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"Shit you say to fat people"

This video was written, directed, starring and conceived by Lillian Behrendt and Matt Cornell.

...and I think it's fucking brilliant. Cheers, Lillian and Matt.

Trigger warning: fat shaming, body snark, diet talk

What would you add?
I'm thinking

  • You have such a pretty face.
  • Congratulations. Getting active will help you lose weight (when you've been active - and the same size - for years, and are not trying to lose weight).
  • You're not fat.

Protest in London Today at 2:30 | NPR: "obesity epidemic" has peaked

Beanietude's picture
January 18th, 2012 | Link | "Well, just keep doing what

"Well, just keep doing what you've been doing and you'll get there eventually" (after explaining again activity levels/food + water intake for past 10 years)

"No, we don't carry maternity clothes over size 12 because women that fat don't get pregnant" (yes, sentence really spoken out loud)

"It's a quality of life issue, you understand" (upon being denied potentially life-altering surgery)

"You don't need that! You're FAT ENOUGH!" (my mother to a 12-year-old me on a full flight)

"You don't want to go with me to Stupidass Boring Store* because you just want to stay home and stuff your face with cake!" (my mother again to a 17-year-old me, though this time not in public)
*not an actual store Eye-wink

"You're built like an Irish wash woman" (my father to an 11-year-old me... and no, I didn't ask for a critique)

"We'll pay you $5 for every pound you lose. We just think you'd be happier if you lost some weight" (both parents to a 12-year-old me)

"I think you should get more exercise" (again, my mother on drive home from 3-hour tennis practice... which was after the 3-hour swimming practice in the morning)

"You're so fat, it's a wonder you can run" (5th grade... said by classmate who was bigger/fatter than me... probably deflecting)

And on a nice note...

"If you want a piece of cake for breakfast, you have it. If you'd rather have a banana, then that's fine too. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you aren't perfect the way you are. Not even your parents." (my grandmother to a 12-year-old me)

moxie3's picture
January 18th, 2012 | Link | Beanietude, Many of us have


Many of us have had similar life situations growing up and thank God for grandmothers who got it right! Smiling

vesta44's picture
January 18th, 2012 | Link | "You can't wear bright

"You can't wear bright colors, they make you look fatter." said by 'friends'.
"You wore a magenta/yellow/green/blue/teal/black print top with blue pants!? What were you thinking?" said by my mother when I came home from work one day.
Horizontal stripes are a no-no for fat people - said by every "fashion" adviser ever.
And I break all the rules whenever I can, just because I can.

WLS - Sorry, not my preferred way of dying. *glares at doctor recommending it*

Bree's picture
January 18th, 2012 | Link | Fat person: "I'm here

Fat person: "I'm here because I think I have the (insert ailment that has nothing to do with weight)."

Doctor: "We really need to talk about your weight. What do you eat? Do you exercise? If you just lost (insert random #of pounds) you wouldn't be getting sick. Here's the number to Weight Watchers and a bariatric surgeon. Have a nice day and come back when you're thin."

(My spell check does not recognize bariatric as a word, BTW It wanted to substitute barbaric). Laughing out loud

Viola's picture
January 18th, 2012 | Link | Friends/Acquaintances:

Friends/Acquaintances: "You're so fat, you look like you're pregnant. You're so fat, we can't even breathe over here, your fat is suffocating us." --said to 7 year old me who actually wasn't particularly chubby.

"Well, I hate to tell you this, but, you're fat." --said to me when a person disagreed with me, but wanted to win the argument.

"How could you let yourself get that way? I would never let myself get fat." --said by some teen girl in my neighborhood.

"Have you ever tried going on a diet?"

"Can I ask you something as a fat person? What did you do to increase your fertility?"

I was also told that I was more likely to be fertile because I was heavier.

Yelled out car windows while I'm walking
"Hey, lose some weight!"

"Hey, can I tell you something?" Me, thinking the guy needed directions, I say sure. "You're the fattest person I've ever seen." --I was pushing my toddler in a stroller at the time, and this guy so unnerved me that I called my husband to come pick me up, then I got a weapon and went back out for my walk without my daughter.


"I'm ashamed to be seen with you in public." --My mom, to me when I was about 10 or 11, as to why she didn't want to take us to the Mother Daughter Bruncheon. She did take us, however.

"No one will ever want to date you if you don't lose weight, so don't come crying to me when you're in high school, 'Mom, no boy likes me, I can't get a date'. You just sit there, stuffing your face. --also said to me when I was about 10.

"I'm only worried about your health, I'm just telling you this for your own good."

"You can't wear horizontal stripes, you'll look as big as a house!"

When I was about 12, I fell down and skinned my knee while running. My mom cleaned it and bandaged it, but after a couple of days some water ran out of from the bandage and down my leg, and I showed it to my mom. She told me that was disgusting and I should keep the bandage off. Then she said that if I hadn't been so fat, I wouldn't have fallen down while running.

When I was 14, my mom went away for a month. When she got home, she said she was disappointed that she came home and we hadn't lost any weight. She just knew we were busying dieting, trying to surprise her. Nope, but we did paint the entire apartment while she was gone. Oh, and this was said to me after she stopped paying for me to go to Weight Watchers, where I was actually losing weight. I think my mom is mentally ill, actually.

Viola's picture
January 19th, 2012 | Link | Oh, that's a good one. And

Oh, that's a good one.

