Lying and the culture surrounding it is a tricky thing. Obviously lying on its own is bad, but what happens when you're accused of lying even when you've been nothing but truthful? Is that a lie within itself, or just misplaced beliefs? Can the two be considered the same?
And what about when the culture you were raised in perpetuates a lie? Does it then become the truth because it's widespread, common knowledge? Does the line between a lie and the truth ever blur?
A couple that went viral on TikTok meet at the intersection of many of these questions, their mere existence together causing people to both accuse them of lying and face some of the lies they were told growing up.
Voice Without A Face
The internet can be a ruthless place. Far too many people have gained the confidence that just because they can leave a comment on someone's post while remaining relatively anonymous, they should, and it's encouraged a lot of negativity from those who have realized they won't face any consequences for their words.
That, mixed with crowds that have grown far too comfortable being overly judgmental, means that even the strangest things will get barraged with hate comments just because one person finds it weird—and there's no one who knows this better than one woman on TikTok.
Alicia Mccarvell is a social media influencer, sporting over 5.8 million TikTok followers and 919,000 Instagram followers at the time of writing. She posts a variety of content, including lifestyle snippets, workout videos, and, notably, content about her husband.
This last content type of hers has caused quite a lot of drama on her page but not due to anything she or her husband does. In fact, it seems they're a very loving, healthy, supportive couple.
Instead, people judge the two solely on their appearances.
Alicia is plus-sized and her husband, Scott, is very fit and muscular. When a video of the two of them showing off outfits they wore to a wedding went viral, Alicia received waves and waves of hate comments casting doubt on her marriage and claiming their relationship must not be real.
Comments were saying Alicia must have been skinny when they first met, that she must be rich, accusing Scott of being gay, or saying he must fetishize fat women.
She made a video in response, calling out all the rude and doubting comments.
She's Clued In
"My video went viral, and I know we all know why. It's because by beauty standards, we don’t make sense," her response began, "The world looks at us and immediately values Scott more than me."
"We've been made to believe that somebody who is physically fit like Scott could never in a million years be in love with or compatible with a fat woman, and that’s solely because the world has literally taught us that we have to value our worth on our bodies.”
She then went on to tell a story about a woman who slid into Scott's DMs; a woman Alicia said was "thin and by beauty standards a 10 out of 10." This woman told Scott he should be with a woman who looks like her over Alicia, whom he's been with for over 15 years.
"Here's the thing, though," said Alicia. "Me telling myself the majority of our relationship that I’m not worthy of his love because of my body is the exact same thing as this thin woman telling him that she is worthy of his because of her body."
"I'm undervaluing myself and she is overvaluing herself. We have both been made to believe that our value lies in our body."
What You Bring To The Table
Alicia says she never gets jealous when other women DM Scott trying to flirt with him because "they are leading with their body first." She knows that Scott values her for so much more than her body, so someone else presenting that as their only winning feature means they don't stand a chance with him anyway.
"He values my humor, my commitment, my love, and my caring heart. And none of these things he values about me changes if my body changes."
She finishes her video with a poignant message. "If this is the way you think, it's the way you’ve been taught. However, it is your responsibility to unlearn it."
The Dangers Of Judgement
And she's not wrong! Societal pressure on women, especially to fit this extremely narrow mold of what's considered the most 'beautiful' is extremely damaging. Doubting the validity of someone's relationship just because one member of it is overweight is preposterous!
Immediately seeing a fat person and considering them 'lesser' than a skinny or fit person is awful, no matter how you spin it. That view is pervasive, creating lasting, damaging effects on people's self-esteem and leading to harmful behaviors such as eating disorders and the perpetuation of diet culture.
A 2015 report showed that by seven years old, one in four children had participated in some kind of dieting behavior. This idea that skinny immediately equals good, beautiful, and desirable has become so popular that children are picking up. No child should ever have to fear that they're eating something 'bad' or that they should be restricting their food intake.
There's obviously nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy, but the idea that weight directly correlates to health is also dangerous. After all, there are plenty of very slim people who don't work out and only eat junk food, and there are overweight people who are very fit and lead a healthy life. Alicia herself posts videos of herself at the gym often!
Expanding Our Perspective
So, when it comes to the societally perpetuated belief that fatness is somehow wrong or bad while thinness is something we should all strive for, Alicia is right that it's up to each of us to unlearn those thought patterns.
People tend to get defensive when told that something they believe, even if it's completely subconscious, is bad. We don't want to be bad people, so we get nervous when informed of things like this, worried that we're tainted forever by evil thoughts. As mentioned, this prejudice against plus-sized people is societal. It's systemic, something trained into us as we grow older. It's no one's fault that they have these thoughts to begin with, but it is their duty to walk them back.
In the end, other people's relationships are really none of our business. Unless someone is being hurt, which is not the case when it comes to Alicia and Scott, we have no right to claim whether or not their relationship is real, valid, or healthy.
Fat people should not have to fear posting content about their life online lest they be immediately judged by those who think of their bodies as worse in some way. In fact, people shouldn't think that at all, and could take a lesson from the Mccarvells in valuing others' personalities and virtues over their bodies.
While it's not easy to roll back decades of flawed, damaged thinking that's only done harm to yourself and others, it's worth putting in the work. Nothing will change if don't each put in our own bit of effort. Together, we can forge a better, healthier future and help everyone love their body as it is.
In any relationship, always take stock of your feelings and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?
Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it's much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.