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The Daily Mail Still Thinks Fat-Shaming Is OK And We're Mad As Hell

By Hannah Sole | Think Pieces | September 7, 2017 |

By Hannah Sole | Think Pieces | September 7, 2017 |

First up, let me just say, I’m sorry. I apologise for bringing you this, because it’s going to make you mad. You know that helpful advice about counting to 10 to let the initial rage pass, and taking a deep breath and stuff? You might need that. Again, very sorry.

Misery loves company, and so does rage. So I need to share this with you.

There’s a new Katie Hopkins in town. By town, I mean the Daily Mail. Katie once told the world that she would never hire a fat person, because they would be lazy. Katie 2.0 (actual name Hilary Freeman) won’t let her daughter be taught by a fat teacher.

The article is here if you want to read it, but if I were you, I wouldn’t give her the credit of your click. I’ll give you the ‘highlights’.

My initial reaction to this story went a little like this:


Oh, Katie 2.0 has her ‘reasons’. She thinks a fat teacher would be too slow “to save an adventurous child from imminent danger.” She thinks fat teachers send an “unhealthy message” to the children in their care. She thinks “body positivity” is just “fat acceptance” and that it has (CUE THE DM KLAXON) “gone too far”. (Actually, the DM wrote that it had “gone to far” in their ‘don’t-bother-reading-it-here’s-a-precis-instead’ bullet points, just in case you hadn’t shuddered enough.)

As a result, she chose a different nursery for her child, one “where the staff are a healthy weight”, fibbing to her friends about her reasons for doing so, because she knew “the reaction would be anger and vilification.”

So she knew that people would be shocked by her decision, but somehow she’s incredulous that people are mad at her. Thankfully, she didn’t feel obliged to tell the unfortunate teacher that she was not qualified to teach children because she’s fat, but she weighed in on a Facebook discussion and was torn to pieces. “Telling a woman she should think about losing weight for her health is, apparently, now anti-feminist,” she sneers.

And she thinks that her “crime” is “being a healthy weight”.


Hilary, let me break this down for you in a way that you might understand. Your ‘crime’ (your word, not mine) is not knowing when to mind your own god-damned business.

Do you think that fat people are unaware of what they look like? Do you expect anyone with a BMI over 25 to keep their eyes averted at all times, radiating shame? Should they defer to your ‘superior’ judgement just because you are thinner than they are? Does your dress-size grant you diplomatic immunity? Do you have a license to be a total and utter garbage person because your waist is smaller than someone else’s?

What you call “tough love” is just purposefully making people feel bad about themselves in order to make yourself feel smug. Like people who say “no offence, but…” or “I’m just being honest”, you are hiding behind a façade of decency in order to be horrible. It’s not straight talking; it’s mean. It’s unkind. There’s no love there. There’s no toughness at all. It’s just playground unpleasantness. It’s the sort of thing you would expect from a bully.

A fat teacher is the least of your worries, Faux Hopkins. Before you judge a teacher’s weight, maybe you should look at the example you’re setting.

When did we get to the point where people decided that they could be absolute ass-hats to each other and feel justified doing so? I mean, I don’t expect much from the Daily Mail. This is after the paper that thought the whole concept of Bridget Jones’s Diary was flawed because two handsome men would never fight over a fat woman like Bridget. But is it too much to ask that people wind their chuffing necks in, and grow the hell up?

I deleted a lot of swearing from this post. I wouldn’t want to set a bad example, after all. Part of me is tempted to take your “rolls of fat are unattractive” comment and follow it up with “so is your face,” but in case that sounds a bit petty, here’s something wholesome that explains what I mean. And Hilary? This is the sort of thing you might want to teach your child.

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on their face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. (Roald Dahl, The Twits)

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Hannah Sole is a Staff Contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.