Fat Shaming and Its Psychological Impact

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Words: 1472 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Words: 1472|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Jan 31, 2024

Someone the great firmly pointed out that; beauty has no size. Though the days of superstition has gone. But the shadow of prejudice is as dark as ever, with this unfaithful act of prejudice and discrimination people with higher fat faced lots of criticism and disgrace in the society. After all fat shaming is a product of our own cultural belief and notion towards fat and obesity. People with uneasy physical looks or obesity are fat shamed and it has deeper negative psychological effects on the minds of those people who are on obesity. It can also put low self-esteem in the individual with obesity. (Gunner, 2019)

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In the society where people think thin is privilege, they perceived fat as blot. There are many people around the world who enjoys thin privilege. Most of them doesn’t even realizes about their privileges. Thin privilege is all about, one group of people in the society who are thin getting all the advantages and privileges in terms of right, speech, opportunities unlike other group of people who are fat. We should know that thin privileges exist in the society because of fat oppression which exist as it is deeply rooted in our culture. We are raised in the society where there is a dense cultural ideas that dominates our intellectual thought that there is something incorrect with the fat people. People consider person with heavy body fat are defective. This idea is so strong that it is rooted in our thoughts and mind. People are absorbed by the oppressive ideas forwarded by our society. Such ideas are rooted in people’s psyches. Since such ideas has firmly rooted in our culture, many people acts and believe that such oppressive idea is a reality of life. The concept of thin privilege has given birth to a cruel and defaming criticism towards people with higher fat density. Society has labelled fat people as a lazy, undisciplined, and more over they are openly labelled as a person who is likely to die young due to various diseases. They are even labelled as criminal. It is said that fat people are more into criminal activity. We should be more rational and logical before we believe in such theory and start blaming fat people. This concept doesn’t provides us with logical relationship between fat and crime. There are lots of thin people who are more into criminal activity than fat people, so, this concept doesn’t do any favor to fat people. Most of the people thinks that thin is better and people with higher fat rate develops a feeling of shame. Fat oppression in our society is very painful and discouraging. And there are privileges that comes to people by the virtue of being thin and good-looking (Gunner, 2019)

If we look into the content of fat shaming through the concept of strain theory. People who are suffering from obesity are most of the time fat shamed by the society which will have a long negative psychological effect on the individuals. As the level of stress they have to go through increases due to fat shaming, they are likely to commit suicide and at the same time commit crime such as murder. As long as it becomes very difficult for the individual to live in a fat body, they have to live by the fear of becoming fat. Such fear and anxiety has bought an eating disorder of the people. People with heavy fat density has to go through many problem like difficulties in accompanying food, self-esteem and accepting the body images (Gunner, 2019)

In many parts of the country fat shaming is adopted as a strategy to motivate people to lose weight. Where people criticize and discriminate overweight individual about their eating habits and weight. Unfortunately, result has shown more of a negative psychological effects than the positive result. Fat shaming and weight discrimination is seen as a mother of stress and it empowers overweight people to eat more calories as shown by the European research agency. Fat shaming is a bullying, it has lots of effect on the individual which is very serious. Depression is one of the major psychological effects of fat shaming. Most of the obese people are the victim of weight discrimination. Some of them are publicly discriminated which is going to harm individuals in many aspects. They are at the higher risk of developing mental stress and even commit suicide. Eating disorder is also closely linked to weight discrimination. As we all know that fat shaming is not a solution to the problem rather it adds up to the problem. People starts to eat more calories when they are actually fat shamed. Society view obese people as useless and tries to defame them. They are hardly accepted by the society as a productive citizens of the country. When more and more criticism adds up to the individuals weight problem. It works like a drugs, it will destroy individual’s self-esteem. It destroys individual confident in self, courage to do better and to overcome the fear is destroyed. It effects person’s effectiveness and efficient way of doing work. The productivity level decreases in terms of work and management. Over all, due to higher level of mental stress, weight gain and increase in level of cortisol can put the life of individuals in risk. As they are more vulnerable to many chronic disorder and diseases. Studies have shown that people who are weight discriminated are likely to become depressed. Which basically means that depression is most common among the people who are suffering from obesity. It has been that depression is one of the major contributor to the suicide index. It is clear to us that fat shaming can not only harm people psychologically but also physically (Miller, 2020)

The stigma associated with the overweight itself is more dangerous and harmful to person than overweight problem. The report provided by the psychological research shows that people who are treated with less respect, who are fat shamed are 60 percent more likely to have died or committed suicide within the range seventeen years. We can conclude this could be because of physical and mental stress provided by the fat shaming. (Gunner, 2019)

Fat shaming is very dangerous thing. Continues disrespect towards the individual with fat appearance may put the particular person into stress and sometimes it may lead them to commit suicide. But, we should also look into the positive aspect of fat shaming in the society through functionalistic perspective. As they are fat shamed by the society, they try to fill their heart with courage along the way for change. It works as a positive pills to boosts their determination to change their eating habits and regular diets. The power of positivity works very well to some people. There are hundreds of people who have adopted the weight loss surgery in USA. Listening to their story gives a clear picture of how society have neglected them. It also provide us with the clear cut image of, how they have suffered being fat and how it motivated them to change themselves. Body positivity is one of the main stream talk around the globe. It is also about accepting our own body and being able to love our own body. Body positivity helps individual change, how they think about and view about their appearance. In a way fat shaming works as a factor which helps individual to enrich their mind with the positive thoughts. It is always important for everyone to be proud of who we are, and not get ashamed of how the people around us view or judge us (Severson, Why i'm Trading Body Positivity for Fat Acceptance, 2019)

To conclude, fat shaming is a brutal and shameful act of bullying others through verbal means. Mental distress and emotional breakdown are some of the few things which are the immediate product of fat shaming. It is not the fat that kills people inside. It is the wrong judgment made by the people towards fat individual that kills them internally putting them into lots of stress. They are the victim of societal wrong judgment towards fat and fat people. It is also equally important to know that fat shaming can have a positive consequences to individual. It helps to get fully determined towards change. It changes their way of seeing themselves and it makes lot easier for them to love themselves the way they are. I would like to suggest all the reader to never shame someone else body types to certify your personal body type. (Gunner, 2019)

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  1. Gunner, K. (2019, february 27). The harmful Effects of fat Shaming. Retrieved from Healthline:
  2. Miller, K. (2020, 2 April). Study Finds Body haming Leads to Higher Mortality Risk. Retrieved from SHAPE:
  3. Severson, A. (2019, june 6). Why i'm Trading Body Positivity for Fat Acceptance. Retrieved from Healthline:
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Fat Shaming and Its Psychological Impact. (2024, January 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“Fat Shaming and Its Psychological Impact.” GradesFixer, 31 Jan. 2024,
Fat Shaming and Its Psychological Impact. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
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