Social media users accused Cosmopolitan magazine of trying to "kill" overweight people by promoting obesity, which is a risk factor for Covid-19. The magazine drew flak on Twitter with many users saying that it promoted an unhealthy lifestyle amid the raging pandemic
In its February edition, Cosmopolitan's British edition featured 11 women of different shapes in its "This is healthy" series in a bid to aim body positivity. The magazine interviewed the women to know what "healthy" meant for them.
"'Healthy' can be a loaded word. We asked these women to open up about their personal journeys to reclaim 'healthy' as their own," Cosmopolitan stated.
Jessamyn Stanley, a U.S.-based yoga teacher told the magazine that she faced "fatphobic comments" on social media. She also explained that it took her long time to accept her body. Similarly, influencer Callie Thorpe told Cosmopolitan she had a "really terrible relationship" with her body growing up and suffered from eating disorders throughout her life.
However, social media users were not convinced by Cosmopolitan's idea of body positivity. Several users disapproved the magazine's feature saying that talking about drawbacks of obesity did not mean fat-shaming.
"Very bizarre! This fear of fat-shaming is doing a colossal disservice to people who are high-risk for covid, diabetes, HTN, stroke, the list goes on," one Twitter user wrote.
"Cosmopolitan losing their minds I see. Trying to convince us all that being fat is healthy. They're wrong. She'll no doubt die of heart failure before her time and suffer ill health before that. As for the yoga gear. Nearest that got to exercise is her reaching in the fridge," tweeted another user.
"Lmao, Cosmopolitan is trying to kill people off by knowingly publishing "fat is healthy." Smdh," stated another third user.
The feature came at a time when healthcare experts said that obesity was a risk factor for Covid-19. Overweight people have been found to be more prone to mutations of coronavirus since obesity hampered the body's ability to create antibodies.
In 2018, Cosmopolitan was criticized for promoting obesity after it featured plus-size model Tess Holliday on its September cover. However, Holiday responded to the backlash on Twitter.
"To everyone saying I'm a burden to the British health care system, I'm American so you don't have to worry about my fat a**," Holiday said at the time. Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life."