And once I was told by a guy I was dating that I was "OK from the neck up."

biggoth February 7th, 2012 | Link | Things Said to Fat People

Viola wrote:

"And once I was told by a guy I was dating that I was 'OK from the neck up.'"

But HE obviously wasn't . . .

DeeLeigh's picture
January 19th, 2012 | Link | Okay, if we're talking about

Okay, if we're talking about families, wow, that's bringing it to a whole new level.

I'l add my Mom's memorable "you look like you just stepped off the boat" - a dressing room comment to teenaged me in a flower print dress. This was in the mid-80s. I found/find it hilarious even though it was a double rip on my size and the fact that I look like my dad's (southern Italian immigrant) family. I was tempted to buy the dress and rock it with Doc Martins just to annoy her.

Her usual thing was to try to make me feel guilty for eating. "Do you really need that?" was a perennial favourite (was that one on the video?). She also liked to talk pointedly about how full she was after eating small meals. Sorry, mom. Maybe that 500 calorie sandwich and salad will last YOU for a week, but I'm going to be hungry again in a few hours, just like most people would be.

Oh, and she was a good 50-70 pounds lighter than me (and 4" shorter) and was always talking about how fat she was, and how disgustingly huge her butt and thighs were. When she was over a size 8 (probably a 4 in modern sizes), she'd stop taking care of her appearance; dress frumpily, not get her hair done, that kind of thing. This was all about her own insecurities and had nothing to do with me, but it did have an impact.

So I guess I'd add "I'm so fat!!" in front of a fat person, coming from a thin person. These are often the same people who say "You're not fat!" right?

However, Mom very rarely made critical comments about my size (other than trying to get me to dress the way she thought was appropriate), which is why that particular one stuck with me, and she never forced me to diet, so I can't complain too much. However, I was in my mid twenties before I realized that I didn't always need to have something loose covering my rear end - that I could wear fitted clothes.

richie79's picture
January 19th, 2012 | Link | Courtesy of a member of my

Courtesy of a member of my family:

"It's not about how you look, it's because we're concerned about your health. If you go and give yourself diabetes you'll HAVE to start counting calories and watching what you eat."

Followed shortly afterwards by 'Like it or not people have certain stereotypes about fat people and treat them differently. You're never going to change that, it's just the way it is".

So it is about appearance and fitting in then!

On discovering visits to fat acceptance pages and a dating site in my browser history: "I just think it's really sad; you can do so much better for yourself". And then there was the old classic "if you marry a fat girl you'll end up looking after her when she's immobile at 40; do you really want to burden yourself with that?";

By a barman as I walked into his pub on my stag weekend : 'My God, you're a fat b*****d aren't you!?!" (I wasn't particularly; 300lb at the time but 6' tall and often told by others that I 'carried it well', needless to say I promptly walked back out);

Walking along the street, and quoting Blur's 1994 hit 'Parklife': 'Who's that gut lord marchin'? You should cut down on your porklife mate!" (As a Blur fan, that line has always bugged me, not least because in the video Albarn shouts it from a car window, at a guy who, like I, is walking along the street, something they tell fat people they want us to do MORE of Puzzled );

I was also witness to a bus driver telling a fat female passenger, having been informed that he'd failed to stop when she'd pushed the bell, that "you'll just have to get of at the next one and walk; God knows you look like you need the exercise" generating giggles from several other passengers.

My wife could no doubt recount many similar examples, particularly since she moved to the UK where people seem much more bold in informing any fat person who dares leave the house or use public transport exactly what they think of us.

"What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right" - Albert Einstein

Alyssa January 22nd, 2012 | Link | Sh** Said to Fat People

Amazing--and sad--how many of these fat-hating comments are said to children by adults who are supposed to love and care for them. I will add my own. When I was 5 or 6, one of my aunts exclaimed loudly in front of a restaurant full of people: "You're as fat as a little piggy!" Many turned and laughed at me.

As an adult, I can relate to the doctor comments, such as: "When are you going to lose weight?" "What are you going to do about your weight?" Most recently asked of me by two different doctors, both of whom are "overweight" themselves. What ever happened to, physician, heal thyself first? Relatedly, one of them asked: "Do you want to make an appointment with a nutritionist?" Assumption: fat people don't have healthy eating habits. Too many times, I am shamed into silence by such comments/questions. However, in this situation, I merely responded: "I don't need to see a nutritionist." She shut up and changed the subject.

When I find I do not have the courage to confront a doctor on these fatphopic questions, I have a fallback position of stating, "My health insurance doesn't cover that." Regardless of whether it does or not I used that one with a primary care doctor who told me she could refer me to a bariatric surgeon. I have found it to be an effective strategy to ending that type of discussion.

Keechypeachy January 23rd, 2012 | Link | i was going to post some of

i was going to post some of the things people have said to me, but i think the comments above used up all my sanity watcher's points already. I hurt for all of us that had/have to hear this stuff. ((BIG HUGS))

I'm going to go look at some fat positive tumblrs to cheer myself up.

LWalker January 28th, 2012 | Link | "Do you want to sit?" "Do

"Do you want to sit?"
"Do you need a chair?"
"You're a vegetarian?" :/
"You're lucky I talk to your fat ass!" after rejecting some guy online.
When seeing a podiatrist about foot and ankle issues - "Have you considered weight loss surgery?"

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