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Project Harpoon Promotes #ThInnerBeauty, Shut Down by Social Media

I am getting used to talking about a disconcerting level of body worry these days, but normally, the hubbub emanates from a misunderstood advertising campaign, or a mannequin that was selected for its avant-garde appearance, not it's similarity to human beings or sometimes it's just because of a few spiteful individuals AKA trolls

But Project Harpoon was never a misunderstanding, or an accident, it is a downright wrong'un. But this form of body shaming functions in an unusual way: The basic premise behind Project Harpoon is to Photoshop famous (and non famous) plus size women and men into skinnier versions of themselves. Where's the fun in that?

Project Harpoon had (yes, past participle) accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr - but thankfully they have been taken down. The manipulated pics featured hashtags about healthy living, #thInnerbeauty and #skinnyacceptance.

The Facebook page claimed to be an "art project" and was linked to a Reddit page called "ThInner Beauty" who want to "provide people with visible, achievable health goals." 

But the thing is, the targeted celebrities, like Melissa McCarthy, Tess Holliday and Meghan Trainor hadn't asked to see their "achievable health goals" or to see "how much more beautiful they could look."  

Not okay.

As much as the site claims it isn't fat shaming, it actually, completely, 100% is. You can't use the word "harpoon," which links to the infamous "whale" insult and not say you're being unfair to larger ladies. What's worse is, some of these women aren't even much more than a size 12. Yet they're still being made to feel like they should be skinnier. I worry about the mental health states of the people running this site. I really do.

What was really embarrassing is how long it took Facebook and co. to remove these pages/accounts from their networks. As a social media site their A-Game is pulling down anything remotely insulting. So why did it take about a week, in particular for Instagram, who was the last site to delete the vicious attacks?


These women are not "misguided" nor are they "three cheeseburgers away from a McHeart Attack" (as one user put it). The people who are misguided are clearly the ones who think perfection is only achieved by wasting their life away in a gym and uploading self-approving pictures of their half-naked bodies to Instagram.

I think it's really sad that fat shamers have pushed me to this. Because I was so keen to keep up the "As long as everyone is happy, why does it matter what they look like?" attitude. But no, Project Harpoon, you have broken me.

A lot of people out there are saying there has been a lot of double standards in the media about this subject. But I can't think of a single example where the opposite has been done to thin people and it's not been given bad press.  Most of the time when someone is Photoshopped to be larger, it is for a joke. Because you know, fat people are so hilarious.

The only other example the Twitter fans have come up with is some Disney Princess article, where an artist took the time to provide an alternative reality, "what if Disney Pricesses weren't all stick thin?"

Considering all Disney Princesses are tiny in the first place, I don't think that artist was wrong to just have a doodle and see. I suppose she/he could make them different skin colours, how about more realistic? What about making them male?

That article may be about people looking for some diversity and representation, not about shaming those that aren't the same!? Although, on closer inspection the article itself is extremely insulting and the princesses are "fat-faced," laughable and pudgy looking. Not plus sized, sassy and gorgeous. So why are you all complaining about that example in particular?

Don't you people at Project Harpoon understand that we're all different, that we all have different ideals and standards? Can't you see how obsessing about someone else, or even yourself, is not healthy? If they're not worried about their cellulite, then why should you be worried for them?

Can we just let people be people? I wish this war on body image would hurry up and end.

One last point, harpooning a whale doesn't make it skinny. It kills it. So... good figurative language choice too! 

Megan Herdson
Megan is a country girl who moved to the city with some big dreams. She is studying her MA in Creative Writing whilst also managing an American Football Team.  She loves her blog and wants nothing more than to have her words read. That and to win the Championship, obviously. Follow her @MeganAtSMF

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Project Harpoon Promotes #ThInnerBeauty, Shut Down by Social Media Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 Rating: 5

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