Facebook Page "530 Fatties" openly mocks overweight people around Sacramento and the 530 area code. But it's certainly not the first time that people have faced body image criticism.
Overweight people in northern California's 530 area code faced social media mocking on Facebook's "530 Fatties" page.
Lisa Flan of NBC's Today Show reports that anchors reactions to pictures primarily around the Yuba region of northern California. Natalie Morales describes the actions as horrible while Willie Geist says the page is disgusting.
It also makes him "wonder about the kind of person who takes the time and energy to build a page to shame people like that.”
But there are those who are not willing to let society mold their self-confidence.
A woman who found her picture on the site will not be shamed based on body shape.
“I’m thankful I have enough confidence and self esteem." The unidentified woman continued, offering another side of the story. "I love myself, big or small. If I knew who the person was, I would let them know they didn’t hurt my feelings or bring me down. I’m still me."
And she's not the only one. Jessi Lynn Howell told CNN-affiliate KOVR the page is "hurtful," but she also sees a less gross part of the action, too. Howell was a victim, but now she's turning the shaming technique around by seeing the picture as motivation. "Not where I want to be, but I'll get there."
In the picture on Facebook, the 21-year-old's seen laughing and unashamed, but the photo isn't current either. Since the photo's October snapshot date, she's lost 50 pounds. She feels happier now that she's feeling more confident. But she also offers a piece of advice for society. "Cyber-bullying, bullying period, needs to stop." Howell sees not problem in speaking up for those that "don't have a voice."
Fat-shaming is a constant in current society. Press, like Shape magazine, act as if the shaming is unusual. But really it's just another blip on a long line of impossible standards in the beauty industry based on promoting insecurity, which rakes in annual profits high in the billions.
Recording artist Kesha recently opened up to the press about why she underwent therapy for an eating disorder.
In an exclusive essay for Elle UK, ABC's Rising Star expert panelist explained the different pressures an artist may feel to look a certain way. "I’ve always tried to be a crusader for loving yourself, but I’d been finding it harder and harder to do personally.
It's hard to go against society. "I felt like part of my job was to be as skinny as possible, and to make that happen, I had been abusing my body."
ATRL offers more of the essay in a scanned posting of the article, where she makes it clear the message to be skinny is dangerous. "The music industry has set unrealistic expectations for what a body is supposed to look like, and I started becoming overly critical of my own body because of that."
The impact of the negative feedback, the constant cycle of industry and public isn't new. Tracey Gold of Growing Pains has her own open struggle with anorexia in the early 1990s. So the take down and reappearance of "530 Fatties" props up the vicious feedback loop.
Facebook released a statement to the morning show.
"We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals." But considering the appearance, it's clear the violation is not considered a high priority since the page had been around for a while.
Today’s Tamron Hall says the effect is nothing more than a way to be "hurtful." And while Morales thinks society "should all be above that by now," Hall seems more aware of cultural standards and remains much more "skeptical."
And being confident enough to push the mocking, harsh comments away isn’t easy. Kesha said that in order to be a positive role model, she had to really evaluate the abuse she was putting her body through and if her career was worth the repercussions.
Instead of feeling like a liar to everyone, she "had to learn to treat my body with respect."
Sadly, she's not the first, nor the last, to face body image and fat shaming issues.
But the treatment lessons on ignoring society's taunts helped Kesha face critics and media after she was learning to center herself again. "I knew I was ready to leave when I'd gained enough confidence to get on a plane knowing there would be paparazzi at the airport at the other end."
Now, she has a different take and a different strength. "This time, when I saw the pictures, I felt OK."
If other socially ostracized people were able to take back that personal power and destroy the image standards based on a few people's desires, the Facebook page would be nothing more than throwaway content.
As it stands now, it's only the latest view of a societal power struggle for dominance and wealth.
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