Editor's Note: Use of the word "fat" in this article is in the spirit of body-positive campaigners working to reclaim the word, and is not intended as a negative descriptor or insult.
It's difficult to imagine that tracking the STD-related misadventures of celebrities would ever be a particularly appetizing prospect for, well, anyone, but Usher's herpes-related lawsuit apparently defies imagination. Not because a famous man allegedly had sexual intercourse with multiple partners without first informing them of his health status -- but because one of the women bringing the lawsuit against him is plus-sized.
On Monday, Quantasia Sharpton held a press conference in which she stated that, several years ago, she and Usher had "engaged in sexual contact. He never warned me about any STDs. It was just after my 19th birthday... When I first heard reports that he had herpes I couldn't believe it... Although I [have tested] negative [for the virus], I was upset by the reports because I would never have consented if I would have known... I feel that my rights were violated... I am doing this so that [Usher] does not do this to anyone else."
Most single, sexually active adults would agree that being unwittingly exposed to an incurable sexually-transmitted disease is decidedly not a party. Sharpton and two other as-yet-unnamed plaintiffs could, by filing this lawsuit, bring important issues around sexual health and consent into public discourse. But the response to Sharpton's press conference shows that much of the public is less concerned with the serious matters at hand, and more obsessed with Sharpton's dress size.
This week, Twitter showed how fat people are treated, judged, and discriminated against in America. It was both a stark eye-opener and a demonstration that, even in 2017, fat jokes are deemed perfectly acceptable -- as is suggesting that people over a certain size are incapable of being physically attractive or sexually active.