Earlier this year, Cancer Research UK – one of Britain’s largest and most reputable Cancer research and awareness charities – found themselves in hot water with the ‘political correctness police’. Their crime? Having the audacity to state that obesity is the second largest cause of cancer after smoking.
Safe to say, this preposterous new campaign triggered and upset many offended twitter warriors who were quick to highlight Cancer UK’s ‘fat-shaming ways’. Comedian and keyboard activist, Sofie Hagen was seen to be one of the figureheads leading this revolt. Hagen, who’s comedic content seems ironically limited to overindulging in unhealthy foods expressed her anger towards the campaign via a response to the post on Twitter: ‘Right, is anyone currently working on getting this piece of s**t CancerResearchUK advert removed from everywhere? Is there something I can sign? How the f****ing f**k is this okay?’.
Hagen’s tweet, which received over 1200 likes and 500 retweets, does nothing but highlight the detrimental effect that the PC culture, which has infested itself in social media, is having on our society and our ability to hear the truth without having our feelings hurt. The campaign ran by Cancer Research UK used the scientific evidence to back up their claim; there is no hidden ‘fat-shaming’ agenda in their headquarters. Over 1 in 20 cases of cancer are linked to the patient being overweight. The more overweight you become has been proven to increase your risk of getting cancer. Nowhere in the campaign does it allude to ‘fat-shaming’, there is no mention of looks, no mention of being more attractive by losing weight. It is doing what they are meant to be doing, providing awareness for cancer and how to prevent it as best as possible.
We need to stop allowing ourselves to find offence at every possible instance. People seem to believe that if they are offended then they are automatically right. This is not the case and it is actually a very dangerous ideology to live by. It has reached the point that we are denying our own science and we allow our precious feelings to shield the truth when we don’t want to hear it. We would rather risk cancer and promote a body image that is scientifically proven to be unhealthy than accept that it is unhealthy to be so overweight. Nobody is saying that you need to be a certain size, nobody is saying that you have to be slim to be attractive. If you find slim people attractive, great! If you find the ‘dad bod’ or ‘curvy’ look attractive, great! You are 100% entitled to your own opinions. What you are not entitled to, are your own facts. Our society would do well to learn this before we put our health at further risk.