James Corden to Bill Maher’s fat shaming: We’re not lazy, we know



I missed Bill Maher’s suggestion last week on Real Time with Bill Maher that fat-shaming “needs to make a comeback.” Sigh. Who spat in your Corn Flakes, Bill? I only heard about it after James Corden’s incredibly measured, thoughtful response on Thursday. (The clip includes parts of Bill’s awful comments):

The Late Late Show host, 41, said he “found it so surprising that he, or anybody, thinks that fat shaming needs to make a comeback because fat shaming never went anywhere.”

“We are reminded of it all the time,” he said. “There’s a common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy. We’re not. We get it, we know. We know that being overweight isn’t good for us. I’ve struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight.”

He quipped, “We’re not all as lucky as Bill Maher. We don’t all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day.”

Corden went on to say that making people feel ashamed about their weight only “leads to depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior,” such as over-eating.

“Let’s be honest, fat-shaming is just bullying. It’s bullying, and bullying only makes the problem worse,” he said.

[From People]

James noted that “this entire issue is a lot more complex” than Bill was acknowledging, noting, along with typical talking points like portion control and a lack of exercise, that genetics and poverty also affect people’s weight. To state the obvious, people’s ability to afford and easily access health care services also impacts their health. Not everybody who wants to lose weight can make an appointment with their doctor or a nutritionist. Even if they are able to do that, they may not be able to follow up on a wellness plan. James also refuted Bill’s oft-repeated comment, “Europe doesn’t really have fat people.

I teared up while watching this, because I could connect to much of what James said. Concern-trolling is gross and unhelpful, and I don’t understand why Bill feels he needs to do it. At one point in the clip, Bill says, “Some amount of shame is good.” He’s specifically talking about fat-shaming here, but the comment made me particularly angry because shame is a terrible motivator for anything. I’m familiar with it (as I know most people are) in a variety of contexts, and one of the things that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about over the past several years is how shame might motivate you to, e.g., work harder to succeed at something, but it simultaneously destroys your self-esteem at an equally fast pace. So, someone might have shamed you into changing your behavior, and so you’ve changed it, but you feel infinitely worse about yourself.

I was heartened that it didn’t sound like most of Bill’s audience agreed with what he said. He got fewer claps as his monologue went on. I’m curious to see whether he is going to respond to James, though I don’t think it matters, because I’ve noticed that people who trot out the arguments that Bill does about how “being fat = being unhealthy” don’t change their minds. I have friends who describe themselves as “fat,” who are taking care of themselves, who go to see medical professionals as needed, and don’t make losing weight a priority. Several of them previously had eating disorders, and they are currently in recovery and are healthier now than they’ve ever been. The most upsetting issues that they face concerning their weight/shape/size are hideous unsolicited opinions and comments like Bill’s. I think it’s time to go rewatch Ashley Graham‘s TED Talk.

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photos credit: WENN

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133 Responses to “James Corden to Bill Maher’s fat shaming: We’re not lazy, we know”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    I’ve currently lost 45lbs and have 55-65 more to go, depending on how low I want to get. Frankly, shaming is on of the reasons why I’ve gained weight in the first place. It either makes me depressed and I emotionally eat, or it makes me angry, and I eat to basically spite the shamers. It not a good behavioral modification technique.

    • Cee says:

      Way to go, Rapunzel! Weight loss is always about the journey – we need to change our approach to and relationship with food. I’ve struggled my whole life with it and there’s something powerful in realising we can do this.

    • Shazze says:

      Congrats Rapunzel!!!! It’s hard for most of us, and there are so many factors involved, that Bill & other bullies can’t and don’t want to see – emotional issues, food sensitivites, prescriptions that cause weight gain, and all the yummy addictive food in the middle aisles at the grocery store!! We need to “insensitive, attention-seeking ass” shame Bill Maher.

    • Carol says:

      Congratulations, Raunzel! About seven years ago I lost 40 pounds. When I was at my thinnest, I warned my husband that I had the exact same body issues, just in a smaller frame. Still felt heavy and didn’t like my stomach and thighs. Unfortunately, I gained back 60. Are eating habits to blame? Yes, along with menopause, exhaustion, and stress.

    • Some chick says:

      I hear you. And I feel you.

  2. JAC says:

    I was fat for most of my life, and have been shamed every day for it. I’ve been called a whale, a pig, disgusting, lazy, stupid, virtually every day for about 20 years. Did it make me lose weight? No. I managed to finally lose it when I moved away from home and the shaming stopped.
    So now I am fairly skinny and healthy. But the body and self esteem isues are still here, and so far therapy isn’t even helping.

    • Fallon says:

      I hope that therapy works for you eventually. You have worth!

    • Pineapple says:

      JAC … therapy takes awhile to make an impact sometimes. It depends how hurt you have been. Don’t give up, give it a real try. Do you like your therapist? Sometimes finding a good one is hard. Are you spiritual at all? Maybe look up books on loving yourself EXACTLY the way that you are. None of us is perfect. All of us working to improve ourselves, we all have that lovely, wonderful life spark, we all are capable of being kind and loving … even to ourselves. XO I always think … how long did it take to make me feel awful? It MIGHT take a pretty long time to make me feel great again.

    • Cee says:

      So sorry to read this, JAC. Unfortunately, many of us will 100% understand your experience. I’ve struggled so much with my self-worth because I associate it with my body/weight. It’s impacted my relationships, sex life, even what I do for fun as I’m always self conscious about my body even when I’m fit and at a healthy weight. In my mind I am still the fat girl not worthy of being looked at.

      • JAC says:

        Oh, there are so many things I didn’t do because I was ashamed of myself. I think my teenage years would have been so different if I wasn’t so ashamed.
        Now I have so many body issues any kind of a relationship or intimacy is virtually impossible. As I said, therapy isn’t really helping, and it would be selfish to burden a partner with my issues.

        Fat shaming did make me stronger. It’s really really hard to hurt me with words now. But it came with a pretty big cost.

    • Shazze says:

      Congrats on the weight loss JAC!!! I wish you the best in your struggle to deal with the pain you suffer – it gets better, I know from personal experience.

    • Kate says:

      JAC, try another therapist? Sometimes you have to switch up to find who is going to work best for you. I worked on body image issues with a coach who specializes in eating disorders/body image issues by using mindfulness. She herself experienced these issues and just had so much empathy and strength it was much different than going to a cognitive behavioral therapist. Less about my childhood and parents and more about what to do today, tomorrow to deal with my issues. (Not knocking cbt, it’s very valuable for many things, just offering an alternative if that’s not working)

    • Giddy says:

      JAC, congratulations! It’s a struggle I know well. James Corden said that fat-shaming is bullying and that is the truth. None of us need bullies of any type in our lives. Fat-shaming is not clever, it’s not cute, and we all need to avoid and condemn bullies. Bill Maher is not an individual who I find kind or attractive, so I’m not surprised that he would be a bully about weight.

