Disclaimer: I will be blunt. I may even come across as offensive and be triggering. This is not my intention. My intention is to throw my two cents in the ring. Read on at your own discretion.
As of writing, I am an obese woman. By definition, according to BMI calculations, I am obese. My current BMI is 36.9. This number puts me in specific categories in life. If I were pregnant, it would mean that I’m at higher risk of complications. If I were going for surgery, I’d be at higher risk of complications. It also means that I’m at higher risk of developing cancer.
Recently, Cancer Research UK launched a new campaign, stating that obesity is the biggest preventable cause of cancer behind smoking. I’m not going to sit here and say that the campaign is the best it could have been. What I am going to do is tell you that it is not fat shaming.
Award-winning Comedian Sofia Hagen spoke out in her disgust at the campaign.
Right, is anyone currently working on getting this piece of shit CancerResearchUK advert removed from everywhere? Is there something I can sign? How the fucking fuck is this okay? pic.twitter.com/b7eU7lulms
— Sofie Hagen (@SofieHagen) February 28, 2018
Sofia Hagen is completely entitled to feel the way she and plenty of other people do in their reaction to this campaign.
As a fat woman, I am not offended by this advert. I don’t believe Cancer Research UK are fat-shaming people because no-where does it reference my worth as a human being. Saying the word obese, and me identifying with it does not define me, nor degrade me. For me, to fat-shame, someone is to treat that person as if their worth is less then human, based solely on the fact of their weight and appearance. I’ve experienced it. My God, have I experienced it.
Cancer affects every one of us in one way or another. I lost my father to bowel cancer. My mother had and beat throat cancer. They were roughly 10 years apart. The advances in cancer treatment and prevention had skyrocketed. More and more people are surviving cancer every day due to the work of organisations such as Cancer Research UK and other amazing charities and institutions. Cancer doesn’t care who you are. Cancer doesn’t care what you look like. Cancer doesn’t care that you’re offended. Cancer is the true equal opportunity killer.
If this campaign saves one life by making one person change their lifestyle for the better, then this campaign is totally justified.
I would love to hear your thoughts, leave them in the comments below.