A Washington coffee shop featuring bikini-clad baristas is facing scrutiny after severely bullying a dissatisfied customer online.
The customer, Jessica Cladek, orginally posted on Facebook complaining about poor service her aunt received at the shop, called Sips Ahoy. In her critical message, Cladek called Sips Ahoy a “run down whore house.”
Obviously, that’s not the most civil way to start a conversation. But most are in agreement that the responses of Sips Ahoy owner Meghan Calavan and her father were unwarranted at best.
"She's a huge fat b---- that no one would want to see in a bikini. She is just jealous of you beautiful fine lady's!!. She looks like a fat pugsly Addams!!! (sic)," Calvan’s father wrote.
Calavan followed her father’s insults with a number of her own.
"She's just jealous cause she's fat and ugly and always will be. She's gross lol look at her pictures. Her arms are the size of my thigh lollololol...She's training to be a sumo wrestler...Your worthless save world hunger by shooting yourself :) the rest of the world would like to eat also."
In response, angry followers have started a Boycott Sips Ahoy page that has attracted over 16,000 followers.
"I beg people please stay away from the coffee stand and don't resort yourself to stooping to their immature level by sending them hate messages,” the page reads. “This page is for the community and public comments for you to speak up about bullying. And to let the public know that it won't be tolerated in our town ... Please treat others as you would want to be treated.”
Calavan and her father now report that their cars have been vandalized and their houses have been egged since the incident. The coffee shop’s facebook page has been deleted from the web.
Megan Calavan now admits that she went too far in her comments and says she learned an important lesson in “keeping her mouth shut.”
“I stuck up for myself in an immature manner, I know” she said.
Making overweight or obese people feel bad about their bodies does anything but make it easier to drop the pounds. In fact, the narcissistic practice of fat shaming may be making people gain more weight.
A new study from Florida State University College of Medicine found that people who experience body-shaming were more likely to either become or stay obese.
“Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up,” said the four-year study, published this week in PLoS ONE.
“The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity."
"Stigma and discrimination are really stressors, and, unfortunately, for many people, they're chronic stressors,” said Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "And we know that eating is a common reaction to stress and anxiety — that people often engage in more food consumption or more binge eating in response to stressors."
In America, about 70 percent of adults are overweight and more than one third are obese. Last month, the American Medical Associations decided to label obesity a “disease.”
According to the study, internalizing weight-based stereotypes, teasing and other stigmatizing experiences are linked to depression and binge eating. Stress, including heightened public awareness, is also linked to weight gain.
“Weight discrimination, in addition to being hurtful and demeaning, has real consequences for the individual’s physical health,” said study author Angelina Sutin, a psychologist and assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Fla.
“And we know that eating is a common reaction to stress and anxiety -- that people often engage in more food consumption or more binge eating in response to stressors, so there is a logical connection here in terms of some of the maladaptive coping strategies to try to deal with the stress of being stigmatized," Sutin said.
An Australian man was banned from a Queensland gym chain after he mocked other members of the gym on Facebook and was exposed on 4Chan and Reddit.
In his most recent post, the unnamed man posted a photo from his IPad of another man lifting barbell weights. In the caption, he calls the gym member the “amazing chicken man” who is envied by bodybuilders and bulimic teenage girls for his low bodyfat.
Reddit and 4Chan users managed to track down the Australian man’s personal information and spoke with his mother, who then contacted the gym to notify the owner of the photos.
According to Facebook screenshots, the young man’s mother has also cut him off financially.
The gym owner called the harasser personally and banned him from the premises and the rest of the chain. He went as far as to call the young man “a piece of s**t”.
In response to the phone call, the young man vented about his banishment from the gym.
“I have this nagging voice saying 'toughen the f**k up' because I get called being fat on a daily basis,” the man wrote, responding to the gym owner’s concern over the pictures’ effects on members.
While the man eventually confessed to having offended some of the gym members, he asserted that a picture of himself on the Internet would have faced the same amount of criticism.
“For some reason people think fat people sweating their a**es off running on a treadmill is hilarious,” he wrote, “but if you pick on a skinny dude for lack of weights, it’s a godd**n hate crime.”
The California-based organization, First 5, began a new campaign to fight childhood obesity by using the image of a photoshopped chubby girl.
The original image pictured a healthy looking girl drinking from a carton of milk and was enhanced for the organization’s campaign.
According to the Huffington Post, the picture went viral after author Marilyn Wann placed the original and photoshopped images side by side and then posted them on Facebook and Twitter. Wann later wrote that children should be protected from manipulation such as the First 5 ad.
“If public health messages lie like this why should people trust them?" Wann said.
First 5, a cigarette-tax funded state organization focused on providing health care and educational services for children in their first five years, is accused of “fat shaming” young children with the ad.
Chief of Communications Lindsay VanLaningham defended the ad, arguing that it was intended for parents to view real-life consequences of childhood obesity.
First 5 published two ads, one featuring a black girl and another featuring a Vietnamese one and hoped to target minority audiences in poor urban areas that are increasingly preyed upon by junk food companies.
Karen Hilyard, a health communication researcher at UGA, said highlighting a single health risk without providing preventable steps often leads to denial or other “dysfunctional” behaviors. She pointed to research at the University of Melbourne, which found that healthy eating, exercise and a positive body image more often contributes to weight loss in children than targeted “fat shaming” ads.