Rule #1 of content creation: do not take unnecessary aim at people with body issues for LOLs, because they will not thank you for it.

American comedian Nicole Arbour has learnt this the really hard way, after her video ‘Dear Fat People’ – posted with the express intention of making people laugh at the expense of the bigger-boned – backfired spectacularly, to the point where YouTube temporarily suspended her channel. 

ICYMI, the six-minute video rant is essentially a poor man’s version of Jenna Marbles-style satire (if you’re not familiar, she’s made a fucking bomb sharing not-so-nice thoughts on dogs, eating, neighbours and technology on her YouTube channel), in which Arbour throws down every tasteless joke and stereotype about overweight people that you’ve ever heard.

“Fat-shaming is not a thing,” she says. “Fat people made that up.”

Clearly anticipating the backlash, Arbour disabled likes and comments on the video – but, silly thing, she didn’t take into account that she’s posting in a community of people whose main form of communication is VIDEO.

Backlash from the YouTube community was almost immediate and it was *fierce*, with several prolific vloggers – many of them key players in the realm of body-positive activism, like the star of reality TV show ‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life’, Whitney Way Thore – using their people power to spread response videos slamming Arbour’s comments. 

In her takedown video response, Thore called fat shaming “the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.”

WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO FAT PEOPLE —> #DearFatPeople This is my response to Nicole Arbour’s video (& all body shamers!) S2 of #MyBigFatFabLife premiers Wed. 9/9 at 9 on TLC! #NoBodyShame

Posted by Whitney Way Thore on Saturday, September 5, 2015

She also used the opp to plug her show but whatevs, girl’s gotta eat [SORRYYYYYYYY].

Singer-songwriter Meghan Tonjes followed her lead, explaining through tears:

“It’s not necessarily the video. It’s just the mindset I find really upsetting, even if it’s done for, like, satire or comedy, which this just isn’t. I find it really harmful.” 

 

Francis, of popular gaming channel Boogie2988, also entered the fray via an angry video response: “Fat shaming is a concept that cannot and will not scare people into losing weight,” he said.


[Side note: if you’ve never seen his viral ‘Dramatic Fat Guy Splash’ video, do yourself a favour and inhale it right this minute]:


Beauty vlogger RawBeautyKristi, called a spade a spade, slamming Arbour as a “cunt face” and the video “really fucking cringey”:


Plus-size personality Rachel Estapa was equally unimpressed by Arbour’s misguided attempt at humour:

A (rare) commentary from me about that horrible “Dear Fat People” video making the rounds. Usually I let the very common fat-shame/hate roll off because there is too much good work to be done to help those who really need my type of work via More To Love with Rachel.But the woman’s “comedy” video is so blatantly awful (on so many levels) and the first 5 seconds of my video explain a big reason! But then minute 1 on, I just let it rip :)Tagging my body-loving friends and thanking them for the amazing and very emotional work they do to fight shame and stigma of larger bodies <3

Posted by Rachel Estapa on Sunday, September 6, 2015


There’s also a video petition going round, calling for Arbour’s YouTube channel to be permanently shut down.

“Go to therapy and fix your brain,” says its creator Rachel McCord, of The McCord List.


For her part, Arbour reckons the naysayers need to STFU and get over it.


Her YouTube channel has since been reinstated, and her backlog of videos restored, but there’s obviously still some weird shiz going on because:

Sucks for her. 

Videos/images via YouTube.