Those Weight-Related Memes Are Not Funny to Everyone

April 15, 2020 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Lately, it seems like my social media feeds are overrun with weight-related memes about how many pounds have been gained in self-quarantine; but, it's worth noting for the record that all those weight-related memes are not funny to everyone. As someone who is on a lifelong mission to recover from my eating disorder—and continues to face body image distortions—I know firsthand just how toxic these weight-related memes can be. While I understand the vast majority of posts are meant to be humorous and lighthearted, I cannot overlook the harmful effect such messages could have on those who already fixate on their bodies. So it's important to remember, those weight-related memes are not funny to everyone.  

Before Posting a Weight-Related Meme

I realize that laughter is an antidote to stress, fear, and anxiety—all of which are rampant in this wake of COVID-19—but is it an innocuous joke to post a meme about today's chocolate binge when someone else on the other side of that computer screen has a history of bulimia? I would argue that it comes across as insensitive and body-shaming to those who actually have found it difficult to balance their eating habits in self-quarantine. Or what about the people with anorexia who are trying to decide if they can break their strict food rituals and allow themselves a comforting bowl of pasta? I fear that a weight-related meme could not only interfere with this decision but fuel restrictive actions even more.    

Since I can never be absolutely sure who views my content on social media, I have an ethical responsibility not to post something that can inflict emotional distress on others. In fact, I think all people share that obligation—both on the Internet and in face-to-face interactions, as minimal as those are right now. A joke is not amusing when it's made at another's expense, so before one more wisecrack about the "quarantine pounds" is circulated around Facebook or Instagram, please first consider those with eating disorders and body dysmorphia. After all, weight-related memes are not funny to everyone.   

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2020, April 15). Those Weight-Related Memes Are Not Funny to Everyone, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 13 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

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