People are Fat Shaming Kanye West On Twitter and It Needs to Stop

Can we just leave Kanye alone?

It’s hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that Kanye West cancelled the remaining dates of his Life of Pablo tour and was hospitalized shortly after. The tour cancellation came after his wife, Kim Kardashian, had been robbed at gunpoint in Paris. In the week leading up to his hospitalization on November 21st of 2016, Kanye had begun to exhibit bizarre behavior: endorsing Donald Trump post-election, ranting about Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©, and leaving the stage after just three songs. The rapper was hospitalized “for his own health and safety.” He was hospitalized for stress and exhaustion after his doctor called 911, and agreed to go to the hospital to be evaluated. I should point out that it is literally none of our business what the result of that hospitalization was. West was clearly suffering from health issues and needed the time to rest.

Since then, we haven’t seen Kanye out and about–not even with Kim and the kids. You almost wouldn’t realize that you haven’t seen him. Kim keeps a large social media presence, we see plenty of photos and videos of their children, plus there are those rumors that they’re looking to have a third child via surrogate. So when Kanye stepped out in LA the other day, people noticed a change in his appearance.

And rather than, oh, I don’t know…leaving it alone? Being glad Kanye is ready to step back into the spotlight? They took that as a cue to start fat shaming the 40-year-old. Here are a few examples:

Here’s the thing: Kanye West gained weight. Kanye West is a celebrity. You do not get to make fun of Kanye West for gaining weight just because he is a celebrity. I mean, honestly, you shouldn’t be making comments about anyone’s body (not your body, not your problem) but I digress. “But it’s all in good fun,” you say, typing a joke inserting the word “fat” into a Kanye song title. I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. Fat shaming is wrong. Period. So often we see celebrity women speaking up about the unfair standards that we have place on others, but we rarely see examples of fat shaming happening to men. As a woman, it’s something that I honestly hadn’t thought about. There are pressures on men to look a certain way, too, and they shouldn’t be ignored.

Robert Kardashian has had to deal with his fair share of haters, too. Rob had been very open about dealing with depression, and people still manage to take jabs at him. Just the other day, every other media outlet reported that Rob went to get pretzels after settling the domestic violence dispute with Blac Chyna. Mostly, I just wonder…why? Why do we care that a grown human went to get a pretzel? Would you care as much if it was a more conventionally attractive, physically fit male? If Zac Efron got a pretzel, it’s not news, it’s a guy tryna chow down on a salty snack. If Rob gets a pretzel, he’s eating the pain away. When he adds mustard, it’s a cry for help. Lord, save us all.

Mostly, though, it’s jarring to see people blatantly ignore the fact that Kanye has been taking care of himself, doing what’s best for his mental health, and living life in a way that keeps him healthy. “But, wait…” you whine, “Isn’t him getting fat the opposite of him keeping himself healthy?” Are you Kanye’s doctor? If you’re not, I’m going to need you to sit down and listen real carefully: Health is not determined by weight. You can’t see heart disease, you can’t see diabetes, you can’t see what is going on inside of this grown man’s body. You’re not concerned, you’re offended. Offended that a celebrity gained weight. So before you pretend his health has anything to do with his weight gain, I would politely remind you that it could be the result of West complying to medications that can cause weight gain. Or, it could be (once again) none of our damn business.

Mental health is just as, if not more important than physical health. It’s time for us to realize that.

Kanye West talks about his favorite parts of fashion and music in this VH1 Vintage video.