A Healthy Dose of Public Shaming

by Meredith on February 13, 2013

Since I have the platform to do so, I figured we could have a good old fashioned public shaming today.

Twitter was a hot bed of meanness during the Grammy’s this year. Apparently, only women who weigh less than 120 pounds deserve a Grammy.

No one is getting their Twitter handle blacked out for this. If you want to act like an asshole, you will be treated like an asshole.

Today, Fat Shamers, WE SHAME YOU!

Mr Jason Falls is a special case. He is the lead Digital Strategist for Cafe Press, and he has about 65,000 Twitter followers. One would think that with his following and job title, Jason would be a teeny bit more responsible on social media. I will no longer be buying a thing from Cafe Press, thank you very much.

So, dear Fat Shamers, let me show what it looks like to try to find a dress for a formal event… when you are not a size 0, or 2, or 4, or even a size 8….

I am sure your sensitive little baby eyes are bleeding right out of your face right now, Fat Shamer.

And you, Fat Shamer, you are wondering what the hell you just witnessed in that photo of me. Well, let me tell you what you just saw there. You just saw a size 12 woman, in some broken down Spanx (because those things cost $40, so us “big boned” girls make them last as long as we can), trying on a dress that was marked “XL”. An extra large for who, exactly?

But such is life when you weigh more than 120 pounds.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, makes me more upset that fat shaming.

I hope you’ll share this post. Today, we shall publicly shame the Fat Shamers.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
(these are hugs and kisses from me… someone who is TONS of fun)

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Miss Lifesaver

Slow claps to you for calling out these bullies. It makes me sick that we live in a society where these comments are considered socially acceptable. It’s simply NOT okay! And furthermore, why is there this middle school mentality that we have to put others down in order to feel better about ourselves? Why do we have to find something (completely unrelated, nonetheless) to hate on just because we don’t agree with who won the award?

Reply

Meredith

I agree, they didn’t like who won the award. So they find something to make fun of.

I mean, I DID make fun of FUN’s lead singer for wearing capri leggings as pants, but I think we can ALL agree that is a huge fashion no-no.

Leggings are not pants. I don’t care who you are.

Let’s just all make fun of those who wear leggings as pants, and move off the fat jokes.

Reply

Grace

Meredith,
I think you’re funny and beautiful. But I also think you’re a hypocrite for thinking it’s okay to shame a woman for wearing leggings as pants. You can make a decision for yourself not to wear leggings as pants if it’s not your style, but no woman deserves SHAME for her fashion choices. It’s just wrong.

Reply

Roxie

You must be one of those people who DOES wear leggings as pants. They’re called leggings for a reason. If they were meant to be worn as pants, they’d be called pants.

Reply

Amy Ala

I may love this more than I love my Spanx. And that is A LOT.

Reply

Lisa

And this is why you are awesome.

Reply

Dee

How ’bout the A$$hole film critic saying Melissa McCarthy is “tractor sized” or that she is a female hippo. Apparently, he and all these others were never taught-”if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all”
I consider all these twitter comments as adult bullying.
Everyone wonders why kids/teens are so critical of people, look at this plethra of people sending hurtful comments about stars. They should be proud of who they are and it doesn’t matter what size they are! Their talent is what got them to the Grammys!

Meredith – love this post! You tell ‘em! P.S. I totally agree with your comment on who the XL is for anymore!

Reply

Meredith

Apparently, only small people should be on TV as well.

Grammys + TV = Women Who Don’t Require Spanx ONLY

Reply

Jessica Miller-Merrell

I’m shocked that Jason would write that. I mean, he is a big guy too. Frankly, I’m happy that their is variety and people don’t feel like they have to kill themselves for months before they walk the red carpet. I’m not going to stop living my dreams and living my life because I have a little extra. People are angry and critical on the internet. I recently had a blog commenter tell me that she wouldn’t hire me as her CEO because I was heavy and then proceeded to compare losing weight to getting a haircut and glasses. Because that is exactly the same and only takes an hour to change. . .

