I never uploaded photos or videos training because I don’t feel comfortable. With all this quarantine shit and fat phobia, I realized that I never saw staying home and being sedentary as a problem, because as I exercise for myself and because I feel it does my body good, without looking for a descent of weight. It’s hard to talk about exercise when you have a fat body because people arbitrarily assume that you don’t do anything. Or also because it seems to me a shit to have to be justifying all the time that I am fat even exercising. They taught us that physical activity is an obligation, a punishment to burn the calories we eat. If you ate an alfajor it’s 10 more minutes. If I paint you that the pizza was delicious and you ate one more slice, 20 minutes and so we ended up transforming something that should generate happiness and pleasure in torture. Doing an activity, whatever you like, is great, but at your own time, at your own pace. If today you do not feel like it and it does not arise, they are not excuses, you are not lazy. It happens to us with everything, sometimes we feel like it, sometimes we don’t, and it’s fine. Exercising, like everything, has to be a choice. And it has to come from loving our bodies and not from hatred. It’s a fucking moment. If you don’t do it, don’t push yourself. The size of your body does not determine your value. If you gain or lose weight during quarantine, believe me, nothing happens.

A shared publication of

Brenda Mato – Plus Size Model

(@ brenda.mato) the

Although it is true that obesity generates health disorders -in fact, it increases the risk of contracting COVID-19-, Brenda considers it contradictory that those who think about the way of life of fat people say that they do it for a health issue . “It would be good if people remembered that health is also psychic and emotional and that this harassment is not free. Many times it ends up having an impact on physical health. In a context like this,

can generate depression, anxiety and even eating disorders

“, alert.

For her part, Jime Carol tells that, during the first week of quarantine, she carried out a survey among her followers, which 700 people answered. Of these, some 160 also told him about their personal experiences around the teasing. “40% told me that receiving this kind of messages

distresses them and changes their day

. It takes them away from the food but then leads them to binge. Their insecurity increases, “he laments. And he concludes with a provocative proposal:” It would be good if, during the quarantine, all those who usually comment on the bodies of others keep their opinions to themselves. And that, when the quarantine passes, they keep them too. ”


Publicado en el diario La Nación

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