Lesego Tlhabi opens up about losing roles because of her weight

Coconut Kelz says fatphobia is a real thing.
Coconut Kelz says fatphobia is a real thing.
Image: Supplied/DStv Now

The recent debate about fatphobia and “exclusive” body positivity has left satirist Lesego Thlabi triggered, and the Coconut Kelz creator has asked people not to divide the movement by gaslighting the institutionalised bias that already exists against fat people.

A post by Lesego “Thickleeyonce” Legobane on the body positivity movement not being for “slim bodies already accepted by society” divided social media and sparked a fierce debate on body shaming.

As a plump-bodied person herself, Lesego weighed in on the debate, speaking from personal experiences and observations of the world around her.

The very first thing people come at me for when they disagree with my opinions is my weight. I’ve seen it with other fat girls. Fat is seen as unattractive and unhealthy. And undesirable. We have not until now seen our bodies celebrated and been told it’s ok to love ourselves.” she said.

As the debate raged on, Lesego used some examples to emphasise that fatphobia was very real to her.

“Guys until recently we didn’t even have sizes over 16 in most high street stores. Clothing designers just said, 'you don't deserve to wear our sh**'. We had to custom make or open up 'plus-size stores'.

“You can name the plus-size models because there’s like two on supermodel status and like 4 in SA. Our sizes are not seen as normal. They’re called plus because there’s the norm and then everything else is extra. Can’t you see how even the language we use excludes us?” she asked.

Lesego explained that even if she “out-trains” and “outruns” her friends with smaller body shapes, people would always assume that she's “lazy and unhealthy”.

The comedian went on to tell a story of how she lost out on a big role just last year because even after she knocked the audition out the park she was told that they “didn’t imagine her as fat”.

Read the full thread below.


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