I’ve been thinking more and more about public shaming on Twitter and other social medias. We have audiences big and small. It’s public and people are listening. I have a tendancy to go on rants and cause trouble because I can. I think we all need to remember how we would feel if someone was mean, hurtful, or angry to our face like these tweets are.

Jessica

Reply

Tarah

I was thinking the exact. same. thing. I’ve met Jason…he’s not exactly ready for a GQ cover.

Reply

Meredith

He did try to retract, stating that he was speaking to her dress.

I call BS. It was CLEAR what he was saying. Nice try, Jason. Nice try.

And I have no idea what he looks like, but based on this, I find it odd that he would be such a pig.

Reply

Michael

I hope the person making the comparison of weight loss to professional appearance isn’t in a position to make hiring decisions. It’s shameful the judgments that people pass on to others of different shapes. It should be as socially unacceptable as the use of ethnic slurs.

Reply

Allison Zapata

LOVE YOU! Also, are those your BlogHer spanx?

Reply

Meredith

Those are long gone. And that was a SPECIAL kind of day! :) Hahaha!

Reply

Kristy

Love this post!

I watched the Grammys for the first time in ages and what I noticed and commented on to my hubby was how glad I was to see ‘non traditonal hollywood” sizes up there. I told him that if we were to encounter any of those ladies in public, we would both think they were average or even needed to eat! But when you stick em next to very small ladies they look even bigger. I thought every single one of the ladies mentioned by those twitter bullies looked AMAZING

Reply

Meredith

I agree, they were all beautiful. And they all probably stressed the heck out trying to find something to wear that made them feel good because they would be next to very small ladies.

That photo of me is from a week ago, when I was struggling to find something to wear to the Toledo Auto Show Gala. Being a woman is hard, yo!

Reply

Tim Sackett

Mer –

You had me at “Toledo Auto Show Gala” – who needs to make fun of fat chicks when you have endless material like that!

T.

Reply

Kristen

You are the best. Ever. And that Cafe Press guy? Effing gross. I heart you.

Reply

Meredith

Even if he is super nice in real life, now he will always be known to me as the woman-hater. Like, even if he isn’t – he is to me.

Reply

Jason Falls

I’d love the chance to prove that wrong. I know I made a mistake, but I’m not a bad person.

Reply

Meredith

Jason,

Thank you so much for commenting today. My opinion of you has changed. And yes, we all make mistakes online. I’ve made them myself.

Meredith Soleau

Reply

Jason Falls

Thank you. I’ve genuinely felt like an ass since that night, so I deserve the call-out. I’d still love the chance to connect more meaningfully than this, so if you’re ever in Louisville, we cross paths at a conference or I’m ever up your way, I’d love to buy you coffee or lunch or just say “hello.”

And please don’t hate CafePress. They didn’t screw that up. I did. ;-)

Nuala Reilly

I love you!! Bravo. I can’t tell you how much I love this post.

Reply

Jennifer

My friend tells me all the time that fat shaming is the last acceptable form of prejudice (in a shake my head kind of way of course). More people speaking out will change that. Thanks for being brave enough to do it!

Reply

Meredith

It’s true! People are prejudice all the time against fat people.

Reply

Adria

This fat girl would kill to look like any one of those people – including you, Meredith! Good for you for calling them out. I hate that my daughter is growing up in a society that 1) only values people for their physical appearance and 2) thinks you have to look a certain way to be beautiful. Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. You are STUNNING!

Reply

Nikki J.

Miranda was THE best damn looking woman there that night! I was all oooglly over her that night so much my fiancé’ was worried I was crawling to the other side. He knows the rules, Miranda is on “the list”. He thinks she looks amazing too and had no idea she was even smaller in her younger years. Had to google pics of her Kerosene days and he likes her better now. Ultimately she is my idle body type!

Reply

Rae Ann

Slow clap, Meredith!

Reply

Nona

I was in a business meeting last week (with college educated professionals) when someone made a fat joke (not about me, about another colleague that wasn’t in the meeting.) Everyone laughed except me. Because clearly I am not a “jolly” fat woman and clearly I cannot take a joke.

By the way, you are beautiful. And so is Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert and Adele.