  3. BlueSky says:

    People are so ignorant and don’t check their privilege when it comes to accessibility. James is right about how poverty and genetics can play into your health.

    I worked in public health for 5 years and I can tell you the challenges a lot of people had (and still have) with accessing fruits and vegetables. I used to get frustrated with the doctors who would tell these pregnant women about diet and exercise and not once considering that A) they don’t live near a grocery store B) most of them lived near a convenience store C) some don’t drive or have access to public transportation or depended on others to take them places and D) some did not live in the safest areas where they could go out and walk or didn’t live in a pedestrian friendly area.

    Eating healthy is ridiculously expensive. I started going to another grocery store for cheaper fruit.

    Bill has always been an a$$hole and probably doesn’t care what James said.

    • Allie says:

      Accessibility is a key!

      Bill Maher is not entirely wrong about there not being so many fat people in Europe if you equate fat = obese. I traveled a lot of European countries and I travelled Canada for many weeks within the past years, rural areas as well as big cities. Yes, many people in Europe are overweight. But the rates are lower. Especially not as many are obese compared to Northern America.
      When travelling what I observed myself is that in Canada people basically had to go anywhere by car. Walking was not really an option. I rarely saw anyone riding a bike. In many towns there were no sidewalks for people to be safe from car traffic. Supermarkets were filled with processed, unhealthy and cheap food and drinks. Prices for veggies and fruits were mostly insane.
      In Europe it’s not yet like this. At least not to this extend. For example in Germany there are many discount food markets where you can buy fresh fruits and veggies for a low price. (As a student my grocery budget was 20 Euro per week. It was easily possible to buy healthy food.) In Portugal and Italy fresh produce was ridiculously cheap.
      In bigger cities and their suburbs public transport is quite well organised so there is an alternative to using cars. Lots of people are riding their bikes to work or to bring their kids to day care and even for grocery shopping. Sidewalks are a thing even in very small towns. I have the impression that the difference in this public environment might have an impact on obesity rates, too. People are able to safely move more and they do so.

      • Erinn says:

        “When travelling what I observed myself is that in Canada people basically had to go anywhere by car. Walking was not really an option. I rarely saw anyone riding a bike. In many towns there were no sidewalks for people to be safe from car traffic. Supermarkets were filled with processed, unhealthy and cheap food and drinks. Prices for veggies and fruits were mostly insane.”

        YES. It’s always incredibly easy for people living in city centers and in climates that make fresh fruit/veggies plentiful year round to say ‘oh just go buy ___’.

        I drive everywhere, unless I’m downtown. But even then, I have to drive downtown, so the walking is still minimal. But I don’t think a lot of people realize how limited choice is when you’re living in a rural community – mixed with different growing climates. It is hella expensive to eat fresh fruit and veggies as the main portion of your diet. And I’m not even living somewhere up north, or something like that.

        Take a look at somewhere like Nunavut – food is 3x the national average. A 1-kilogram bag of apples was $7.26 there. And this is from at least 3 years ago, I can only assume it’s even higher now.

      • Anners says:

        Dude! I remember seeing lettuce go for $20 a head in Nunavut. Broke my heart. Produce is expensive in the GTA, but not that prohibitive. And ya, I need my car to go pretty much everywhere because nothing is close and public transit is a joke.

        Again, we’ve equated thinness with health, but there are so many other things involved. Some people are much healthier at what would be considered overweight because that’s where their body wants to be. Putting so much stress on your heart and other organs to maintain an impossibly slim standard isn’t healthy. Personally, as a fat kid since the tender age of 11, I’m *finally* focusing on just feeding my body more fruits & veg and exercising it regularly because it makes me happy, and it makes me feel better inside, too.

      • Apalapa says:

        Europeans and Canadians also have universal health care and 6 weeks of vacation. Fat shaming takes a systemic problem and makes it an individual one, and makes us all armchair doctors and diagnosed as opposed to fighting for better universal human rights.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Very late but…6 weeks vacation? Not in Canada.

        Canada is like a cross between the US and many countries in Europe in terms of social and employment policies.

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      This. Eating healthy IS expensive! Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh proteins, these things are expensive! Processed foods are cheap. There are just so many factors at play here.

  4. wellsie says:

    Ugh. Gave up caring what Bill Maher thought so many years ago. I recommend everyone else do the same. He’s awful. Hard to believe he still has a show, from my perspective.

  5. Lisa says:

    I like his funny and thoughtful response. Shaming does not work and makes the problem worse.

  6. Aims says:

    I have had weight issues my whole adult life. I promise you nobody is harder on themselves then me. It runs in the family. Being overweight is not a personality flaw. I’m sorry. The personality flaw is intolerance, judgement and lack of compassion towards another. Which is what I saw from Bill. You have no idea what led or caused someone’s weight gain. It isn’t a black or white situation. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and civility. I’m proud of James saying something. We teach our kids that if they have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all. Bill must’ve missed that lesson.

    • TQB says:

      Don’t apologize for a damn thing, @Aims. Preach!!

    • ElleV says:

      LOUDER FOR PEOPLE IN THE BACK!!!
      His point about “some amount of shame” being good is such bs, too – studies show that fat shaming is actually more harmful for health than obesity and contributes to further weight gain. So it IS a black and white situation and you owe no one apologies: fat shaming isn’t just unhelpful, it’s harmful, period.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      I’m sure you’re beautiful Aims no matter your size at any given time.I was an overweight child and ridiculed at home and school.There was nowhere safe,it was isolating and forced me into disordered eating in my teens and twenties.
      Overweight people know they’re overweight no reminders necessary.
      As we move toward a world where we are trying to be tolerant,politically correct,and accept so many differences amongst each other,I’ve said before and will say again that fat shaming seems to be still an acceptable (amongst many)form of discrimination.

  7. Shana says:

    Fat shaming is absolutely unacceptable and needs to go away. However, arguments that fat people can be healthy is dangerous and misleading. Being fat isn’t and has never been healthy. I’ve never ever met a fat person who would have normal nutrition. All my overweight co-workers would eat pizzas for lunch every day (along with a can of Coca Cola, gross). And yes, obesity is rare in Europe.

    • JAC says:

      It isn’t that rare. Depends on the country, but not rare.

      • Shana says:

        It absolutely is. I’m Austrian and travel all across the Europe constantly (which is not difficult since it’s so smal, I literally drive to other countries). Obesity is rare and is mostly happening with teenagers who adopt American way of eating – fries, burger, etc. something that older Europeans don’t even consider to be proper food, just an occasional treat. Yes, both pizza and fries originated in Europe (Italy and Belgium accordingly), but locals don’t eat them daily, don’t pour transfat and sugar on top and don’t consume humongous portions.

