Problematic on TikTok is a weekly column that unpacks the troubling trends that are emerging on the popular platform and runs on Tuesdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.
“Ass real fat, I can make it get fatter. Wanna see a magic trick? Here go a salad,” the woman raps. “You big fatass bitch, you meat to meat, all you do is eat to eat.”
The audio has been used in almost 15,000 TikToks, many of which are about female TikTokers experiencing body image issues and seeming to call themselves a “fatass bitch.”
“Me seeing a picture of me,” one TikToker wrote in her video’s overlay text. “But my upper arm is pressed against my body.”
“Me last year when I gained all the healthy relationship weight and thought I looked good asf in my swim suit,” another wrote. In her video’s caption, she wrote that she hopes she doesn’t gain weight again.
It’s worth noting that all of the aforementioned TikTokers are thin women.
I’m not alone in seeing the trend for exactly what it is (veiled fatphobia): Many TikTokers have spoken out about how harmful the videos are.
“It’s not funny. It’s not quirky,” TikToker Marielle Greguski said in a video. “You’re causing irreparable damage to people’s psyches.”
And that is because these videos teach viewers to hate their bodies. Seeing people, especially thin TikTokers, call themselves or specific parts of their bodies “fat,” clearly in a negative way, makes us re-evaluate what we think about our own bodies.
After seeing these videos, I might think “Does my arm look fat pressed up against my body? Do I still look good in a swimsuit after gaining weight? Should I be making an effort to avoid weight gain?” And after seeing other people hating on their bodies (and doing so publicly), I might do the same as well.
Why it matters
Even if you’re just calling yourself fat on TikTok, it affects others: Calling yourself “fat” in a negative way is fatphobic because it demonizes the concept of fatness.
Like what you are reading?
Sign up to receive web_crawlr, a daily newsletter
from the Daily Dot, in your inbox each morning.