October is anti-bully month.

As a fellow fatty, I take offence to people expressing their opinions on fat people.  Yes, mostly we could probably do with wiring our jaws shut more often, and instead of sitting on the couch every Saturday morning, we could do more exercise and probably, we could make the salad choice before the dessert choice.  I get all of that, I’m doing all of that (15kg down since Feb, woohoo!) but actually, what the hell has it got to do with anybody but me?

You see – I wasn’t always fat.  I was the skinny girl at school who sat at the back of the bus with the cool kids and made fun of other kids.  Because it was funny.  And because my friends were doing it.  And because I thought it was okay.  It wasn’t.  As I got older, I hit puberty way before my friends and suddenly I was the one singled out for abuse.  My boobs were too big.  My nickname at school became ‘milk truck’.  I realised very quickly that being on the other end of mean jokes and horrible statements, that being a bully is never acceptable.   It has the ability to destroy one’s confidence if you let it.  And it’s the worst feeling in the world when you walk down the school corridor and your class mates are chanting whichever latest nickname they’ve come up with and not one of your friends stand up for you and say a word.

I love stand up comedy, I really do, but the two things I find completely overdone are racism and fatism.  It’s too easy, it’s lazy, it’s mean and it’s not funny.  It makes me uncomfortable and it makes me angry and it makes me not laugh, which is actually the worst sin of all.  I hate that people think it’s okay to publicly humiliate people, in groups or individually.  It’s bullying, in my mind.

Therefore, when I read that October is anti-bullying month, and then saw that a widely popular radio station, 94.7’s Breakfast Express posted this picture on Facebook, I got mad.  94.7 is not only a radio station, but an organisation that professes to ‘Lead SA’.  They pride themselves on humanity and feel-good vibes.  How is this image upholding that philosophy and more importantly, how is this image possibly okay?

94.7 needs to retract the image and they need to be more sensitive about not bullying on the internet, or over the radio waves.  Having a screen in front of you doesn’t give anyone the right to be mean, callous or nasty.  And if you’re the kind of person who says they’re not a hypocrite and would do it to someone in real life too, then I don’t want to know you.

Watch this video, it made my day:

High five, lady.  You win at dealing with bullies.

17 comments

  1. Jackie says:

    I totally agree, they should remove that picture.

    I was a fat child, a fat teen and now a fat adult, and I remember being called names at school, and it has resulted in a LIFE LONG battle with my body image.
    Bullies dont realise how much damage they can do.

    It is humiliating enough being overweight in this society without the media adding to fuel to the fire.

  2. blackhuff says:

    It’s not only 94.7 which is at fault but other radio stations as well. 5FM, Tuks, you name it. Every radio station, at some point, make the fault in bullying on the internet or radio waves.

  3. Sasha Martinengo is a cunt says:

    Sasha Martinengo is guilty of being a ridiculous cunt on twitter. Guy makes fun of fat people all the time.

    South African radio shouldn’t have personalities like this dufus around.

    We tolerate too many assholes on our radios and tvs.

  4. Louisa says:

    I must admit, the last time I was bullied I was 8. Someone said something nasty about me at school and I knocked their lights out – that kind of put the rest off I guess? Probably not the best way to deal with this kind of thing, but it worked for me. 😉

    What I like about you Sheena is your big heart. And I am quite frankly appaled that your “friends” didn’t stand up for you! That kind of shit would not have flown where I come from.

  5. acidicice says:

    Awesome video!

    A bit confused how you can be a Gareth Cliff fan though. I read an article written by him some time ago where he slammed ‘fat people’ and said things about not wanting to sit next to them on a plane. I can’t remember if he said that they shouldn’t be allowed to fly or whether they should be charged extra for their seats, but it was mean. Some magazine actually saw fit to publish that article which is just as appalling. Since that day I have been a die hard anti-fan.

    Other than that I support your request for the image to be removed by 94.7. I happen to be a fan of their sister station here in the Cape.

  6. Melanie says:

    I’m disgusted! Thank you Sheena for bringing this up! I don’t follow their page, but have recently joined a campaign by a fellow blogger surrounding body image and what people perceive it to be.

    I think you’d be interested in what we’re trying to accomplish. This is the link to my post and you can find the rest of the info to her post from there. Please go check it out when you have a moment. http://melaniechisnall.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/the-enough-campaign-a-time-for-women-to-reclaim-their-beauty/

    This is ridiculous! And the fact that a well-known radio station so publicly feels that they have the right to humiliate people like that is sickening. I hope they retract this with a very public apology today.

  7. Wezzo says:

    Hey Sheena, with regards to the news anchor I’m going to have to disagree with you. I believe she’s the bully in this situation, she’s obviously defensive about her weight and has decided to take it out on a person who sent to her the message privately. The worst part? National Television! There was no name calling from the individual who sent the message, just a someone who is concerned about the fat epidemic in America and whether she is a suitable example for young people. As someone else mentioned “Replace defending her being overweight with being a chainsmoker on national television, watch the clip again, and see how ridiculous she sounds.”

    • Shebee says:

      Hey Wezz, I still disagree bud. She didn’t name him. She didn’t call him names either. She addressed his email and I still stand by my statement above: what has it got to do with anyone? I mean, seriously, what did the dude expect from his (granted, polite) email? A thank you note from the news anchor? Did he think she’d suddenly wake up, resign from her job and agree that she was a bad example? Being fat and on TV shouldn’t be frowned upon. Being black and on TV shouldn’t be frowned upon. Neither should being gay, freckly or ginger.
      Yet society thinks it’s okay to decide what is allowed and what isn’t.

      I strongly feel to each their own, as long it doesn’t harm or hurt anyone else.

  8. Chan says:

    You won’t like my thoughts, I think you need to grow a thicker skin, not just you but ALOT of people, gingers, blondes etc get picked on all the time, it’s for humour, don’t take it so seriously! People need to lighten up. And it’s their right to post a picture if they find it funny….it’s “their” web-site just like you can post any picture on your blog and anyone surfing the web can see it. This is life, people laugh at things you may not consider funny, tough shit, there are far more important matters to spend time worrying about.

    And to the 2 commentors who said bad things about SA radio jocks, hell yeah!!! We have the most inane, self-important fucking losers on radio in this fucking country, and they go on and on and on, I put the radio on to listen to music, not to hear some asshole talking.

  9. Chan says:

    Develop the mind of equilibrium.
    You will always be getting praise and blame,
    but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
    follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
    -Sutta Nipata

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