      • Snowslow says:

        I travel within Europe a lot for work too. I think you are thinking of morbid obesity and late stages of obesity. Because obesity and overweight is a rampant issue in all of Europe, especially in the south. If you go to Paris people are generally thin. But if you go to other regions in France you will see that being overweight is now the norm.

      • Baby Jane says:

        Shana, you are examining “health” very narrowly. Blood pressure, mental health, cancer, alzheimer’s… these affect people of all shapes and sizes. Lifestyle obesity is one way to be unhealthy, but far from the only way.

      • A says:

        “don’t consume humongous portions” North American here. Every time I’ve visited Europe, and ate out at restaurants, I’ve been served far FAR more food than I’ve ever been able to eat in one sitting. My parents were in Berlin a couple of years ago, and they mentioned how big the portion sizes were, and how many of their fellow diners wound up wasting large amounts of food because they couldn’t eat everything.

        As for what counts as “proper” food. Okay, fries and burgers are “American.” Then what, pray tell me, is European food? Is it the copious amounts of bread and carbohydrates that are a prominent part of European cuisine? The enormous amounts of butter that goes into French food? Or the enormous amounts of bread and wine that are consumed with each meal? Or is it the pasta that has a starring role in Italian cuisine? Or is it that sitting around nitpicking in order to feel superior about yourself for twenty seconds is a waste of time and a useless endeavour, because by all accounts, every culture has its own unhealthy food?

    • Snowslow says:

      Obesity is not rare in Europe. Actually, it is on the rise and has been flagged up here in the UK as one of the major causes of health complications and death. Please don’t generalise.

      • Shana says:

        Sorry, wasn’t thinking about UK specifically. Yes, poorer (and less educated) regions of GB tend to have fatter people. And I’m not judging people for being poor (I myself come from very humble beginnings) but rather for being uninterested in educating themselves. Buying a bag of quinoa, pack of eggs and tomatoes is less expensive than eating fast food 3 times a day. It is laziness and lack of nutritional education (which is also free, google can provide some nice articles)

      • Snowslow says:

        I relate obesity in the US with very very poor laws about what is in processed food. In Europe (and this is one of the things that frightens me with Brexit bc Bojo wants to turn the UK into the US nr.2) food is highly regulated (not enough but that’s a whole other subject).
        Poverty is also related with obesity but there are many many overweight/obese people around where I live, which is a fairly bourgeois area. Alcohol consumption has a lot to do with being overweight and I assure you that in Europe people with money drink a lot. Let’s face it, we eat wayyyy too much for our daily energy needs anywhere in the western world with exception of a few countries.
        In Portugal, where I was born, there is an obesity problem too – and people have a tendency to be overweight because there is a huge culture of food consumption in Southern Europe.

      • Arpeggi says:

        I was born in France, I’ve been overweight most of my life and my grandparents have been overweight for as long as I’ve known them so a good 34 years at the very least: obesity exists in continental Europe and it isn’t new! When we moved to Canada, my grandma was amazed, when visiting, to easily find clothes and undies that would fit her and her husband because it was so hard to find L or XL-size clothes in Paris (not being able to dress yourself is another way to shame fat ppl).

        And yeah, no. I wasn’t raised on junk food and my grandparents only went to McDonald’s about 3-4 times in their life when we were kids; they eat/ate fairly traditional French and Northern Italian (grandma’s Italian) food which does mean lots of cheese, butter, olive oil, pasta and bread but also a ton of fruits and veggies. Maybe they could exercice a bit more, though between working, going to the market, housekeeping and all, I’ve always found my grandma fairly active (and she did all this until last year when her Alzheimer’s became too much and we put her in a home). As for me, I bike to work, do pilates, ballet and musculation 3 times a week and I don’t really lose weight, whatever it’s fun so I keep doing it.

        So as a fat gal from Europe from a fat European family, I can testify that fat people exist in Europe and always have been there.

      • Wendy says:

        Shana, I think this might help you understand that the situation is far more complex than you have ever realized:

        https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2010.1890

        This is a study titled: “Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics”. Published in 2010, scientists found that the rates of obesity in multiple laboratory animal species have been increasing for decades despite the animals’ diets not having changed, and no one knows why.
        The population sampled was “20 000 animals from 24 populations (12 divided separately into males and females) of animals representing eight species living with or around humans in industrialized societies” (direct quote from the study) — in all animal populations studied, the trend over time was for an increase in weight. It’s speculated to be due to some kind of environmental agent that is more prevalent now, perhaps an endocrine disruptor or a pathogen. Whatever it is, it’s likely that humans are also exposed to it (probably moreso since lab environments are comparatively clean and well-controlled) and this may play a significant role in the increase in rates of human obesity during the same time period.

    • Aims says:

      With all due respect. Are you the food police? It really isn’t your business what someone eats or doesn’t. If it doesn’t effect you directly, what business is it of yours what someone has for lunch?!

      • TeamAwesome says:

        Morbidly obese vegetarian here, hi! I guess I packed my organic vegetarian meal, apple, and 5 ingredient snack bar in the wrong lunch box this morning! Will return to conversation after I go exchange it for pizza and soda! Thanks for the reminder!

      • Nlopez says:

        Preach! +1000

    • paranormalgirl says:

      Your concern trolling is duly noted.

    • Coji says:

      Why are you monitoring what your coworkers eat?

    • DaisySharp says:

      I don’t believe you.

      Cause I’ve, you know, worked with people of all sizes too. I have never worked with even one heavier person who ate pizza for lunch “every day”.

      Also, I will tell you one of my big red flags for asshattery. When some privileged smugleton starts yammering off a list of healthy and “easy to prepare” foods to eat for the fat people too stupid to figure it out. The list usually includes bulk oatmeal from whole foods and bananas. Then I say to myself “oh, we got us an asshat here”. And guess what? I’ve never been subsequently proved wrong.

      • TQB says:

        “I don’t believe you.” – -> PERFECTLY SAID.

      • Agirlandherdog says:

        Hahaha, Daisy. Yes, the asshat was strong in that comment. “Fat shaming is bad, *but* let me fat shame my fat co-workers who drink nothing but soda and eat nothing but pizza.” Jesus. I’m not sure if s/he’s trolling, or just that blind.

    • Snowslow says:

      Ok, and I’ll bite re: what your co-workers eat.
      If you are so quick to judge, can you please tell me why some people can eat pizza and coke on the regular and not gain weight whereas someone else with the exact same diet will become overweight?
      Genetic predisposition has a lot to do with weight issues as well as a lot of other stuff. It really saddened me to listen to Corden because I can eat ice-cream every week and not gain a point more but he can’t and I have another friend who hasn’t eaten sugar and other kinds of food in years because she just balloons up.
      I agree that pizza and coke every day is not a great decision but who knows what is going on with your colleagues mentally and physically (thiroid, depression…?).
      Don’t be so judgy and listen to people around you. One day you might learn about their weight -gain – loss journeys…

    • Lizzie says:

      i hope your fat coworkers sit around and talk about what an idiot you are.

