There’s a channel on YouTube that I’ve been watching for some time now. His name is Steven Assanti, otherwise known as “FatBoyGetDown“. Steve weighs over 600 pounds and in his videos you can find him dancing to the latest beats, parodying other YouTubers, and….eating.
A short while ago, Steve applied to be on a weight loss show called “The Biggest Loser” pleading that he fears he will soon die if he doesn’t lose weight. When he wept on camera, his viewers were compassionate, empathetic, and wrote in to help him get on the show. Since then, there have been no updates on his attempts to get on the show. I suspect he may have been rejected because he has too many medical issues, but I don’t have much support for that claim. In the mean time, he has continued to post videos like his old ones. I find his comments…..interesting. On the message boards of his regular videos, people leave considerably rude comments:
My questions for you are: are these comments about Steve’s habits or body justified? Is Steve “asking for it” and does that matter? Would it make any difference if people were telling him how to live his life in a way that was less rude? Is it our place to regulate each other’s health…especially a total stranger? Obviously, the commenters on this video think that the answer is yes; they feel justified and entitled to telling Steve how to regulate his life and will likely continue to do so.
I’m not so sure I see it the same way. Being obese is not a crime, and even though his approach might be unhealthy, eating too much isn’t a crime either. In my opinion, it’s YOUR life, not mine. It’s not my place to degrade you and judge you because of a lifestyle and habits that are yours alone; I simply don’t see this as warranting verbal abuse. Humans can be so despicably cruel.
*UPDATE 3/08/11: Steven has posted a video announcing that he is leaving YouTube because of the verbal abuse. :’(