Nancy Pelosi's 'morbidly obese' jibe at Trump sparks cries of hypocrisy: 'Fat shaming is cool now?'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was cheered on by anti-Trump critics on social media after she called him "morbidly obese" during a TV appearance. But while her words sparked trends like #PresidentPlump on Twitter, several appeared to condemn what they considered a double standard over "fat-shaming." During an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper on Monday, Pelosi told the anchor she was "concerned" about President Donald Trump's health after he revealed he was taking hydroxychloroquine medication regularly as a preventative measure for COVID-19. The Speaker then "diagnosed" the commander-in-chief as "morbidly obese." “I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say,” Pelosi said.
Trump haters lost no time before jumping on the bandwagon that cheered Pelosi's unveiled jibe at the president. In fact, many simultaneously rushed to justify her words saying it was not an example of "fat-shaming" - something many progressives equate to a hate crime. According to Trump's critics, however, "morbid obesity" is a scientific term that was accurately used by the House Speaker and she did not intend it as an insult.
It wasn't long before hashtag #PresidentPlump began trending on Twitter. "Anyone notice they’ve started giving the bully a taste of his own medicine recently? Called him an Imbecile, 'not even pretending to be in charge' and now #morbidlyobese. Gloves are off. I feel more optimistic now," one wrote. "The real boss of the country. #morbidlyobese #trumpmorbidlyobese #TrumpIsJealousOfObama," another added while sharing a gif of Pelosi putting on her sunglasses.
Of course, there were several Trump supporters who noted the hypocrisy, predicting how social media would have cried foul if Trump or a conservative had made similar comments. “So fat-shaming is cool when it’s someone you don’t like,” one wrote, while another observed how “we’d all be banned from Twitter for fat-shaming if we said it about a protected Democrat. But they fat shame an elderly man & it’s YAS QUEEN! SLAY!”
"I don't mess with trump but it's funny the same people calling him #morbidlyobese are probably the same ones who cry fat shaming if someone calls lizzo fat," a third added.
In fact, a number of prominent Trump critics pointed out the double standard, with some suggesting focusing the criticism on his policies and not his weight, and some noting that such insults "won’t hurt Trump” anyway.
"Nancy Pelosi didn’t include a guaranteed monthly stipend in the House’s bill, but you all are celebrating her comments calling Trump #morbidlyobese. Gee, I wonder why we’re so bad at fighting Trump," HuffPost writer Elad Nehorai wrote.
It is true that obesity has been deemed an added risk factor when it comes to contracting COVID-19, and based on Trump's physical from last year, he is borderline obese. However, he does not qualify as morbidly obese considering his BMI is just above 30 -- right at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) threshold for obesity. According to general interpretations of body mass index, a person qualifies as "severely" or "morbidly" obese only if their BMI crosses 40.