Reply

Meredith

Wow! About a colleague not in the room?

*falls off chair*

Reply

Campbell

I am laughing so hard I’m crying! Way to go Meredith!

Reply

Jason Falls

You’re right and I deserve the criticism. For what it’s worth, I apologized on Twitter and contextualized the sentiment I wished to convey but did so poorly moments later. I’m not saying I don’t deserve the criticism here … But in all fairness, I recounted and apologized for the misstep almost immediately.

I’m overweight myself. There was never an intent to diminish anyone based on their weight. My sentiment, again poorly communicated, was simply that specific outfit was not flattering. No, I have no credibility as a fashion commentator either. But I was tweeting the Grammys as an individual and fan like everyone else. I certainly don’t represent CafePress in that context.

I understand my chosen words were deplorable and I am sorry. I hope you and your audience better understand that and my responsiveness then, now.

Reply

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jason,

We all make mistakes. Lord knows I’ve said the most ridiculous things on Twitter and other places. It happens. Shows your character choosing to comment here.

Jessica

Reply

Jason Falls

Thank you, Jessica. I caught myself immediately after posting and have felt like an ass since. Sure hope others here and elsewhere can see that.

Reply

Allison Zapata

Love that you commented here, and so graciously, too. Bravo! :)

Reply

Jason Falls

Thank you, Allison. Glad folks are reading the full thread to capture that. Appreciate the acknowledgement.

Reply

farrar

very cool to own up to a mistake. We all lose our filters sometimes and say things that once said we go – WTH! Why did I say that!

Reply

Elinor

Can we all just agree that most of the women on stage being called ‘fat’ aren’t actually fat, and their ‘thin’ conterparts are usually lighter then their suggested healthy BMIs. And FFS a 12 is not FAT! You can be a 12,14,16 ect and still be healthy. My BFF outweighs me by 20-30lbs and is a few inches shorter. She is a size 12, and she runs 10-12 marathons a year. I sit on my ass and climb rocks. She kicks my ass in the healthy/fit department.
But regardless of pant-size, poor body image is so, so damaging. So unhealthy. More unhealthy then your thighs touching.

Reply

Becky

Thank you for being real and using the internet voice that you have for saying what you do. I loved this post.

Reply

Brandi

It’s no wonder that this world is full of child/teenaged bullies. It’s because everyone these days thinks it is their right to judge others AND that it’s their right to express it to anyone that wants to listen. I’m not sure I want to raise children in a world that bases people’s worthiness on their size or their looks or their color.

Thank you for standing up for them and calling out the bullies.

Reply

Shaun

Miranda Lambert has a permanent spot on my list, Meredith has accepted that. The shaming-thing is juvenille at best. I hope our 10 yr old isn’t doing the same thing in school. We as adults sure do talk a lot of shit when bullying stories show up on the news and 20/20, but at the end of the day people still hang on to junior high defense mechanisms to make themselves feel better, see all of the twitter traffic from Sunday.

Rock on Miranda, I can’t wait to see you in concert again.

Reply

Lindsay

Awesome. <3

Reply

stephgas

fat shaming is the last acceptable form of prejudice. i wish we could stop judging people just by how they look. me being fat has nothing to do with my work ethic, moral values, courtesy and manners, or anything that concerns other people – except that i don’t look the way they think i should.

dicks.

Reply

Meredith Elyse

It’s pretty effing ridiculous that the first 2 tweets are from other women. Gimme a break here people and show some solidarity.

Reply

erica

I read this article this old article the other day about people freaking out about Hillary Clinton going outside with no make-up on. I happened on this article after reading the article that awful man wrote about Melissa McCartney who is only the most awesome lady around. Anyway, here is a quote from it:

“too many people still believe that they can pull the “you’re ugly” trump card when they don’t agree with a woman. You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.”- Erin Gloria Ryan

I can’t get the sentiment of this out of my head and it rings even more true today. I hope your readers made the above mentioned people feel like assholes.

Reply

Cindy

I love you. I just love you.
I cast my shame on them. And I bow down to you.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: