Nearly every time we publish a photo of a plus-size person in a Refinery29 article, we get a slew of comments — not about the actual content of the story, but about how we're supposedly doing our readers a disservice by "normalising" obesity and unhealthy behaviours.
Sadly, no matter how many times we make it clear that concern-trolling and fat-shaming are both misguided and harmful, these comments continue to surface. And the problem is, they shift the conversation from one about representation to one about fear-mongering assumptions about the health and safety of plus-size people.
Here's the thing: It's wrong to assume you know anything about an individual's health simply by the way they look. This is a tired conversation, but clearly one that bears repeating. At Refinery29, we're committed to making sure that all people are represented and understood. So, ahead are three facts to keep in mind the next time a conversation around these issues turns toxic.