Headless “Fat People Pictures” are worth their weight in gold.

Headless “Fat People Pictures” are worth big bucks and that’s sad.

I’ve been wanting to do this post for some time.  As I researched the subject matter a little more in depth I came across a story about headless pictures of the obese. “Sources at the BDN said offering the photos for sale might have already resulted in enough revenue to subsidize the print version for another six months.” *Note* the story was from a satirical news site but still brings up the reality of this problem. 

One of my most vivid memories about these pictures came from a woman that said “God please don’t let me be one of those people they use for video in news or print publications”.  They are known in the industry as the headless fat people pictures.

Have you ever noticed they show a veritable smorgasbord of people allowed to be photographed due to the rules of  public domain but only one type seems to exclude the faces?    Murderers, rapists, poor people, scam artists, homeless people, literally people from all walks of life have their faces shown.  Is it because the image of being obese is so incredibly shameful and appalling that faces are not to be included?

Obesity is the last acceptable prejudice.  We have become so desensitized to seeing one of those headless “fat people” photographs we forget there is a real person carrying the shame for many.  Fortunately I escaped that walk of shame until I posted my own photograph for purposes of this blog.

Last week I posted a link to a story about a man that supposedly had to stand for a seven hour flight because he couldn’t sit next to an obese man.  The article used a Photo Shopped picture that surfaced in 2006 so not only did they use a “photograph” that had nothing to with the story but used a fake image to make the story more sensational.  I wrote the reporter and the editor and they agreed to include the truth about that photograph.  Never assume you can’t make a difference.  Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the brutal comments (and they were BRUTAL) but you can ask for truth.

Since writing this draft I have become even more aware of how many of these pictures are  printed every single day in nearly every single story about obesity….and it still makes me very sad.

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8 Comments on “Headless “Fat People Pictures” are worth their weight in gold.”

I think your comments about the prevalence of headless fat people pics are important, but I wanted to point out that the article you linked to about the BDN making a ton of revenue selling those types of photos is not a real news story. It was published in “The Sardine Report,” which is a satirical news site similar to “The Onion.” The Sardine Report’s nutrition info (the bottom of the right column) says, “The Sardine Report is 98% fact free, with no trans facts and no cholesterol. We got lots of mercury, though. Hope you like it.”

Linda you are absolutely correct. I did figure it out but then realized just how many pictures are published that are certainly paid for. While the BDN may not be making money, someone is. Thanks for calling that to my attention. Again I appreciate you letting me know.

Linda beat me to it, thanks Linda. But still, these types of photos are not headless because of “shame” but for legal liability. The subjects are not newsworthy, they are private citizens who could sue the pants off any news outlet who used their recognizable photo or video without securing a signed release. 

I am super familiar with signing releases BUT again if you see other people in the public domain in less than diserable circumstances they show their faces. (Like the homeless, poor people lined up for food kitchens, etc.) That was my basic point and I hope that makes some sense. I just want people to remember that it is someone with feelings that are most likely terrified they will become one of the headless obese. Given time I could probably come up with many more examples where faces are shown like horrible disasters (911 for instance). I brought up the point because I don’t think it’s something “regular” people give much thought to. Thank you for your reply!

This is the reason I hate to fly.  I always make sure my seat arm is down and I take the window seat and pray I never have to use restroom and get out of my seat on a flight.  Don’t these people know that the fat person who sits next to them is human and is filled with shame. Thank you for posting this showing awareness and having compassion.

What genuinely motivated you to create “Bariatric Girl

I experienced something that I believe was totally unique in the weight loss surgery community and today it is highly unlikely to be repeated. When I had surgery in 2001 it was very rare and there was virtually no aftercare or anyone to give you any guidelines to follow. I really didn’t know anything and the only thing that I thought I knew would end up being entirely wrong but it saved me in the end. I assumed and TOTALLY believed that I had weight loss surgery and it was supposed to work out a particular way. After surgery I assumed you lost the weight and when you started to regain you just fixed it because that’s what I believed to be absolutely true. Because I believed it I did it. It was three years before I saw another post-op at a large event and everyone was asking me how I kept the weight off. I literally didn’t know any better. If I had seen anyone gain it back I would have thought that because I failed for 30 years to lose weight that I would have certainly regained too because I was not special.

Our brains are so powerful and I felt like I was given a special gift…the sun and the moon and the stars lined up for me. It felt wrong to leave the community saying “I’ve got mine, hope you get yours”. Feeling a deep sense of needing to pay it forward is the reason I created Bariatric Girl. Little did I know that it would end up helping me stay accountable too.

You truly made a handful of good tips with ur article, “Bariatric
Girl

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