If you’ve been on social media these past few days, you have probably seen an article, a rant, or videos about Nicole Arbour. Who is Nicole Arbour? Well, I had never heard of her until she posted the lovely video titled “Dear Fat People” on September 3rd, which quickly gained views and media attention.
If you haven’t seen the video, give it a view at: https://youtu.be/CXFgNhyP4-A
Being a heavier person myself, as well as a decent human being, Arbour’s video was painful to sit through. Not only did she bash heavier people, but she encouraged eating disorders and claimed that body positivity movements were just promoting an unhealthy lifestyle:
She actually the following quote in the video: “You are too fat, you should stop eating.” Encouraging people to not eat just because they are overweight is horrible. Over 21 million people viewed this video on Facebook alone. How many people took this message to heart and are now starting to go into a downward spiral because Arbour told them that they should stop eating?
In the name of comedy, all she does is assert that if you are fat then you should be ashamed of yourself; that you are killing yourself slowly.
Another offensive point brought up in the video was how “fat shaming” is not a thing. She says fat shaming was created so that fat people could complain and say, “Ugh, I’m so fat. Feel bad for me.” She then goes on to say that fat shaming would be okay if it involved shaming fat people so badly that they would lose weight:
If you haven’t guessed it by now, this video has faced A LOT of backlash. Countless comments on the video itself are not positive. Multiple magazines and news outlets have reported on the viral video. Here’s an article about it from Time, for example. If you look up Arbour on Tumblr, there are numerous text posts from outraged people who claim that she is not funny at all and is just a bully seeking her 15 (or more) minutes of fame.
In response to the controversy, YouTube removed the video and temporarily suspended her account. Her YouTube video now only has a little over a million views (she reloaded it after it was deleted). She has been very vocal on her Facebook account the whole time and uploaded the video on there so the world could still experience her “comedy.”
Now, this brings up another issue. Did YouTube have the right to remove her video? Yes, this video was disgusting, but she was expressing her opinion, like it or not. After all, our country was founded on the concept of freedom of speech. Arbour was saying a lot of wrong comments, but she did have every right to say it. Censorship is a huge issue and personally I don’t think YouTube should have removed the video. Don’t get me wrong, I hated the six minutes I had to spend watching it, but there are a lot worse things on the internet, unfortunately, and no one was forced to view the video. Because YouTube removed it, they added fuel to the fire. And once something is on the internet, it is very difficult to take down completely. To remove the video, Facebook would have to take down the video from her personal account, as well as from everyone who shared it. Same with Twitter and Tumblr. The video will never truly be removed and too many people have seen it for the video to just “disappear.”
Also, Arbour claims that this was purely comedy and satire. If bullying is disguised behind comedy, what other comedy are we not seeing as a problem? Comedy walks the thin line of being hilarious and offensive. Her supporters claim that this was an act of comedy, just another video. The problem is that she is a bully pretending to be a comedian. This video is not satire or a comedic routine of funny shots and hand gestures. It is just plain bullying. Period.
This video is an awful rant. All the video does is bring people down so some wannabe comedian can get YouTube subscribers. But YouTube had no right to remove the video, since YouTube is for people to freely speak their mind. If people can make videos saying why Arbour is wrong, then she should be able to make videos expressing her opinion as well, even if her opinion is horribly offensive.
Also, here is a video by Whitney Way Thore. She hits the nail on the head with her message in response to Arbour’s video and I highly suggest you give it a peek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2YYZBrPwwU