Proud2Bme | Fat Shaming Isn't Funny, Katy Perry

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Fat Shaming Isn't Funny, Katy Perry

By Anna Sundquist--Singer Katy Perry just unveiled her latest music video, and has received plenty of negative press and backlash in response. After the release of the track in May, Perry’s song “Swish Swish” has been speculated to be a response to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” But the music video has much bigger issues; mainly, the use of fat-shaming throughout.

The video depicts a basketball game, in which Perry is clearly trying to appeal to a younger crowd as the video references numerous memes and viral videos. Beyond that, it features a wide range of celebrities and internet sensations, with cameos from Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo, viral “backpack kid” dancer Russel Horning, Doug the Pug, and more. Nicki Minaj also makes an appearance as the “half time show” during her rap section.

Among the guest appearances, YouTuber and comedian Christine Sydelko is featured throughout the video. Despite being known for her humor and other talents, Perry’s production team took the immature route of only using Sydelko to make “fat jokes.”

At the beginning of the video, as they introduce the “team”, namely the Tigers, each player is given a short cameo with a bio. Christine Sydelko is referred to as “Shaquille O’Meals,” is depicted eating a taco in her photo, and her “stats” include “5.7 tacos per minute.” The music video is already uncomfortable as it is, even without the blatant fat-shaming that becomes clear in Sydelko’s first appearance that makes fun of her weight. In almost every single scene following, Sydelko is shown eating or drinking something, including tacos and a basketball. 

Elijah Daniel, close friend and co-star of Sydelko, took to Twitter after the video was released. In a thread of since deleted tweets, Daniel defended his friend, saying it was messed up that Perry only used Sydelko eating in the video so she could make “fat jokes.” Daniel also stated how “Christine’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and the funniest thing [Perry] could think of was her eating.”

These tweets suggest that Sydelko was perhaps unaware of the producer's intentions to only portray her as the “fat girl,” which makes the matter much worse. While the comedian is quick to joke about herself on her YouTube channel, it’s a different matter to make “fat jokes” at the expense of Sydelko in the video, especially if she was uninformed about how she would be portrayed.

Regardless of Sydelko’s knowledge, Perry’s video brings up the bigger issue of fat-shaming that still exists in our society. While the body positivity movement has brought about more acceptance for all body types, there is clearly still room for improvement, as illustrated by Perry’s video. The use of fat-shaming is an immature, misinformed choice, and is not appropriate in any circumstance.

All bodies are beautiful, regardless of weight, size, gender, race, or ethnicity. It’s time everyone accepts that fact, as well as accepts everyone as they are and stops using fat-shaming as a joke. 

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