"Stop promoting obesity", they said. So I replied...

Taryn Brumfitt sticking it to unrealistic magazine covers.

A couple of weeks ago I appeared on Sunrise. The segment was on body confidence, celebrating diversity and loving your body from the inside out. I was returning home on Friday so Thursday night I was flying solo and took myself out for a celebratory burger at the pub.

You can find the video here.

And here’s what some people had to say:

“A lot of fat women use having given birth to children as an excuse…. that’s the reality.”

“How attractive, fat and stretch marks, cover that up, I just ate.”

“Sorry, I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s attractive or appropriate.”

“There is clearly a fat epidemic that there never used to be. It’s from lack of exercise except when lifting hand to mouth. Stop being PC and just say it how it is… no excuses.”

“Sorry but if your (sic) overweight you don’t have curves. That’s just excess fat hanging of your body.”

“Embracing Big Macs more like it.”

Yep, there will always be trolls who lurk around waiting to pounce and shit on someone’s story, body or life; that’s just the way it is in this digital world we live in. And for the most part I’m ok with the trolls.

However, there is one thing that is starting to get on my goat, and I’m noticing it more and more. This comment: “You are promoting obesity, this is not healthy.” Give me “You’re a fat pig” and “You’re ugly” any day, but please please stop with the promoting obesity comments.

Let me tell you why: Firstly, NO ONE can judge a person’s health by his or her appearance. Your appearance, size or weight does not dictate your health. I always think about my brother when I talk on this subject.

This is a photo of my brother, Jason:

Taryn’s brother, Jason (right), who sadly passed away 11 years ago.

He died of a heroin overdose 11 years ago and yet in my mind I can still see his face in the coffin like it was yesterday. In the earlier years of Jason’s addiction, most people would’ve passed him in the street and thought what a handsome, strong and healthy man he was. The reality was that he was far from healthy; his young body was suffering and he was on the road to death. But the assumptions were there; I would see them and I would hear them. Being thin isn’t always indicative of good health and it certainly wasn’t in my brother’s case.

Assumptions of someone’s health are widespread when it comes to size, age, weight and fitness. And mostly they are wrong. Let me give you another example.

A few months ago I posted this photo online and I was praised for being fit, a healthy role model and in good shape:

Taryn with her kids: “Look at how disenchanted my babies are, no Minecraft or Skylanders on this 5km walk!”

A week later, in the same physical condition, I posted this photo:

“I was labelled FAT, LAZY and OVERWEIGHT!”

I was labelled FAT, LAZY and OVERWEIGHT! Huh, appearances are deceiving again as I was and I am the SAME PERSON! The perceptions were certainly not the reality and I took great pleasure in advising some people the photos were taken just a week apart (insert high five!)

You see, health to me means so much more than just physicality; it also encompasses spiritual and emotional health too.  Our mothers have taught us that you can’t judge a book by its cover and they are so right, we need to add to that pearl of wisdom that you cannot judge a person’s health by their appearance.

So EVERYONE please stop judging others based on their looks. It’s not our job, it’s not our place and it’s not our business. And as for you trolls, I’ll think of you next year as I take my healthy, wobbly belly across my first triathlon finish line. I’ll remember to salute you with my middle finger teamed with a positive and chirpy, “Go f*ck yourself!”

Taryn Brumfitt is the Founder of Body Image Movement, a global movement which teaches women to “suck it up” and love their bodies. “My role is to harness and facilitate positive body image activism, I’d like to think of myself as a loveable activist!”.

You can find her speaking at Corporate events, promoting her ebook “Body Lovin’ Guide“, wearing dinner plates or in the kitchen feeding her tribe of 3 under 7. She plans to take over the world, one fridge at a time with her positive and cheerful magnets!


Too often people judge an image they see without having all the information. Have you had a similar experience? Tell us about it…