Snapchat has a fat filter.
You take a selfie and you whack the filter on and, Voila! You are now a fattie mcfat pants and all the world can laugh with you in your Story.
Because there’s nothing funnier than making a mockery of fat people. Right?
There is a lot that is funnier than making a mockery of fat people.
Dad jokes. Dad jokes are heaps funnier.
Punny church signs.
Very British Problems is also quite funny.
Donald Trump is very funny, though I admit in somewhat terrifying way.
But is it Snapchat who have engaged in institutionalised fat-shaming, or is there something broader at play here?
Comedy, when done well and done right, has incredible power to prompt social change.
The way acclaimed Australian comedians Nazeem Hussain and Aamer Rahman use race in their jokes to expose the racism that runs rampant in the undercurrent of Australian life is a great example.
Rahman joked, in a routine aired during a 2014 episode of Australian Story, “Just because I’m at the petrol station doesn’t mean that I work here. White people, pay special attention: if there is no one behind the counter, don’t start looking at me sideways like it’s my job to jump over and start serving you. It’s not.”
Whereas, a joke like this which I just pulled from the muck of the internet, “Why wasnt [sic] there any blacks in the flintstones? Because they were still monkeys.” entrenches racism.
It’s not that jokes about fat or skinny can’t be funny, it’s that some are designed to mock and others are designed to make a point.
And while a fat snapchat filter isn’t in and of itself offensive, the way that people use it is.
If you’re using the fat filter because you think making someone look like a fatty is hilarious, then you are offensive.
If you find yourself having to defend your use of it as “just a joke” then you are offensive.
And, if like some, you think that joking about fat people is a good way to motivate them to lose weight, then you’re as deluded as you are offensive.
Maybe you should just stick to the dog face, because that’s probably a more accurate reflection of you.