    • manda says:

      Just because you have “never ever” met an overweight person who has “normal nutrition” (whatever that means), does not mean that there are not overweight people who eat right. I mean, come on. You are falling for the confirmation bias.

      Do you rail against drinking and other enjoyable things too? We can’t be perfectly healthy in every choice we make every day. I mean, life is for living, and life is not worth living if I can’t have some chocolate cake or a glass of wine or a ciggie every now and then if I want one

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      My best friend is obese and she eats better than I do, and I’m 129 pounds. She exercises, too. She has bad genetics. She’s finally getting gastric sleeve surgery in a desperate attempt to finally get the weight off. It’s not all down to diet. That’s such an ignorant remark.

      • castletoz says:

        One of my best friends also. Checks the labels on her food for nutritional content, works out and is incredibly strong. There’s a lot of unseen muscle in her body that most people would never suspect existed and she would crush my fairly slim/strong ass any day in a strength competition. She just got unlucky with the genetics. She also has to call my ignorant ass out when I say stupid stuff because I’ve always been a smaller person and have no idea what media fed bullshit ideals I’m regurgitating most times.

      • Your Cousin Vinny says:

        Yes, someone I love dearly suffers from a thyroid condition that impacts their size. This person is the healthiest eater I know and dedicates themselves to gruelling daily workouts. The comments people make are absolutely atrocious – all sorts of assumptions accusations and downright unkindness.

        My stance has always been that whether it’s a medical issue, genetic issue, lifestyle or economic issue, it’s just not your concern or business to comment. I get very wound up when I hear people talking about someone else’s size. You don’t know their story and it’s not impacting you.

        Arguments about obesity impacting universal healthcare have little merit when there are thousands of people out there of all sizes sunbathing, smoking, drinking, doing extreme sports etc that can all cause disease or injury and end up costing the taxpayer via the healthcare system.

        It’s time to put a stop to the shaming. Well done, James for speaking out!

      • TQB says:

        @yourcousinvinny Yes to ALLLLL of that.

    • TQB says:

      Since you spend so much time monitoring your coworkers’ eating habits, let us know how many acceptably-sized people you see smoking, drinking a million cups of coffee or diet soda, skipping meals, and eating nothing but an apple until dinner. How many of them exercise obsessively? Skip work social functions because they know there will be “bad” food? How many, if you asked them, would confess that they think they’re fat?

      Linking “health” with BMI is asinine and harmful to everyone, whether they have a weight problem or not. it encourages people to overlook truly unhealthy lifestyles and focus on all the wrong elements of good health.

      I’ve worked many places. I’ve known many overweight people, but I’ve known a truly depressing number of people who suffer or have suffered with eating disorders or who otherwise threaten their overall health in an effort to conform to someone else’s opinion of what they should look like.

    • OriginalLala says:

      I eat a whole-food vegetarian, dairy free diet. I work out several hours a week. I have PCOS so I am a bit overweight, but please kindly eff off with your idiotic know-it-all nonsense. You know nothing.

    • WTF says:

      I could add to the many arguments explaining why your statements are factually wrong and insulting but I can’t say it any better than what has already been said. Also, having to explain is part of the problem. People that are over-weight don’t owe anyone an explanation, nor should they be subject to your ‘thoughts’ and assumptions about their lives. How about, mind your own business? Even if everything thing that you said is true, how is that any of your business?
      People like Shana are obviously running into the wrong fat people. I have been heavy all of my life and if someone dared make ignorant comments like yours in my presence, at the very least they would get chewed out. I would hit them with the same venom that I do anyone that dares offer their ignorant insulting opinions about my race or my gender. Go have several seats, and a pizza (anything to fill your mouth, so you can be quiet).

  8. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    Bravo, James. Great, heart-felt and intelligent response.

  9. DaisySharp says:

    Bill Maher is a jackass. He’s also a terrible bigot and he should have been fired long ago for his anti-muslim screeds. I don’t care what he thinks about anything and I got a little news for him; all that weed he smoked? Yeah, also causes lung cancer.

    • TQB says:

      I swear, I don’t understand how he still has a job after the “house n****” remark. No, Bill, that’s not an expression we use, you racist twat.

  10. Jen says:

    And I’ve now added “concern trolling” to my vocabulary. Some of my inlaws do this and it’s so annoying, but I couldn’t put a finger on the exact term or phrase. They claim that they’re just worried about you blah blah blah. I never had a weight problem until I was pregnant, then I had PPD and it just spiraled. Throw in some medical issues that required large amounts of steroids and voila. I’ve lost the weight but in it’s place is a crap ton of resentment toward those who made me feel less than.

    • manda says:

      Some people have such issues with overweightedness. I am so sorry they made you feel bad. My mother had major body issues with herself that me and my sister turned into our own food and body issues and wow it would just be so nice to just live without thinking about food or my body or how I look, like, all the time :(

  11. TeamAwesome says:

    I really hope famed shame expert and kick ass lady Brene Brown has something to say about this. Shame just ensures that you hide the behavior, it doesn’t make you give it up.

    Also, just to point out, overweight people can and do remain overweight whilst in the midst of enjoying a healthy lifestyle. We don’t just drop all the weight the instant we decide to “be healthy”.

  12. Ann says:

    I love Real Time but Bill has been pissing me off a lot over the last year. I don’t really care about this fat shaming thing from a moral perspective; I’m more annoyed that I think stupid stuff like this makes people not want to go on the show and we keep getting annoying people like Bari Weiss on the panel. Also the fat shaming is rarely funny, which is Bill’s go to excuse any time he says something offensive that inevitably gets dismissed because he’s a comedian. He’s gotten some good jabs at Chirs Christie, but for the most part it’s just uncomfortable.

  13. Lizzie says:

    bill maher is a POS. i hate that he is considered some type of talking head for the left. he isn’t. he’s an ignorant, misogynistic racist who uses his platform excursively to hurt people and not a word that comes out of his mouth is funny or clever anymore. male comedians should be put out of their misery at 50 like lame racehorses.

    also – obesity isn’t rare in europe. there are plenty of people of all sizes in every country where there is not food scarcity.

    furthermore – places where everyone seems slim and fit is b/c it is racially homogeneous and there aren’t extraordinary efforts to deprive half of the population healthcare and access to food and safe drinking water like there is the US. i lived in a food desert for 5 years. i had to drive 20 miles to store that had fresh produce – our society is basically build on the prosperity gospel that says affluence is a virtue and if you’re too poor to be healthy your weight and illness it is your own fault and if you just tried harder god would bless you with fitness and lower cholesterol.

