Ever heard of Nicole Arbour? Neither had I, yet the Canadian YouTube comedian is now a household name thanks to a video entitled "Dear Fat People."
In the explosive rant, Arbour claims fat shaming is not even a thing, and instead is the equivalent of "playing the race card, with no race." She says that although there are some exceptions, as a general rule obesity is not a disability, in her opinion.
She even likens obesity to assisted suicide.
Arbour clearly sees herself as a truth warrior, intent on telling obese people to lose weight so they can stay alive for their family and friends. She hopes her "bomb of truth" coaxes people into changing their unhealthy lifestyles.
However, she delivers her message in the most insensitive, callous fashion. She repeatedly ridicules and insults "fat people," calling them zombies, saying they permanently reek of sausages and have Crisco coming out of their pores like a "Play Doh fun factory."
Some have labelled her a bully, and demanded that Google (which owns YouTube) remove her channel because it contravenes their terms of usage.
And for a brief while, Google did just that.
But it was too good to last. After all, who can argue with more than a million page views?
Arbour is not one to be deterred. "You have to be really f*cking slow to be offended by satire," she said in response to the backlash. "If you can't handle the truth, it means you're a psychopath."
Sorry, Nicole, it doesn't. Bullying is not to be confused with satire.
Image Source: YouTube
I'm not a politician or a policymaker. I know the refugee situation isn't a simple case of opening borders. While I wish that children never had to suffer as they do, I don't regret seeing the heartbreaking images because now I will never forget seeing them...
And it happened right when I was caught up in my own little whirlwind of school supplies and bills and house renos. Maybe you were, too. Preparing my son to start second grade at a new school. Preparing to sell my house. A daunting, frantic time.
I'm not a politician, but I am a human.
I'm not a policymaker, but I am citizen of the world. I'm lucky to be born in a country of crazy luxury. Not everyone is so lucky. I can blame governments from the cushy space behind my laptop, but I won't.
Instead I will close my eyes and say a silent prayer for families who are suffering and struggling right now, in this country and elsewhere. May my son never know that kind of suffering.
Though I sometimes feel utterly powerless to affect what's going on in other parts of the world, I'm not. Not completely. I will do what I can in my small way to make a difference. And maybe you will, too.
Here's a start:
Save the Children: provides food for Syrian kids and supports education in Syrian refugee camps.
Unicef: provides vaccines (following a polio outbreak), winter clothes and food for children in Syria and neighboring countries.
Aylan Kurdi & Syria's Child Victims of War: funding for "Hand In Hand For Syria" that works with the United Nations.
Yoga pants and leggings are snagging headlines again after a Massachusetts high school banned girls from wearing their comfy wear to school. Yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before. Tight pants are "distracting” to males...
Yet Cape Cod Technical High School has an entirely different reasoning behind its revised dress code.
“Leggings, tights, yoga pants and any other extremely form fitting apparel are considered an accessory and must be worn with dress/skirt or shorts.”
School district superintendent Robert Sanborn claims the code has nothing to do with the male gaze, and rather the rationale is to prepare teens for the workforce, where they will be expected to dress the part:
“Vocational technical education is about preparing people for a career. It has to do with employability. We're passing on the skills that are needed in the workforce, to know that's not proper attire when you're at work.”
True enough, yet Sanborn's sartorial logic is flawed. If high school dress codes were solely concerned with "employability" and preparing kids for the workforce, then students wouldn't be allowed to wear jeans or shorts or any other number of apparel items to school because these aren't allowed in the average office.
Needless to say, the kids at Cape Cod aren't impressed by the amended dress code, as it only targets females.
Emily Connolly, a 16-year-old student, plans to fight for her right to study "in a t-shirt and leggings or yoga pants" by staging a protest on the first day of school in which legions of females will descend on the school wearing - you guessed it - yoga pants and leggings.
“Girls in today's society are forced to cover [their] bodies and considered more of sex symbols than actual human beings,” wrote Connolly on her Facebook page. “Just because some guys don't know how to ‘control’ themselves doesn't mean girls need to pay for it.”
In my day it was ripped jeans. Even though I was a straight-A student, I got called in to the office on more than one occasion over an exposed kneecap. Plus ça change...
Take heart, Emily. It gets better. One day you may be lucky enough to work from your home office where no one will force you to change out of your yoga pants.
Image Source: WikiCommons
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