You hear that ticking sound? That’s Nicole Arbour's 15-minutes. Arbour went viral last week with a video charmingly titled, “Dear Fat People.” By some accounts, the six-minute video has racked up more than four million views, while Arbour herself can boast 159,000 YouTube subscribers.
In the relentless video, flash-edited for viewers with the attention span of a fruit fly, Arbour gets all in-your-face, loudly haranguing, berating and belittling her target audience: “What are you going to do, fat people? What are you going to do? You going to chase me? I can get away from you by walking at a reasonable pace.”
For six minutes.
Bernstein in “Citizen Kane” was right: “It’s easy to go viral, if all you want to do is go viral.”
Taking a page from The Donald playbook, Arbour is refusing to apologize for her body-shaming rant, thereby extending the trumped-up controversy. In interviews, she calls the video “an intense form of truth-telling.” She calls the video “satire.” To quote “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
“Dear Fat People” is mockery and ridicule. And gosh, we can never have too much of that, can we?
Full disclosure, I am one of the overweight. But I’m not offended by Arbour calling me fat. Annie Blue beat her to that back at Wayne Thomas Elementary School. And yes, much of what she has to say about obesity and its health risks is spot on. I don’t object to what she says; it’s how she says it. When it comes to fat-shaming, Arbour is a rank amateur. Observe a master at work:
No, what offends me is the media calling Arbour a “comedian.”
Arbour is a former Toronto Raptors cheerleader turned C-list actress (perhaps you remember her as “Trashy Groupie” in “The Rocker” or being beheaded by Jason Mewes in “Silent but Deadly”). The Toronto Sun newspaper dubbed her the World’s Sexiest Comedian. (Nope; not while fellow Canadian Catherine O’Hara walks the earth).
And now this student of the Ann Coulter charm school has achieved 21st century celebrity as a YouTube/Instagram personality.
“I’m not saying this to be an a**hole,” Arbour concludes “Dear Fat People” tempering the verbal abuse with an “I just want you to be healthy” bromide. “A**hole” might be a little harsh. Let’s just say she comes off like an obnoxious jerk.
W.C. Fields had the answer for that. I’m paraphrasing, but it goes something like this:
Dear Nicole; Yes, I am fat, but sticking to a diet, I will be thinner in a month or two. You’ll be an an obnoxious jerk the rest of your life.