Cartoon: Where’s The Fat Shaming? (With Becky Hawkins)

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It’s another collaboration with the marvelous Becky Hawkins! This is the sixth political cartoon Becky and I have done together; you can see the previous five here. (Becky and I also co-create a webcomic called SuperButch, about a lesbian superhero in the 1940s).

In any public discussion of fat acceptance – whether it’s on some TV talking heads show, or in some terrible backwater of Reddit – you’re going to hear the concern, “what if fat people start accepting themselves? Won’t that sap their motivation to change?” Sometimes it’s said politely, by people who used even tones and say “of course we’re all against fat shaming but…” Sometimes it’s more above-board, like the person in this comic strip. But it always comes up.

And, honestly, I’d be over the moon if our culture got to a point where fat people aren’t feeling shamed. But as a concern in this day and age, “lack of fat shaming” is ludicrous. There is literally no part of culture a fat person can go to avoid fat shaming. It’s like campaign ads in October, or coffee shops in Portland.


This cartoon has four panels.

A woman is seating in a coffee shop, gesturing at something on her laptop screen that’s annoyed her, as she rolls her eyes. In this and the next two panels, the woman is addressing the reader.
WOMAN: I hate it when fat people complain about “fat shaming.”

The same woman, a slightly closer shot, as she pounds a fist on the table in front of her.
WOMAN: Obesity is a crisis! American can’t afford coddling fat people any more!

A close up of the woman, as she makes “air quotes” with her fingers.
WOMAN: We’re all so “politically correct” that fat people are getting the message that it’s okay to be fat! The problem is that fat people aren’t being shamed!

New scene. A fat person sits in her home, holding up a smartphone. A friend of hers, with a concerned expression, is on the couch next to her. A flat screen TV is on the wall in front of her; a smiling news anchor is speaking, and there’s a graphic of carrots onscreen next to him. There’s a magazine lying on the table next to the sofa.
The magazine, the news guy on the TV, the smart phone, and the friend all share a single word balloon, which has the word SHAME in huge letters.

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