If you're ever looking for the wrong way to talk about weight loss, look no further than Katie Hopkins. The British reality TV personality (who has been skinny almost all of her life) decided to binge eat more than 6,500 calories a day in an attempt to gain 50 pounds. Why? In order prove there are "no excuses for being overweight," of course.
She was inspired to take on this challenge after being called out for her rude comments about body image on Twitter when she was a guest on the Late Late Show.
"I don't believe you can be fat and happy. I think that's just a cop out," she told host Ryan Tubridy. "It's living a lie. It's not having the balls to cope with things and make a conscious effort to say, 'I'm going to do something about the state I've gotten myself in.'"
We then met Andrea, an audience member who rejected Hopkins' theory, noting that she was a fat woman who was perfectly happy. "Katie, you're looking at me here. I'm size 26, 18 stone and 45 years old," Andrea said, explaining that she weighs more than 250 pounds. "You said you've never seen a fat and happy person. You're looking at one."
To this great point, Hopkins interrupted to ask why the audience was clapping for a woman who she thought was big, fat and sloppy. This inspired Hopkins to prove that people like Andrea are wrong. It's all part of a new documentary project to be aired on TLC called Fat and Back.
Initially it seems like Katie is learning something from her experience:
"I didn't cry at childbirth. I didn't cry at my wedding. but I cried over this because I was just so disgusting," she said in the film. "I've learned a lot about how it feels to be big, how difficult it is to be big, how horrible it is to have fat sitting on the top of your thighs, and how much more challenging it is just to do everyday life when you're bigger."
While on the surface it might seem like Hopkins actually did learn something productive from her experience, these "skinny tears" are being shed for all the wrong reasons.
Hopkins is now into the weight loss phase of the program and has already lost roughly 35 pounds by sticking to the simple idea of "eat less, move more." This totally oversimplifies the idea of weight loss for millions of people.
Weight gain and loss have so many more variables than simply what you eat and do. There are genetics, economics, emotional stability, health conditions, and many more things to take into account when looking into obesity.
Instead of working toward a productive solution, Hopkins' quest comes across more as a childish game of fat-shaming rooted in ignorance and an ugly prejudice that equates body size with stereotypical lifestyle.
In reality, there's health and beauty at every size — if only Hopkins could stop shaming others for enough time to realize it.