Fat shaming cards handed out on London tube

Postcards claiming to be from Overweight Haters Ltd were placed in people's laps and handed to people on public transport in London on Monday 30 November.

The card handed to Ms Florish

The card handed to Ms Florish Image by Kara Florish/Twitter

The 'fat-shaming' cards soon made their way onto social media as people began taking pictures of them and sharing them. Beginning with, "It's not glandular, it's gluttony", the cards went on to accuse overweight people of being a burden on the NHS (National Health Service) and on the state by consuming enormous amounts of food: "We disapprove of you spending NHS money to treat your selfish greed." The card goes on to say, " We also object that the beatiful pig is used as an insult. You are not a pig. You are a fat, ugly human."

The cards first came onto social media when Kara Florish tweeted an image of the card, saying, "Was handed this card on the underground. Is hateful + cowardly + could potentially upset people struggling with confidence." She described the man who placed the card on her lap as he got off the carriage as middle-aged and white. There were dozens of reports soon of people being handed cards on the tube, with many taking to social media to express their outrage. According to The Guardian, Florish posted to her Facebook later saying, "“I am not upset myself. I am smaller than the national average and not exactly obese, but this is hateful and cowardly and could potentially upset people struggling with confidence and eating disorders. Please tweet and share this if you are also outraged. Plus – to the person who wrote this card, go back to school, you can’t spell ‘beautiful’.”

One commuter, Sean Thomas Knox, live tweeted a similar episode he witnessed. "Young man just got on train at Oxford Circus, gave printed card saying YOU'RE FAT to overweight girl. He jumped off. She read it, & cried." Knox went on to say that the man was well-dressed and bearded, describing him as a 'hipster', and suggesting that the episode was real: "Am 99.9% sure this wasn't staged. She didn't even realise I was watching at first. Her stunned, desolate reaction was very real. Then tears."

The reverse side of the card

The reverse side of the card Image by Kara Florish/Twitter

An image of Florish and the card was put up on a website called Slimgur which describes itself as "the internet's premier shitlord image host." The term shitlord is a slang term used to describe a subgroup on Reddit who are against the acceptance of overweight people. According to The Guardian, there has been speculation as to whether the cards may be linked to these groups who were banned from Reddit.

Transport for London and British Transport police are asking commuters and members of the public to come forward if they witnessed or saw anything that may be related to the fat-shaming cards.

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