Canadian YouTube star encourages fat-shaming in widely criticized video
Comments by Nicole Arbour quickly generated intense online reaction
A Canadian YouTube star has attracted internet outrage, due to a video in which she encourages others to shame obese people.
Toronto-based comedian Nicole Arbour released the video titled Dear Fat People to Facebook and YouTube, in which she states that fat people should be shamed until they lose weight. The video contains offensive language.
"Shame people with bad habits," Arbour says in the video which has more than 1.3 million views on YouTube. "I don't feel bad for you because you are taking your body for granted."
The video quickly generated intense online reaction on various social media.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a> has done this for so long.This is her gimmick, she has nothing else, so she's offensive for attention <a href="http://t.co/33k0YlBssS">pic.twitter.com/33k0YlBssS</a>—@wokecrackerr
I see this girl <a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a> is deleting comments & blocking people on her page so let me repost what I said here: <a href="http://t.co/Ra0grckdXd">pic.twitter.com/Ra0grckdXd</a>—@AlexontheMic
If you've seen <a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a>'s video please read <a href="http://t.co/SEQodHHi9W">pic.twitter.com/SEQodHHi9W</a>—@AndrewQuo
Many found that Arbour's encouragement simply adds to the shame overweight people face in day-to-day life.
I'm fat comedian so I'll say this about <a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a>'s fat-shaming video. <a href="http://t.co/Hs9hVBb6rd">pic.twitter.com/Hs9hVBb6rd</a>—@CliffordMyers
WARNING: the videos below contain explicit language.
"It's so easy to go after fat people because it's a lot of time and effort to view fat people as people, and to view them as well as fully formed people that you have to get to know," Meghan Tonjes says in her response video. Tonjes is a singer who regularly posts on YouTube about body issues.
"I don't believe you're the first person to tell a fat person to stop being fat," says Grace Helbig, a comedian with a prominent following on YouTube. "Most people with body image issues are pretty self-aware deep down and so what you're really seeming to say is 'Stop being a human being.'"
Arbour began to respond to the criticism, calling the video a "trap" for "trolls and white knights." She also accused critics of not understanding her satire.
When you set a trap fro trolls and white knights and they fall right into it. <a href="http://t.co/OvLwlobH1s">pic.twitter.com/OvLwlobH1s</a>—@NicoleArbour
Hey remember the time I disabled comments on that vid u wanted to troll, so u had to watch another 1 and give me more views?😉<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrollTheTrolls?src=hash">#TrollTheTrolls</a>—@NicoleArbour
Her YouTube video was briefly taken down on Sept. 6, though it reappeared soon after. Arbour claims the incident was an attempt at censorship.
We literally broke the Internet... With comedy. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/censorship?src=hash">#censorship</a> <a href="http://t.co/m3wgf24Xtb">pic.twitter.com/m3wgf24Xtb</a>—@NicoleArbour
As criticism mounted, she posted a second video titled Most Offensive Video EVER, in which she attempts to defend her previous one. Like the first, this video contains profane language.
"Keyboard warriors are trying to murder comedy," she says, adding that her detractors should learn that she doesn't care about their feelings.
Arbour's video has its supporters, who argue that the video is meant to be humorous and a form of social commentary.
I don't think <a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a> really deserves all this hate. She' makes some valid points. We shouldn't support things that destroy health.—@AliensAndSirens
<a href="https://twitter.com/NicoleArbour">@NicoleArbour</a> is my new hero. So funny but the complete truth at the same time—@ShawnC24
"This was only an issue because this particular group wants to be immune to satire, while laughing at everyone else. We all need to relax, laugh at everyone, and learn to turn off something we don't like, not try and wipe its existence," Arbour told BuzzFeed.