What To Do When You See Fat or Food Shaming

As a youth services librarian, I’ve seen fat shaming, slut shaming and all other types of bullying. I don’t stand for it because children need to be taught better. I remember I was doing a third grade class visit–the most lovely group of cherubs, really. One of the girls, looked very sad during the tour. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me that one of her classmates had called her “fat.” I said with a smile: That’s okay. I am fat too. Fat is just a word. It just means the opposite of skinny. Just like you’re tall and that little girl is short. It isn’t bad. The little girl hugged me. The other kids started murmuring in agreement. No one had told them this before.

Dances With Fat

What a Load of CrapA common question I get from readers, including fat people and thin people who want to work in solidarity with fat people is how to intervene when they see fat shaming, or food shaming (or really any kind of shaming) happen.  Recently a reader asked about this situation:

I was wondering if you had any advice about what to do if you see someone else being shamed in that way, particularly children, who cannot easily stick up for themselves. As an example (and definitely not an isolated incident in my fat-phobic family): Several months ago, I was at a gathering with family and friends, and my SIL said to a child (not her own, a family friend), “Do you really need two of those?” (I think they were sliders or something like that.) The girl replied, “I always have two.” And my SIL said in an exasperated tone, “Alright, if…

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