Can you believe fat people? Just existing willy-nilly all over the place, sometimes without even the courtesy to cloak their terrible bodies in heavy smocks and caftans. Some of them even have the gall to ask to be treated with basic human decency and compassion! Good thing we have Daniel Tosh & Co. to regulate this shit. On Monday, Tosh.0 blogger Mike Pomranz posted a photograph of a fat woman wearing a gold bikini and trying to hail a cab in the rain. They framed it as a "caption contest," inviting readers to submit their most delightful fat-shredding bon mots. Except, oops, the photo wasn't theirs to post.
It belongs to fat activist and artist Substantia Jones, and is a part of her Adipositivity Project, which seeks to normalize and affirm fat bodies. (Here is the photo in its original context.) Tosh.0 apparently pulled the photo from this website (don't bother clicking unless you like dumb garbage), which cropped out the link at the bottom. Jones has contacted Comedy Central's legal department, and as of a few minutes ago the page has been taken down.
"Folks sharing Adipositivity photos," Jones says, "as is regularly done all over Facebook and Tumblr, aids in the purpose of getting body positive images in front of as many eyes as possible. We dig that. But to steal someone else's copyrighted material in order to use it in purveying bigotry and hate for profit? Not cool." The woman in the photo—who, to everyone's surprise, is an actual human being—is actress/model Janie Martinez. Jones describes the image as "conveying the bliss of being completely happy with your physical self, and boldly so, even in a world filled with ridicule."
Weirdly, the Tosh.0 commenters took the opposite approach. Before the page was pulled there were over a thousand semi-literate sample captions submitted, including:
Beneath all of that skin is a beautiful vagina, waiting to be fucked....and waiting....and waiting
She'll get picked up soon, I see a garbage truck coming.
And my personal favorite:
Quick get me to occupy Wall Street, I hear they are raping people down there
In case that last one isn't clear, it's implying fat women should be grateful to be raped—eager, even—because it's obviously the only way their disgusting bodies will ever be touched by a man. Let me repeat. If you rape a fat woman, she will probably thank you for it.
Oh, it's "just a joke"? Good one. Good joke. It's almost as good as when businesses "prank" fat people by not hiring them, or insurance companies do this old gag: "Knock knock?" "Who's there?" "Not fucking health insurance if that's what you're looking for, fatty!" Ahhhhhhhh, jokes.
Now, I don't expect the Tosh.0 blog to be a bastion of intellectualism, but it's disheartening to see this level of dehumanizing bullshit thriving under the umbrella of Comedy Central. The Daily Show is probably the most compelling and compassionate advocate for critical thinking on television—and the best evidence that you can be funny, political, and scathing without resorting to lazy stereotypes and hate speech. Meanwhile, Comedy Central's website is actively baiting 14-year-old dumbasses to come up with the cruelest shit possible? Come on, bros. Be better people.
Photo credit: Substantia Jones / Adipositivity Project.