Body Shamed After An Article About Being Body Shamed...
Well done, Great British Public, for demonstrating beautifully that we do really live in a fat phobic society - I just wrote a blog post last week about Concern Trolls & Fat Phobia and then I go and get my very own fat phobic trolls!
Personally, I think I look LOVELY in these photos and if your opinion differs, you're welcome to your opinion but think twice before you post. Is your comment helpful, kind and true? If not, shhhhhhhh.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner...
Before I explain the situation of why I was trolled on social media I want to say thank you to Lydia Campbell of FitCamps, who hosted an amazing fitness convention this weekend where I became an AWARD WINNING DANCE FITNESS PRESENTER!!
I won the "People's Choice" award which meant that I was VOTED the delegates' favourite presenter ('instructor of prominence' as it were, if you're only used to that title in TV terms) and I couldn't be more chuffed!!!
Let me tell you, it couldn't have come at a better time having had a strange few days coming to terms with the people who had some negative things to say about my body, my age and the type of person I must be. But getting the award reminded me why I do this.
It's for you guys who come to class and appreciate my work (you can read more about that here), my message and my passion.
In fact the trolling has only fuelled my fire 🔥 and shown me that in this fat-phobic society we need to develop a thick skin, and learn how to totally be ok within it, because there are hateful people out there who seek to bring you down, to make you as miserable as they are.
Actually, it did knock my confidence for a moment there. With comments like "Urgh, you can see her gut bulge", "She's by no means athletic, she's just fat" and my favourite...
So I got some amazing PR (thanks Vicky and Deni) in all the major British papers last Thursday, also in Europe and as far as Australia, for all things School of Strut® and the reasons behind why I do what I do and have developed the classes that I teach. At the end of the day I'm stepping up my business which does fabulous things for people and I want to tell the world about it. Why not?
Journalists love a hook and I was asked if I'd ever been fat shamed. Whilst I have faced a fair amount of discrimination when it comes to opportunities which have had the appearance of being available to me but really have only been available to those with "thin privilege", I really had to wrack my brain for a specific moment.
But, yes, one did spring to mind - that time when I was living out in Ibiza back in 2000, dancing for the clubs and at the opening of one particular night I had been on the podium for a couple of minutes before I was told to get down because the DJ didn't like my look. I asked if it was what I was wearing, should I go change, the answer was no. No further explanation needed. I was also the best dancer but that seemed to carry no weight, s'cuse the pun!
Needless to say I thought the DJ to be a bit of a **** (insert own 4 letter word here) but I just went somewhere else and carried on with life.
However the article is written in such a way that does make me sound rather pathetic and a bit stupid, so I understand why people missed the point and failed to spot the positive things which supposedly came out of this incident and why they would think I'm being whiney about something which happened 16 years ago.
The reason that the comments were about me not being athletic however are unfounded and I put it down to lazy reading. Although much of what I said was misquoted this was not. At the age of 23, the time of the incident, I was a size 14 and of an athletic build. This video was even presented in the article which was filmed by my Dad (yes, my folks are cool and came to visit me in Ibiza, I know, right?) whilst on my podium at Manumission, where they were FULLY accepting of everyone's differences and championed their skills...
You decide if I look athletic. Look at my ass!! I think I look like Serena Williams here! You don't get much more athletic than that!
But people didn't bother reading it properly (plus the way it was written was confusing and bounced around all over the chronology). Photos they were commenting on were current shots of me at the age of 38/39. I do actually think I still look athletic but people just love to a) disagree, b) give their opinion and c) bring people down a peg or two. What happened to the Great British Public defending the under-dog?
AMUSING SIDE STORY
The first I knew about it being in the papers was when I got a call from ITV who wanted me to go on Judge Rinder as they reckoned I could have a claim. If I didn't want to name the DJ maybe I'd had a costume that had burst at the seems, something of monetary value that I could claim for... this is how manipulated the entertainment industry is. Stay vigilant people and don't believe everything you see in on the telly!
Here's the article:
Confidence Shaken, Momentarily...
What is worrying is that for a split second... well maybe for a couple of hours I did question whether I had the right to be so body confident. I had a teeny tiny glimpse into the world of someone who gets bullied and in that moment I understood how powerful people's words are.
I understood why young folk take their own lives after years of their peers saying "go kill yourself". But I also understood why Katie Price has developed such a thick skin and just keeps coming back with more from her money making machine, un-phased and using the negative press to her advantage.
So whilst it was a shaky couple of days, before I stopped reading the comments, it has really fuelled my fire.
I see that fat is not the problem, fat-phobia is!
I must continue on with my journey, normalising normal bodies, lifting up the weary and championing diversity!
Please do feel free to comment. It is for the time being a free country and every one IS entitled to their opinion, but if your comments a just nasty, ill thought out, venomous and rude, they will be ignored. Is it helpful, is it kind and is it true? If not, shhhhhh!
FitCamps will be on again this time next year at Ribby Hall, Preston but there will also be 3 dates at Champneys for a more holistic approach to a fitness weekender. Sign up to my mailing list to hear about them first.
Ephesians 6: 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.