Many plus size women have found solace in the fat acceptance movement online.
But apparently, some people would still prefer curvy women to focus more on slimming down than feeling good about themselves the way they are.
An online community called Operation Harpoon is on a mission to digitally alter photos of plus-size women in an attempt to make them appear slimmer.
We were tipped off to its Facebook page, which describes it as “a collaborative art project open to interpretation.” Here is the page’s description:
No hate speech please.
This is a page dedicated to showing both sides of modern day beauty.
In current societal fashion, a recent trending surge of “pro-obesity” and “fat acceptance” have paved the way for many people to renounce exercise and personal healthcare in general. This page aims to only show that being skinny is ok as well! Skinnyshaming is not ok :)
We have emailed the creators in order to better ascertain what their idea of “skinnyshaming” is and how it relates to the fat acceptance movement and will update when we hear back.
The participants’ Photoshop skills are not exactly professional-level.
Operation Harpoon also has an Instagram account under its former name, Project Harpoon. The community doesn’t shy away from assuming that celebrities want to be slimmed down, too.
In fact, their edits of model Tess Holliday actually elicited a response from her.
“It’s abominable that this [Facebook page] is using my image without permission to promote themselves,” Holliday told E! Online. “This kind of hit piece is exactly why I started #effyourbeautystandards. I am asking my followers to boycott this [page] and any others like it. Loving yourself is the most powerful message we all need to stand behind.”
The project apparently has roots on a subreddit called /r/thinnerbeauty, which has a similar mission statement, claiming that its aim is to “provide people with achievable health goals.”
“We do this by showing how beautiful they could look if they put just a little bit of effort into their bodies,” the subreddit’s sidebar reads.
Despite requests on the subreddit for people to steer clear of “hate speech,” there are plenty of slurs and some warped ideas expressed.
For example, at the top of the subreddit is a video entitled, “Quick photoshop tutorial on how to make landwhales look human.” “Landwhale” is Reddit’s juvenile slang for an overweight person. (It follows that Operation Harpoon’s name is a reference to this term.)
This isn’t the first time there’s been backlash against the fat acceptance movement online. Recently, there was uproar because Instagram had banned the #curvy hashtag (it’s since been reinstated).
A few weeks later, an online retailer came under fire for cheekily advertising plus-size leggings by having a model put both of her legs into just one pant leg.
These insensitivities don’t seem to be having any concrete effects on the online plus-size fashion and fat acceptance community though. By many accounts, it’s thriving — and even breaking into the mainstream.
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