  14. Pineapple says:

    100 points for Gryffindor!! (I mean, James Cordon.)

    I will now spend today loving James Cordon. He spoke so eloquently and truthfully about such an odd, painful human issue. And to the commenter with co-workers who “always eat pizza and coke” …. -30 points for Slytherin.

  15. Mrs. Peel says:

    I adore James Corden – he’s articulate, laugh out loud funny and talented, and HOT. Long may he reign.

  16. Oc says:

    As someone who heard from her mother since she was 7 years old that she was getting fat, that she was going to become a whale and that no boy would want to date her, I can affirm that shamimg foesn’t help, it actually makes the problem worse. Funny thing is that when i was a child, my mother talked about what I ate while giving me acess to unhealthy food. I’m working on chaging my relationship with food now.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      We must be sisters,you described my mothers tactics to perfection.

    • stormsmama says:

      :( oh my I am so sorry that is so awful!!!
      Why would a mother blame a7 year old when clearly the 7 year old has learned from the mother – and like you said- gains access via the mother
      :( im so sorry

  17. Another Anna says:

    Bill Maher is the pinnacle of mediocre white maleness. He still thinks anyone gives a shit what college he went to and his Islamophobia is some Bret Stephens faux-intellectual bullshit. He smug and needs to be slapped down REGULARLY. Now that HBO has John Oliver, I really don’t know why they keep this hacky has-been around.

    Also his point is bullshit. My weight gain was partially the result of being a picky eater and dealing with an abusive home life. I’ve had to relearn a lot of behavior. I’ve had people try to shame me into losing weight for years because they thought they were helping. I kept gaining. You know what did work? Therapy. Acceptance. Medication to get my health under control. In conclusion, fuck bill Maher

  18. Cee says:

    Fat shaming is cruel and needs to stop. I was fat shamed my whole life right into my 20s and it crippled my self esteem and body image. I developed 2 EDs and have basically lived a life in which I am undeserving of anything remotely positive and lovely.
    I am 32 and am just know unlearning everything I’ve ever thought of myself and my relationship with food. I’ve been training for 2 years and for the last 4 months I’ve been eating healthy, which is SUPER expensive but it’s something I can afford to do, unlike many others. I also have diabetes in my genes so I’ve always put on weight very easily. Just now I’ve been able to keep it off.

    We need to be kinder to others – we can lose/gain weight but stupidity and malice and personality traits that do not go away.

  19. Becks1 says:

    Corden’s response was perfect. Fat shaming does need to stop and shame on Bill Maher for his comments. He’s a POS.

  20. MeghanNotMarkle says:

    Bill Maher has been a POS for a long time. Go, James Corden!

  21. Sean says:

    I watch Real Time every week. Not for Bill, but for the (hopefully) interesting guests he’ll have on. I think Bill, while sometimes makes great points, has for the most part become a caricature. He rails against “millenials” for being over-sensitive and entitled. Yet, when his jokes don’t elicit the response he he wants from his audience, he becomes frustrated. He hates what the Republican party has become but only wants a “centerist” Democrat to win the nomination for 2020. Why? On last week’s show, he admitted that he himself has become more conservative and doesn’t want to pay higher taxes.

    Lastly, I’ve been side-eyeing him since the me too movement started. As soon as abusers were being named, Bill for several weeks made it a point to discuss how “important” it was to differentiate between “real” abuse and harassment. He’d have people like Bari Weiss on his show to reinforce his point. It made me 5hink he probably has behavior in his past he doesn’t want known.

    There’s also his friendship with Sean Penn and of course his ever-present smugness.

    Yeah, sometimes I wish HBO would put Bill out to pasture.

  22. qtpi says:

    I’ve been chasing dopamine my whole life with eating.

    Finally diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD at 38. Finally getting treatment. Hoping it leads to gradual weight loss as I address my previous issues.

    Wish it was as easy as they it is. If it was we wouldn’t all be struggling.

  23. TheOriginalMia says:

    I was reading a twitter thread addressing BMI and how it’s basically bullshit. Especially when applied to POCs. How doctors rely too much on it and therefore place people on drugs that they don’t need, instead of actually managing their patients’ healthcare based on the individual patient. I say all of that to absolutely agree with Corden. People see overweight people and automatically assume they are near death or unhealthy when that is furthest from the truth. Not everyone is going to be skinny. Not everyone skinny is healthy. How about we stop policing people’s weight? Maher is a jerk. Always has been. Always will be.

    • TQB says:

      This is a great point. Doctors see overweight and blame everything on that instead of focusing on the patient and the actual issues. You shouldn’t have to lose weight just to get a doctor to treat your actual ailments.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      Those charts are disastrous,I’m 5’7, and my thinnest adult weight is 135.That should have me in an average BMI range,but when I’m that weight I have bones protruding at my shoulders,hips,rib cage.Adding 15 pounds my BMI is not so perfect,but I look so much better and still slim.That stupid chart can really mess with your head.

    • A says:

      My biggest worry is that someone I know and love will go to the doctor with a real, life-threatening illness, and then have it be misdiagnosed because of their weight, and potentially wind up in the grave because of it. It’s happened, it continues to happen, and it’s entirely because health care providers don’t treat fat people with any amount of empathy. It’s sad.

  24. BANANIE says:

    I don’t know how to put what I’m thinking into words. I know there are a lot of factors that can go into weight gain and difficulty losing weight – genetic predisposition, certain illnesses and medication needed to read those illnesses and more- but some people don’t have any of those issues.

    They do gain weight because they don’t eat healthy foods they do have access to (not saying everyone does, but there are certainly fat people out there who do) or they eat too much of the healthy foods. Too much of anything can be a bad thing. And they don’t exercise.

    If these people don’t want to lose weight, that’s their call. But it’s confusing to me when these very people talk about how losing weight is impossible. It’s not. Barring those other issues, it is a combination of healthy diet, exercise and mental discipline.

    • TQB says:

      And so you think shaming this extremely small and specifically articulated subset of overweight people will help?

    • KL says:

      I want to ask if you read the article at all. But I’m realizing some people are so desperate for the hit of moral superiority they feel from judging fat people they COULD actually read an entire article about shaming culture and Quimby specifically saying “I’ve noticed that people who trot out the arguments that Bill does about how “being fat = being unhealthy” don’t change their minds,” and how very hurtful those attitudes can be for people trying to BE healthy, and still come away with “but some fat people DESERVE my judgement!”

      I mean, clear choice between empathy and understanding or asserting your supposed superior understanding of the world; between minding your own business or reminding others just how much you are socially permitted to presume about and chastise perfect strangers because of their body weight. You chose the latter in both cases, cool.

