Halloween “Fat Costumes”
During the Halloween season, many retailers sell “fat costumes.” They are meant to be funny because they are joking about a body type that is commonly associated with obesity. The problem is that “fat costumes” are stigmatizing. Weight stigma in any form is wrong.
These costumes say a lot without much talking. When they are sold and worn, they are saying that excess weight is “laughable.” It is implied that people with excess weight are:
- Not smart
- Without willpower
Why They are Harmful:
All of these stereotypes are examples of weight stigma. Weight stigma is made from negative attitudes, beliefs and judgments about someone just because of their weight. It’s also extremely unhealthy. More than just causing occasional low self-esteem, weight stigma can lead to:
- Depression and anxiety
- Rejection from peers
- Unhealthy attempts at weight-loss
- Poor body image
- Trouble with work or school
In all honesty, there is no “right way” to make fun of someone’s size. Weight stigma in any form adds up. “Fat costumes” are a prime example of this, but if someone is actually struggling with their weight, these costumes can be extremely hurtful. After all, problems with weight are associated with more than 50 physical and mental health conditions.
There is no empathy or understanding when it comes to “fat costumes.” They do not allow the person wearing them to feel the effects of real struggles with weight.
This is What You Can Do:
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), Producer of the Your Weight Matters Campaign, is Taking Action right now on this issue. You can too! Just visit the OAC Action Center for a direct opportunity to raise your voice against Halloween “fat costumes.”
Using this easy online tool, contact FIVE major retailers that the OAC has seen selling these costumes. Urge them to stop immediately because Halloween is just around the corner!
The OAC has written the letter that you can use to make contact. You can also add to the letter with your own thoughts about weight stigma and Halloween “fat costumes.” This is a great opportunity to explain why this issue is hurtful and stand up against weight stigma. When you are done, the OAC will send your letter off to all five retailers! It’s that easy.