The Daily Eastern News

Save your shaming for someone who cares

Abbey Whittington, Columnist

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Self-love has become a challenge for “fat people,” and this is just one subculture of many people who are seen as ugly for not following beauty standards that are already nearly impossible to follow.

A couple years ago I posted a photo of myself that I did not initially view as controversial, but is because I am over 140 pounds.

I had just bought my first two-piece bathing suit since high school when I weighed around 135 pounds. The suit is from Torrid and has a high wasted skirt and top with a red, blue and purple butterfly print.

I was on a summer vacation in Arizona and I took a picture and posted it to Twitter with a caption about body positivity. This statement obviously adds controversy to my post even though there was nothing negative about the image.

I received positive feedback, not that it is what I wanted or needed, I just wanted to post something summery and express my liking of my latest purchase.

Swim suits are not fun to buy especially when your choices are already limited because you are “plus sized” or fat, and this one was relatively easy to find. I still use it to this day.

There are many people who are fat phobic, arguably America itself.

But there is a specific subculture of men, which I have named the “neckbeards,” who love to log onto their social media accounts after a long day of surfing Reddit and playing video games and get on the band wagon of fat shaming people.

When they are not watching The Amazing Atheist or YouTube conspiracy theory videos, they are trolling on their media of choice.

During my vacation, I became the target of a neckbeard. I could only imagine his tired little fingers, probably sore from fiddling with his X Box controller, but still, there were his insecurities, impatiently waiting to be projected onto an internet stranger.

And of course, he found a meme to go along with his response to my photograph, because that is what trolls and neckbeards do.

The neckbeard responded, saying the photograph was disgusting with a little gif of a humpback whale.

I was not offended by his attempt to hurt me. I laughed hysterically and pondered my love for the creature in his gif; the same creature I have tattooed onto my right calf.

The comment has since been deleted, probably because he was publicly dragged by my friends on Twitter for being a bored and slimy mole rat.

If the neckbeard keyboard warriors must know, people are probably already doing a fine job of hating themselves for their pant size because of their comments, the alienated clothing sections and the rest of America’s representation of fat people.

Even though I was confident in these moments against the bearded keyboard warrior, body image is something that I (and many other “fat” people) struggle with every day.

Many will argue that body positivity promotes an unhealthy lifestyle for people, but they do not take other’s livelihoods into consideration

I gained weight from contraceptives and hypothyroidism. Even though I sometimes go a day without eating because I am so busy, I still have not lost weight because of my health condition, not that starvation is how I would want to lose weight if I ever decided to.

Diets do not work for everyone and some people have health problems that prevent them from losing weight.

The conversation for how I (or anyone else) am going to move forward with my health is between me and the vessel I am stuck with, until death do us part.

Abbey Whittington is a junior journalism and can be reached at 581-2812 or

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Save your shaming for someone who cares