Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Insensitivity of Some Writers

While snooping on what's been hot news among my Fb friends, I stumbled across a shared blogpost in response to an article published a few days ago on The Star news website on "No benefit in being fat" (written by Tee Lin Say). With limited time and internet access during lunch hour, I Googled up the offending article and found it. Unfortunately I wasn't able to read past the first two paragraphs when I was called away.

About an hour ago, I tried to access the said article again and found that it had been replaced with a public apology by the writer! Shoot (I thought) I had missed it! In the space of a few hours, the article had been taken down. A screenshot of the current webpage is as below. More of the story after the jump.

Article replaced with public apology

However, thank goodness for such a thing as Google web cache! Although the offensive article had been taken down, I managed to read it just minutes ago. A screenshot of the cached webpage is as below.

Article taken down but web cache still has it up!
After reading the article, which was supposed to be on face reading, I understand why there was a outcry from the public. While I could see that the writer was trying to point out the hazards of obesity (and yes, some other very insensitive and judgmental points on finding a mate and ridiculing fat people), her approach was poorly chosen where the tone of the article was immature and seemed to be of one that was condemning, degrading and insulting those who were different from her. It is pretty sad that such writing had slipped past the editor, who is supposed to be the gatekeeper to the quality of content published in their news portal. [Practically read the article gawking with unbelief that it was published on a news site]

Admittedly, I have never experienced being categorised as "fat" (and the said 'stigma' that goes with it) but I truly believe that weight does not hamper one from reaching their potential. It's all in the mind and self-confidence of an individual. I've known many non-skinny people who are dynamic, successful and remarkable. Much more so than many of my skinny peers. Seriously, personality/charisma is something physical looks can never replace.

About finding a boyfriend/girlfriend, you may be thin and still not be "attractive" to the opposite sex. There are so many factors that influences the attraction between two persons. Anyway who would want such a superficial person as a life partner? Best to eliminate the ones that only go for looks ahead of an impending heartbreak.

Who are we to stereotype others? We may look "normal" on the outside but all of us are weirdos in some way or another. It just boils down to how well we cover the "weird" parts up. So don't judge and generalise others so quickly. Look into who you are and try walking in the shoes of another before forming an opinion on that other person/group of people.

While all has been said and done, I do respect the writer for posting up a public apology, accepting the criticisms she had received and admitting her error in judgement. Although it may just be a measure for damage control, I do hope that she has learned something this time around as the learning process for all of us never ends. We all need to pick ourselves up when we stumble, brush off the disappointment and move on to a brighter (and hopefully, enlightened) future.

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