The Grand Tour presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, is well known for his controversial comments, with the most recent about the Australian bushfires resulting in a severe backlash. Now, people are starting to pick up on comments he made in a recent column regarding the combatting of obesity.
The Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid criticised him after she found out about his writing in her own column, where she agreed with Baroness Deborah Bull, a highly regarded ballet dancer. Bull says that body-shaming should be treated like racism and sexism and should be regulated by new laws in a recent interview with The Telegraph. She also said that research has shown that the body shaming of obese people can lead to comfort eating. “Feeling bad can drive to comfort eating,” she says.
“Yet Jeremy Clarkson wants to harness fat-shaming to prevent obesity in children,” says Reid.
“He wrote over the weekend, ‘I would urge the thin and the good-looking to step up their fat attacks. Blow out your cheeks when passing us in the street. Because if we, the grown-ups, stop being fat, then it’s likely our children will stop being fat as well.’”
Susanna continues: “But surely anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows this approach is nonsense. There’s nothing positive about being humiliated for your size.”
She adds: “Britain’s top ballet dancers said that the effects of fat-shaming are so damaging that it should be treated like racism. She’s backed up by 100 academics, who say weight-based prejudice is rife. The NHS, they claim, leaves the overweight feeling stigmatised and shamed.”
But what are the comments that caused this in the first place? We refer you to Jeremy’s writing:
“They’re in a vicious circle, because the more they eat, the more they don’t look like those people on Love Island, and that makes them even more unhappy.”
Clarkson argues that “teasing fat children is wrong” but when the parents are involved, “it’s a very different story”.
He said: “If you sit there on the sofa every night, washing chocolate and curry down with gallons of rosé, which is what I do, you are subtly letting your children know that it’s OK to look like the b*****d love child of an elephant and a hot-air balloon.”
He goes on to say that we should bring attention to obese people. “Point out that not moving is the new smoking and that we are going to bankrupt the NHS with our spineless, weak-willed attitude to booze and biscuits.
“Use extreme cruelty to bring us back into line, because if we, the grown-ups, stop being fat, then it’s likely our children will stop being fat as well.”