    • Arpeggi says:

      If some people don’t want to stop being judgmental twats, that’s their call. But it’s confusing to me when these very people talk about struggles they’ve never personally encountered and decide that their opinion of this not being a struggle matters.

      • Ali says:

        Agree. If you’ve never had an issue with weight, STFU.

        We still know so little about hormones and metabolism.

        Calories in, calories out, yes, of course, at a rudimentary level but ask any woman over 40 if her body hasn’t started doing weird things with those very same calories in and out.

    • Wendy says:

      I posted this in response to another commenter upthread, but it seems like it would also serve well here. There’s so, so, so much we don’t know about why bodies gain weight and have trouble losing it, and this may help you begin to understand why the assumptions you make about strangers’ bodies and lives are troublesome to say the least:

      https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2010.1890

      This is a study titled: “Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics”. Published in 2010, scientists found that the rates of obesity in multiple laboratory animal species have been increasing for decades despite the animals’ diets not having changed, and no one knows why. The population sampled was “20,000 animals from 24 populations (12 divided separately into males and females) of animals representing eight species living with or around humans in industrialized societies” (direct quote from the study) — in all animal populations studied, the trend over time was for an increase in weight. It’s speculated to be due to some kind of environmental agent that is more prevalent now, perhaps an endocrine disruptor or a pathogen. Whatever it is, it’s likely that humans are also exposed to it (probably moreso since lab environments are comparatively clean and well-controlled) and this may play a significant role in the increase in rates of human obesity during the same time period.

    • Cee says:

      I am 5 kilos overweight right now. I’ve been 26 kilos overweight.
      My diet consists of: protein, vegetables (except corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes) and some dairy. That’s it. That’s how I managed to lose some weight after years of piling it on. I also train 3-4 times a week and I’ve been doing it for 1.5 years now. This is what I do to keep myself on a healthy weight. I also have 30 kilos of muscle weight and 15 kilos of fat weight. My BMI number will tell you I am overweight even though I have more muscle than fat. I have hypothyroidism and insulin resistance.

      I struggle DAILY. It takes a lot out of me to stick to my diet because if I get off it for more than a day I put on 2 kilos in a weekend. So no, it’s not about discipline – it’s about money, context, genetics and mental health. I only got on this diet when I was mentally strong for it. It’s not about wanting to lose weight, it’s about having the bingo ticket to be able to do it.

  25. Sister Carrie says:

    I’d like for some hair-receding shame to rain down on Maher. Then maybe he’d learn about the amount of control one has over genetics.

    • TQB says:

      I like the way you think. If only that would actually wound him, instead of just rolling off and hurting the feelings of some poor non-asshole balding person.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        Bill Maher is full of b.s. If he frames his comments about fat people as concern for their health. He is simply disgusted by fat people. He’s been saying the same things about this subject for many years. Fat-shaming seems to be the last nasty commentary that’s socially acceptable. Fewer people do this now than in years past, but it’s still going on and lots of people are fine with it. Bill Maher never misses a chance to insult a fat person (of all the things he could say about Chris Christie, he aims his comments at his being fat).

        I am completely sick of his insults about fat people! No one ever confronts him about it. I am waiting for someone to stop him in mid-sentence and ask him why he has always ridiculed fat people. Its not about their health, its about Bill and his personal problem with weight. Its none of Bill Maher’s business what size anyone is. Bravo to James Corden. I hope that more people speak up. And I hope they speak up on his show, and not let him weasel out of it with a cruel joke, as he tends to do.

        I agree with Bill Maher about lots of things, but if he doesn’t like something, he can be absolutely vicious. James Corden, go on his show and straighten this insensitive jackass out!

    • Your Cousin Vinny says:

      @sistercarrie, I get what you are saying but unfortunately that could hurt other people who are balding and that’s not fair. We should just stamp out body shaming full stop.

      • Sister Carrie says:

        Yeah, I certainly do NOT want balding men to be shamed—-I just couldn’t think of any other way to shame BM physically. My man has very little hair which sometimes bothers him but I do my best to assure him that women aren’t really that hung up on balding as much as men are. (No offense to balding women who are stressed about it—-I would stress if I started losing my hair!)
        Basically I just want someone to call out BM for being such a dickwad.

  26. Betsy says:

    I know exactly why I’m fat and it’s not all food or inactivity. I’ve also noticed that while my siblings can move weight when they want to, the needle doesn’t budge for me. It’s frustrating beyond belief and I’m going to see an endocrinologist to begin the process for gastric bypass so I have a tool that brings me to a leveler playing ground. I have done so much work and it never shows and I just want to scream, especially since I have noticed people treating me like I’m dumber the fatter I get.

    • TQB says:

      I hope surgery, if you go that route, works out. It’s gross that you feel like you have to take that step just to be respected. I bet you have a healthier lifestyle than half the people you know.

      • Betsy says:

        Thanks, TQB. I never really considered it till I chanced upon a reddit thread and she spoke specifically about her weight being PCOS related (check) that didn’t move (check) until they cut out the section of intestine that helps create the hormones.

        I know they say it’s not a magic wand, but frankly I would regard anything that allows healthy diet and exercise to have an effect as something of a magic wand.

  27. styla says:

    I think the problem is that there is this equation that fat = unattractive. That’s not true at all. Not even slightly!! I am 5’7 and 125 lbs and I lift heavy weights and I am forced to eat healthy (digestion issues) and there have been MANY times that I’ve seen a heavier woman walking by and thought: “DAMN she is killing it out here and looks way better than I do.” Weight is irrelevant to beauty for sure. I also prefer heavier men!

    But the idea that fat can be healthy is problematic for so many reasons. It’s just not and that notion is getting pushed to some extent. It is absolutely true that slender people can be just as unhealthy as larger people or even more… so while there is that… obesity just isn’t ok no matter how you slice it.

    • KL says:

      Being fat does not mean being obese. And the standard for obesity is probably much lower than you think. It’s not always “My 600 Lbs Life,” it can simply be a tick over a certain BMI value, when that standard has been heavily debunked. (Especially when it comes to people who build muscle, like yourself.) Doctors still use it, which means they still medicate and prescribe according to the assumption of obesity, which means a whole hell of a lot of symptoms can get dismissed under the banner of “you’ll feel better when you lose weight.”

      The problem isn’t as simple as the assumption that fat = unattractive — lots of fat men and women don’t have trouble finding partners. It’s the wider attitude of “you deserve less: less respect, less privacy, less attention to your needs” because of the assumption that fat or just fatter people can’t do the math or summon the willpower to make themselves skinnier, and so are somehow lesser than the rest of us.

