Social media has been taken by storm recently by the hashtag #WeAreTheThey. If you don’t know what this is, let me explain.
UK has-been pop-star and television presenter/personality Jamelia recently said during a discussion on the TV show Loose Women:
I think everyone should have access to lovely clothes, BUT I do not think it’s right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle. I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.
After an outcry on social media, she ‘apologised’ on breakfast television:
I didn’t make it clear on the show that I was talking about extremes … above a size 20 and below a size 6. Everyone has a right to feel wonderful and feel beautiful and it was never my intention to make people feel any less than what they are.
I would just like to say in response to that – too late, Jamelia. Too late. You offended me and definitely upset me. Here’s why.
“They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size”
I already feel very uncomfortable. Sometimes just getting the bravado up to step outside and out into the world takes everything I’ve got. Especially on a night out when people I’ve never met in my life (usually drunken men) should things like “You fat cow, I’d go home now if I were you!” or “You fat fucking bitch!”
Yes, I am fat. Not sure I deserve pure abuse from people who don’t know me in the street though. So yes, Jamelia. I feel uncomfortable. I shop online with Yours Clothing or Evans or New Look plus size. Recently I just started going into the actual stores (Yours have an online and store presence now and their clothes really are amazing). So some of the discomfort and shame has gone out of my shopping for clothes experience. But you, you’d have that put back into my life because I don’t fit in with what you consider to be a ‘normal’ range of 6-20.
Are you right? No. People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of them could probably do something to change it, some not. But it’s not your call and if they don’t want to – what has that got to do with you?
“I was talking about extremes … above a size 20 and below a size 6”
Who are you to set the boundaries of what is, or isn’t acceptable? So a petite woman of 5 ft 1 who is naturally slender and takes a size 4 shouldn’t be able to get clothes easily? What control has she over the shape and size of her body?? I have a cousin who eats like a horse but was so thin at one point she had to shop at Tammy Girl for 12-13 year old clothes. She couldn’t do a damn thing about her high metabolism and weight, no matter what she tried. Why shouldn’t she have access to clothes? It isn’t a health issue; it’s just the way she is.
Above a size 20 isn’t abnormal or extreme. Who died and let you set the limits of acceptability? You are talking about real people, and you aren’t facilitating an unhealthy lifestyle! An example of extreme might be someone who weight 40 stones and hasn’t moved in years and is slowly dying….that’s extreme. But guess what? That person still deserves fucking clothes! Because for all their faults, failings and issues – they’re still a person. It’s still someone’s beloved family member, wife, husband, daughter, son, best friend…..not everyone can be perfect like you, Jamelia. Some people are just born to battle their weight their whole life. They don’t need a judgemental person like you making it worse.
“It was never my intention to make people feel any less than what they are”
Yes it was. You haven’t properly apologised or admitted that you’re wrong. You truly think that people who fit into your ‘extremes’ category don’t deserve the same rights are ‘normal’ people. Tell me, how would you feel if the world went back to one entrance for white people and one entrance round the back for people of colour? Exactly. You are promoting segregation.
At this point, I would like to make it abundantly clear that I am not racist, although I was accused of being jealous and racist towards Jamelia because I disagreed with her on Twitter and had the cheek to post this photo with the hastag #WeAreTheThey.
A guy started sending tweets to me that were generally abusive and insulting. He then went on to insult other people backing the cause because he agrees with Jamelia:
I honestly believe that nobody in this world has the right to judge another human being unless it’s in a court of law. If you don’t like what you see, that’s your problem, your issue and if you want to voice your opinion, fine. But to attack one individual on social media and insult them because of the way they look? That just smacks of narrow mindedness and intolerance.
I know that to some extent, we all judge. I know I’ve written an article on here about how 80s rockers have aged and how they look now. But those are just my observations, not an open attack and barrage of name calling and insults.
So there you go, Sean from Enderby, your 15 minutes of fame. I wonder if any female in your family is overweight and what she would think if she knew about the hateful bile you spout on Twitter and Youtube? I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t admit to running the toxic accounts you run and which actually has inspired this account:
Anyway, not long after all of this happened, I noticed I was getting new followers; fellow women of plus size. I followed back and started looking through all the beautiful photos under the #WeAreTheThey hasgtag. I was stunned by how many beautiful women there are out there who are carrying some extra weight and getting labelled as an ‘extreme’ because of it. They aren’t extreme – they’re just different to you. We’re different to you; we are The They.
This social media campaign is the brainchild of the hugely inspirational Debz from The Non-So Secret Diary of a Wannabe Princess. Quite Frankly, she’s my hero at the moment. She’s fearless, outspoken, confident, secure, happy, gorgeous, glamorous and fat. She won’t be offended that I said that, because she is. She knows she is. I’m fat and I know it too, but guess what? It’s not hurting any of you. It’s none of your damned business.
So the next time you decide to get on your high horse, Jamelia and judge people based on their body shape or appearance, I suggest you stop and look in a mirror. Take a good long look at yourself.
Are you perfect? No, thought not. You’re just human….like the rest of us. The only difference is, us ‘extreme’ fatties spend our time building other women up and trying to be supportive and encouraging without passing judgement. You should try it sometime.