Body judgements and body shaming

A couple of my friends who are gym members belong to a Facebook group called “Awkward Gym Moments”.  I’ve been to the page a few times because some of the comedic memes & videos on their do make me giggle. I get it, generally Awkward Gym Moments is essentially a bloopers page for the bodybuilding/fitness world, and provides a little comic relief to what most who do it consider a serious endeavour.

So I was a little surprised when this picture above was posted on their Facebook page this week.  I think there is a lot wrong with this picture, starting with the following:
1.  Assumes that anyone who is handicapped is fat
2.  Assumes that anyone who is handicapped is using that handicap as an excuse not to exercise
3.  It engages in body shaming and judging
4.  Said assumptions are made without anything other than a quick visual of a person.
5.  It assumes that the only way to lose weight (handicap or not) is exercise.

Here’s the problem with pictures like this. There are fat people who overeat, and don’t exercise at all. Then there are fat people who eat healthy foods, and exercise daily, and can’t lose weight for lots of different reasons. You can’t look at a fat person & figure out why they’re fat, just that they are, so a caption like this is presumptive, prejudicial in nature, and plain old dumb.

Did it ever occur to anyone that the person in that handicapped spot gained weight because of their affliction?  Or, is your prejudice against those who can’t or choose not to hit the gym showing?


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