    • TQB says:

      IT IS OK. It is OK to be a person. It is never not “OK” to exist in your body, however it looks. No one is standing here saying that everyone should be overweight, or that people with unhealthy habits shouldn’t at least consider improving them. The problem is making a swift judgement across the board that EVERYONE who fails to meet some sort of threshold – be it weight, BMI, or freaking shoe size – must be first and foremost told to “fix” that.

      There is this stupid myth that the opposite of shaming is encouraging people to be overweight. You’re defending your right to harass fat people on the basis that to do otherwise is to condone obesity. We must be vigilant in our shaming, lest for one minute people forget that they are not “OK.”

      Or you could just shut the F up.

    • Wendy says:

      Weird. I’m in my early 40′s, I’m 5 foot 9 and haven’t weighed less than 245 pounds for well over a decade despite being very physically active, and yet I keep having year after year after year of perfect physical examinations. Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and so on… all textbook perfect. And yet according to you, I can’t possibly exist. Huh. It’s almost like you might be talking completely out of your ass.

    • A says:

      No one is saying that being fat = being healthy. What people are saying is that being fat doesn’t mean that you’re automatically unhealthy, in the same way that being skinny doesn’t automatically mean that you’re healthy. You can be skinny and be a heroin addict, for starters, and you can be fat and have absolutely no issues with your health at all.

  28. Dee Kay says:

    I am fat and beautiful and proud. I dieted my a– off till my late 30s and then stopped when I realized all the thin people around me were less happy than I was, in less fulfilling jobs, with soul-sucking marriages and friendships. And there I was, overweight, with the job and husband of my dreams, a life full of laughter and love, and a happy disposition. I said f–k dieting and have never looked back. Yes I am heavy and so what? People still talk to me, work with me, like me, love me. You don’t need to be thin to live well and in fact in my experience it was just the opposite: the quest for thinness was the the thing robbing me of peace-of-mind. When I embraced my natural body, I think I not only began to feel more content but also more confident and worthy in my own mind, which I think affects how others see me. And btw, to any concern trolls: yes I’m healthy, I exercise, I eat lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, I get check-ups that show my stats are within the normal range. So you don’t have to try to take away my happiness by being “worried about my health.”

  29. Sleanne says:

    I have been best friends with the same person for my entire life and we are exactly the same height to the quarter inch. She has a very athletic, naturally muscular, small frame and I am very curvy naturally and have larger bone structure – e.g. I wear men’s gloves bc my hands are just so wide and I can’t wear bangles! There was a very brief period where we were the same weight: I looked sick, gaunt, and underweight while she looked a bit babyish in the face, slightly rounder. Same height, same weight – BMI chart said we were both bang on. It doesn’t take frame or body type into account. She dropped about 10lbs and said she felt better and looked amazing. I gained about 20lbs (and went over “healthy” BMI) and felt confident, energized, and I suited my body shape/frame much better. I looked and felt the healthiest I’ve ever been. Just like we all don’t fit in one standard bra size, having a generic “ideal” weight by height is crazy.

  30. ChillyWilly says:

    I just don’t get Bill and other people who share this bizarre obsession with other people’s body shapes. Why does it bother them so much that they feel the need to be so cruel and judgmental? It’s weird to me.
    And James is right that fat shaming never went away. Bill is so out of line here.

    • TQB says:

      Ultimately, this is the best and most healthy response. People who feel the need to shame are weird and have a problem.

      • EscapedConvent says:

        Yes, they absolutely do. This is Bill Maher’s problem. He’s not concerned about overweight people. He just doesn’t want to look at them, and it’s something in him.

        Apparently, he is still twelve years old in this respect. A mature adult shouldn’t make dumb jokes about another person’s size. But this is important to him; hes been doing it for 25 years at least. There are lots of things he could and does make fun of. Why so much attention to fat people?

        If and when Bill Maher becomes a perfect Adonis without flaws, maybe I’ll listen to his complaints about other peoples’ size. Probably not, though.

      • A says:

        It’s not that Bill Maher doesn’t want to look at fat people. There was a Twitter thread a while ago that I think captured this point perfectly, but the gist of it is that fatphobia is fundamentally about cruelty. As the popular adage of the time goes, the cruelty is the point. People who engage in fatphobia are not interested in shaming fat people into becoming skinny. They are simply interested in shaming fat people, period. To that end, they are far more invested in having fat people around for them to shame, because the shaming itself is the point. The sense of superiority they get from being cruel towards others is what motivates them. In Bill Maher’s case, that’s been the purpose of his entire freaking career.

  31. Naddie says:

    Ffs, healthy, natural food is A PAIN IN THE A%*#. It’s expensive, tasteless and doesn’t fill your stomach at all, 30 minutes later you’re hungry again. Someone above said that “it’s not expensive to eat eggs and tomatos”, who the hell feel any pleasure eating this? Imagine you’re poor, underpaid in a shitty job for 8 hours every day, spends 2 more hours in a crowded bus and comes back home hungry and tired. Can you point your finger to anyone in this situatioin, since the most accessible pleasure in their lives is food? And I’m not even talking about pizza, for people who struggle with weight things like rice and bread are caloric bombs. It pisses me off how people don’t realize (or don’t want to) that obesity is highly a psychological issue.

    • Veronica S says:

      Not to mention GI disorders that restrict food, a surprising amount of which are “healthy” category. I love eggs, but tomatoes are a one way trip to a severe reflux attack. My friend’s grocery bills skyrocketed after she got diagnosed with celiacs. Not a fun time.

      • Naddie says:

        Exactly, and I bet it has a social impact in your friend’s social life as well. My neighbor has a very restrictive diet due to stomach issues, and any gathering is a struggle for her.

    • Cee says:

      ITA, Naddie!

    • What is fair says:

      I had half of a baked potato with butter and sour cream and about 4 bites of cold leftover steak for breakfast. Then a slice of leftover pizza an hour later. I’m having edamame and a sushi roll for lunch along with a glass of wine. I’m comfort eating my way though a day where I feel like I’d rather just not be here to tell the truth. I probably won’t eat the rest of the day because I took half of a Claritin D and it’ll suppress my appetite the rest of the day.

      What do you do to stay so thin, people ask? Do you run? What’s your exercise secret?

      People who judge based on appearances are idiots.

  32. Veronica S says:

    I don’t know why it needs to come back. It never really went anywhere in the first place. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. I was chubby as a kid, fat as a teenager, and only managed to get down around my early twenties. I had about a 5-6 year span in my twenties where I was in really good shape, and then I got wrecked by thyroid disease around thirty, which was one of the most psychologically depressing events of that time period. All of that work for nothing. I’m back to square one trying to drop sixty pounds again.

