In September, a relatively unknown comedian named Nicole Arbour gained notoriety after uploading a controversial fat-shaming video titled, “Dear Fat People,” in which she went on a six-minute rant against obesity. “Fat-shaming is not a thing,” Arbour said in the video. “Fat people made that up. It’s like the race card, with no race.” Not long after its debut, the video went viral. YouTube had removed Arbour’s channel, but it was later reinstated. Since then, it has been watched almost nine million times.
Arbour refused to apologize for the video and now claims that the entire thing was strategized. “I made a marketing plan behind it, the same way that anyone makes marketing plans for anything,” she told Cosmopolitan. “So, I kind of loaded the bases, like baseball.” Before “Dear Fat People,” she posted a series of videos, with titles such as, “Why Girls Are Crazy,” “Why You REALLY Got Divorced” and “Dear Instagram Models,” which showed Arbour complaining about seeing “Instagram internet bitches post photos of their Louis Vuitton bags and Chanel shoes with hashtag blessed, but they’re never showing the old man’s balls they’re sucking who hashtag blessed them.”
“There’s been tens of thousands of dollars just from that one specifically,” Arbour said about the video. “It’s changed my life financially.” YouTube talent manager Naomi Lennon, who has not worked with Arbour, talked to Cosmo about the risk that comes with a YouTube personality whose success is a direct result of hate-watching. “If they’re controversial, it becomes a lot more about their reach,” she said. “It’s certainly not brand-friendly.”
Celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Margaret Cho and My Big Fat Fabulous Life’s Whitney Way Thore, all spoke out against Arbour’s video after it was released. “Fat-shaming is a thing. It’s a really big thing, no pun intended,” Thore said at the time. “It is the really nasty spawn of a larger parent problem called body-shaming, which I’m fairly certain everyone on the planet, especially women, has experienced.”
Arbour said she will begin working on “a feature film” in Puerto Rico next month, though, as Cosmo points out, nothing of the sort is listed on her IMDB page. “I’ve got a bunch of really cool TV offers coming my way right now, and lots of sponsors coming to me to make cool videos for them, branded content for them or ad campaigns for them. Just lots of stuff coming in,” Arbour said.
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