An Open Letter to Tyrese, From a "Fat Girl" Fan
I loved Tyrese in The Fast & the Furious, but he’s is no Dr. Phil and perhaps he should quit trying to be.
In his latest interview with AllHipHop.com, the singer turned actor/author launched a brutal tirade against “fat” people. I’d have never guessed Tyrese to be a “chubby chaser,” but I certainly didn’t expect an author of self help books to be a “fat basher.” When asked if he felt an obligation to help people live a healthier lifestyle, Tyrese’s answer was gut wrenching and vomit inducing:
While I’m all for empowering people to take charge of their own health, wellness and fitness, there is nothing empowering about calling anyone the f word, nasty or shaming people because of their weight or appearance. And not all people who are struggling with a weight issue are struggling because they cannot control their eating habits. Just like you said yourself, Tyrese, no two situations are the same. Some people, (such as myself) struggle with a thyroid disorder; others have genetic issues that predispose them to weight gain, and these aren’t excuses I’m offering up–it’s science.
The old adage “What Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than Sally” rings true, though. Gibson’s comments reveal more about himself than anyone else – particularly his own feelings of blame, shame, guilt, contempt and disgust for himself. He revealed in a 2009 interview that he at one time had a severe body image issue and wouldn’t even face himself in the mirror.
Gibson went on to offer his own tips for weight loss and becoming comfortable with body image: establishing self love, maintaining control and working at your own pace.
Tyrese, those are great tips. But in the future, please don’t project your personal issues on the rest of the population–the bulk of America who is struggling with obesity. Self love is, as I’m sure you know, hard enough sometimes without the media and celebrities force feeding us a bunch of negative bulls**t about our less than perfect bodies, lives, partners, whatever. We can feel bad about ourselves all by ourselves without you adding to it. Your negative comments are one thing this “fat girl” will not be eating. Bulls**t like yours sounds best to the people who are spewing it.
A large part of making shifts happen is accepting people for who they are and where they are; meeting them where they’re at. If “fat and nasty” is where they’re at, your comments aren’t going to help. Self love is necessary at every step of the journey; negative self talk and degrading yourself while looking in the mirror is in no way, shape or form self love. Refusal to look in a mirror is not self love. Accepting the “fat and nasty” is. In fact, perhaps one of the greatest acts of self love is to find compassion for others – something your comments greatly lacked.
I am not asking you to feel sorry for anyone. The bottom line is that everyone should be accountable for their diet and everyone should exercise. However, losing weight is hard – even more so when you have odds against you, be it a thyroid problem, a genetic predisposition to weight gain, a problem with emotional overeating, depression, an eating disorder, whatever.
What I am asking you to do, however, is to have consideration. Don’t have pity; have consideration.
We aren’t “fat and nasty” and we don’t eat everything in sight, which is why your comments were a little bit hard to digest. I have now let them go where they belong, Tyrese – down the toilet.
And now I’m going to the gym.