    I’m tired of it. I’ve suffered from body dysmophia my whole life. I likely damaged my shoulder from over exercising in my twenties. I’m not even that big compared to most people at my weight because I’m tall, but I get to hear it from my family, my friends, my doctors etc. It’s exhausting. I work out seven days a week, count calories, work multiple jobs, and still have to deal with people telling me it’s just a matter of discipline when I’m fighting an uphill battle against chronic disease, a GI disorder, and a neurological disorder. I am doing the best that I can with the shitty hand genetics gave me.

    These days, I just tell people to f*ck off. I’m an adult woman working for a Forbes 500 company with multiple degrees, a side writing career, and plenty of other accomplishments. I frankly do not give a damn about existing for anyone’s visual pleasure.

    • Sleanne says:

      @ Veronica S: “I frankly do not give a damn about existing for anyone’s visual pleasure.”
      I loved your last line and I’m going to use that in my daily life. Perfection!

  33. Imeanreally says:

    Very thoughtful comments on this topic. As a person who has been on the scene for a while, I’d like to offer my perspective.

    When I look at my high school yearbooks from the ’60s, I see very few overweight kids. We ate burgers and fries and drank chocolate malts and regular Coke. We also lazed around watching TV in our no-sidewalk suburbs. But, a McDonald’s hamburger patty was about 2″ in diameter, a paper sack of fries held just a few of them, and a bottle of Coke was 7 oz. At the A&P, the potato chips were on a rack at the end of the aisle. We ate at home when a meal was served at the table, or in restaurants where “doggy bags” were needed for taking the steak bone home to Fido.

    Now, we seem to be obsessed with food. We’re being tempted to eat more and more often. Manufacturers have made it easy with convenience foods and bite-sizes. Grocery stores are the size of football fields with entire aisles devoted to chips and soda. Warehouse clubs encourage us to buy food in large quantities. Restaurant portions are all-you-can-eat. We are encouraged to consume food and drink everywhere and at every event. There’s a TV network devoted to food. So, of course more people are overweight now.

    • Cee says:

      Portion size has a lot to do with being overweight. Your assessment is correct.

    • Naddie says:

      That’s a very good perspective. I can speak for myself, I’m very visual, if you show me a row of chocolate bars I’ll buy at least one in a second.

    • A says:

      “We seem to be obsessed with food” Are we though? Are we truly? I don’t think an obsession with food necessarily equates to eating poorly. If you ask me, there are a great deal more options for eating healthy than there even was in the 60s. Have you ever flipped through the pages of a church cookbook? Think about how acceptable foods like Velveeta, jello salad, and powdered milk were in the 60s, and then ask yourself if the Food network would ever showcase those types of food today. Heck, what even were the vegan or vegetarian options for people in the 60s? Or even someone suffering from Celiac disease? Think of all the options we get provided for clean eating nowadays vs in the 60s, and ask yourself if your assessment truly holds up. Newsflash, it doesn’t.

      • Betsy says:

        I’ve half suspected that the obesity of today is in part a boomerang thrown from way back in the 50s when packaged food and junk was a lot more common. Have you ever seen the British sugar ration from the War? There’s barely any food, but they have sugar to spare. I just think that the velveeta and canned soups and things like that, created with god only knows what chemicals, flipped a switch in vulnerable peoples’ guts, that there are epigenetic results as well, and then the low fat (high sugar) craze shoved us over the edge.

        I apologize for the metaphors muddled like a stiff drink.

  34. Cryptospore says:

    I’ve been on this site for years but never commented. But I just finished a therapy visit where we covered my lifelong body image issues and the comments on this post were so therapeutic. Veronica, thank you. And thank you to the others who brought up the destruction that toxic shame brings into people’s lives. Maher is an ass and his monologue was atrocious. But he was just saying openly what so many think. My college roommate used to say that fat people are gross. My family are all very fit and image conscious. I am the black sheep who has always struggled with weight then took a job working nights a few years ago and gained 30 lbs that I cannot lose. It’s all in my belly. The underhanded comments that have come my way from family, colleagues, and just random folk are just ridiculous. I’ve gone through phases where I’m so ashamed I can’t leave the house. After a lifetime of not being able to have an intimate relationship because of all this I’ve finally found a partner who loves me for myself, but honestly struggles with the same issues. Dealing with society and the “wellness” brigade is bad enough for many of us. Bill should just go away. Why does he even have a platform anymore?

  35. Deanne says:

    I saw a tweet today that said “you can’t hate your body into a shape you will love”. Fat shaming doesn’t work and although most people on this thread clearly get that, there are a few posts that show the very common attitude of superiority and concern trolling, as someone so cleverly put it. There are so many factors that contribute to a person’s weight. Economics, mental health, medical conditions, geography, genetics, etc. can all be a part of it. Blaming pizza and Coke lunches is naive and over simplistic.

    • Anna says:

      Yup, this. Hating yourself doesn’t do anything except make you miserable. The first time i gained weight in college, I was super ashamed and honestly developed a really unhealthy view of food. I lost the weight, but gained it back a few years later…because hating yourself (and feeling ashamed) doesn’t solve anything.

  36. serena says:

    I watched James Corden’s clip about Bill Maher’s comment and he was gracious and so well spoken even though, in his shoes, I would have just insulted the eff out of that man. That IS bullying, shame has never helped anybody with any issues so Bill Maher just ended up looking like an ignorant troll. If anything, he’s the only one who should be ashamed (of himself).

  37. A says:

    Shame motivates you at a terrible cost to yourself. The price of your success is your personhood. You only use shame to motivate yourself when you truly think that you, as you exist at that moment, is so fundamentally unlikeable, fundamentally useless, etc that you have to destroy that person and become a newer, better person who will magically become more palatable.

    But the problem with shame as a motivator is that it doesn’t build. It only destroys. You have nowhere to go from that destroyed self. And then it sinks in, one day, that whatever success you achieved was achieved by that unlikeable self that you thought nobody could love, that you thought you had to destroy. That you were, in fact, enough, all along. But by then, you’ve wasted months, if not years, holding yourself back due to this cycle of shame. And that’s years of your life spent not lived.

    I’m not trying to be charitable to Bill Maher. God knows, he doesn’t need it from me. But what I’ve noticed with people like him, or indeed with anyone who refuses to engage with the world with compassion and empathy, is that they are some of the most cruel people in the world towards themselves. I don’t think Bill Maher hates himself, but I do think that he, in his own mind, views his life with a great deal of cruelty and judgement. He sees nothing wrong with it, probably because he has never experienced anything different, and so he has never considered the possibility that there could be anything different. People like him scoff at the idea of being compassionate and kind towards others as the hallmark of a world full of snowflakes, but I also think it’s because imagining a world that’s different from ours takes work. It’s difficult to admit to yourself that you deserve something different, something better, because that means that your life as it exists right now is inadequate, and that is a difficult pill for some people to swallow.

  38. Romanian Realism says:

    Bill Maher has a dead soul. I’m glad he doesn’t represent my side of politics.