I don’t hate Katie Hopkins, in fact her appearance on Big Brother made me see her as a human being but I do think that the career which she has created through saying outrageous and offensive comments is far more dangerous and damaging than she realises. Her opinions do not personally upset me, I do not care what her views say about certain things I do or am because I am comfortable with myself and with what I do. I speak out on radio, television and online about mental health to both raise awareness and bring about change whilst Katie Hopkins throws unintelligent and offensive comments at her choice of group for that week.
It does, however, worry me. There are many people in unfortunate situations, desperate situations and her comments not only have the potential to cause harm to these people but also send out the message to the general public that it is okay to say these things, it is okay to be a stigmatising bully and outcast people who are different from ourselves when actually no it isn’t!
Her TV programme aiming to show people that weight loss is as simple as eating less and moving more was frankly ridiculous. Yes, if you eat less and move more you will lose weight but not everyone can. How can you move more if you are disabled? How can you lose weight when you have binge eating disorder? And YES BINGE EATING DISORDER IS AN ILLNESS! Katie Hopkins’ ‘experiment’ of gaining weight and then losing weight to ‘prove her theory’ didn’t work. Someone who has a naturally low BMI gaining weight and then losing it in a short amount of time is not the same as someone who’s genetics mean their natural BMI is 23/24 and have been overweight for 10-15 years. It just didn’t work. It proved she could do it but not that anyone else could.
Katie Hopkins has far over stepped the line saying that people who need psychiatrists are idiots who cannot cope with their lives. So are people who need doctors idiots too? If I were to have a heart problem then I would want to see a specialist. A psychiatrist is a specialist in dealing with illnesses of the mind. We need to stop this stigma, this view that mental illness is suffered by the weak, stupid or just made up. I know many people far stronger and far more intelligent than Katie Hopkins who see psychiatrists. It’s comments like these that stop people seeking help but also feed the people who bully and stigmatise. It makes this behaviour seem acceptable, it’s not.
I debated writing this post, I don’t like the fact that the media give her attention and I don’t want to give her attention but I feel we need to balance her comments with the truth. People who see psychiatrists are unwell, that is all it means. There is no shame in seeing a psychiatrist. Don’t allow this woman to make you feel bad about yourself. At the end of the day Katie Hopkins has made a career out of being horrible, you would have to be both talentless and unintelligent to achieve that.