With most of the nation hunkered down in self-quarantine these days, we’ve all been finding some interesting ways to keep ourselves entertained. Maybe you’ve been binge-watching “Tiger King” or letting Dolly Parton lull your kiddos to sleep with a bedtime story. Unless you’ve been living under a social media rock, you’ve also seen the silly challenges circulating around Facebook. And none is more buzz-worthy than the “Unpopular Opinion Game.”
The rules are pretty damn simple. Just list ten things you don’t like, but most other people do. Share it with your digital world and watch the comments hilariously pour in. When I first saw friends broadcasting their least favorite things, I definitely got a chuckle. So, I’ve decided to join in on the fun and partake in this delightful madness.
Below, please enjoy my own personal version of the “Unpopular Opinion Game” and read all about the top ten things I loathe that way too many people are big fans of right now.
1. Diet Culture.
We’ve all definitely seen the fatphobic self-quarantine memes being generated left and right with photos of sumo wrestlers and messages like “OMG gaining 40 pounds as we speak!” Folks have been complaining about putting on weight, the “ten push-ups” challenge is all up in my digital space, and people are joking about binge eating like it’s cute.
Well, I’m going to say it. I’m not on board with any message that shames people into thinking that fat is bad, fit is in, and eating disorders can be joked about. Restrictive eating is a serious fucking thing, and we don’t need to be making light of it when there are A) a bunch of fat human beings like me out there who didn’t marathon eat pasta to get that way, and B) a shit ton of fat – and thin! – people who struggle with binge-eating on a daily basis. Not to mention that exercise addiction is a legitimate fucking thing that can be a byproduct of our societal obsession with thinness.
This is not the time to force your legs into your “super duper skinny pants,” or tell yourself that you’re doing something wrong if your body changes while in lockdown. If you want to eat nourishing foods and do pilates to celebrate your lovable body, go for it. But please don’t give in to diet culture incorrectly teaching you that your inherent worth and value goes up or down because of a fluctuating number on a goddamn scale.
2. Forcing my kid to do schoolwork every day while in quarantine.
If you’re a parent whose got this homeschooling thing down to a science, I applaud you. That’s fucking awesome. Right on. But if you’re anything like me, obsessively structuring your child’s day while at home 24/7 is a maddening challenge. My 4-year old daughter is only in preschool, but we’ve already gotten weekly homework-like activities emailed to us that just make me feel like shit if I don’t force my kid to partake in them. While I may use these resources at some point during our self-quarantine, I’m letting my little girl just be a child for right now. We’re playing in our muddy backyard, enjoying some fine television programming, and blowing up balloons to our heart’s content. And that is absolutely fine.
3. Rolling back abortion rights during the coronavirus outbreak.
Apparently, a global pandemic seems like the perfect time for certain government officials to be sneaky as fuck and quietly shut down a woman’s right to choose. I know you stuffy assholes didn’t think we’d catch you doing it, but we totally did. Not only has Planned Parenthood filed lawsuits on Monday against leaders in Iowa, Oklahoma, Alabama, and Ohio to make damn sure that abortions are readily available during the COVID-19 outbreak, but three federal judges just temporarily blocked several of these states from enforcing their horrifying bans.
A 2019 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center discovered that roughly 4-in-10 Americans want abortion to be illegal. Since the US population currently boasts over 329 million people, there are an exhausting amount of folks — mostly white men — who still want to take away a woman’s right to govern her own damn body. And that just doesn’t fly with me.
4. Conservatives urging the elderly to sacrifice their lives for our economy.
You have got to be fucking kidding me. No, Glenn Beck, you don’t get to publicly shit all over the older people in our country as if they see themselves as adorably expendable. Stop yammering on about being cool with dying so our economy can thrive, stay home, shut the fuck up, and wash your goddamn hands. And while I’m at it, anyone out there insinuating that our nation’s current economic downfall is a “death” greater than actual human fatalities is exactly what is wrong with the world right now. You’re likely the same people championing the restriction of our bodily autonomy (see #3) and not realizing your hypocrisy is majorly showing.
5. Ignoring your own white privilege, ableism, classicism, or any other bullshit that keeps discrimination alive and well.
If you’re newly struggling with unforeseen challenges this month like buying food for your family, overwhelming job loss, being harassed by bill collectors, or finding yourself unable to get the medical treatment you need, that truly sucks. People of color, those with disabilities, and anyone living under the poverty line have been dealing with these infuriating obstacles, to a much larger degree, for eons. Even if you’re going through a rough time, you still must check your privilege and show some compassion. And for goodness sake, stop calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus” and committing racial violence against innocent families, because your abhorrent ignorance is showing.
6. Donald Trump’s infuriating press conferences.
When he publicly scolded a Black female PBS reporter for holding him accountable to his own fucking words, I was livid. When he shared his lofty dreams of opening our country back up by Easter despite countless warnings from legitimate health officials, I just about flipped every table in my house. And when he let the My Pillow Guy grab the mic and tell us all to read the bible while we’re self-quarantined, I realized that there is someone out there who is almost as toxic as a global pandemic. That person is our president. Terrifying.
I will not be tuning in to watch Donald Trump’s COVID-19 updates anymore, because he sits on a throne of lies. He’s a raging narcissist with a penchant for verbally bashing anyone who calls him out on his bullshit, and I will not give this ridiculous man more reasons to tweet that his coronavirus press conference ratings kicked ass against the finale of “The Bachelor.” Enough.
7. Anyone who has an opposing opinion on how I’m parenting my kids right now.
No, mom critics, I don’t need to be given unsolicited feedback about how I’m raising my kids while in self-quarantine. If I need advice, I’ll ask for it. In the meantime, please remember that if you don’t have kids, you cannot fully comprehend what it’s like to be the sole protector of a child’s entire livelihood. And if you do have kids, you are most certainly screwing up just like the rest of us. Whether your Instagram posts show you teaching your child about the periodic table of elements or how they accidentally ate a cotton ball, you’re killing it. We don’t need to be condemned during one of the most chaotic and terrifying phases of parenthood that we’ve ever known. We need empathy, a constant stream of coffee, six feet of distance, and non-judgment.
8. States banning critical LGBTQ+ legislation during a global fucking pandemic.
As of Tuesday, Idaho decided to become the first U.S. state to ban transgender girls and women from competing in female sports, and they also just approved new laws that prevent trans people from changing their birth certificates. Why the hell did they pick this week to be giant assholes to the LGBTQ+ community while the rest of us fend for our lives in lockdown? Because they can. And I’m sick of it. Trans rights are human rights, plain and simple. Stop tiptoeing behind our backs and changing the laws that only benefit your bigotry, you hateful fucks.
Ugh, animal lovers. When will they stop broadcasting to the world that they eat tofu and drive electric cars made of lettuce?
Just kidding. I’ve been vegan for over a decade. All hail chickpeas! But seriously, I am so over anyone who spouts about prioritizing a vegan lifestyle but doesn’t also speak up for people who are grossly discriminated against — including the farm workers who grow your fucking plant-based food. Living vegan is an immense privilege, and I can attest to this after walking into my very first food pantry last month. If you’re going to fight for the rights of animals, you must also be advocating for the human beings who are being oppressed in our world.
This one feels a bit trivial considering the rest of my list. But it deserves to be on here just like everything else. I tried to do Musical.ly when it was popular. As a mom in her mid-thirties, I failed miserably. I just don’t get how TikTok is going to be any different, since it’s basically just Musical.ly’s way of rebranding itself. And I have no plans on figuring it out because I’m too tired.
Alright, there you have it. This social justice-loving, fat mama bear has roared. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go finish “Tiger King.”
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