Singing Sandra slams fat-shaming Fuad. God make all people different

Vet­er­an ca­lyp­son­ian San­dra “Singing San­dra” Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton has added her voice to the cho­rus of cit­i­zens call­ing for for­mer health min­is­ter Dr Fuad Khan to apol­o­gise for his “fat-sham­ing” state­ments against plus-sized mas­quer­ad­er Can­dice San­tana.

In a 15-minute ex­ple­tive-laden clip shared on so­cial me­dia yes­ter­day, an emo­tion­al Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton re­peat­ed­ly chas­tised Khan for his crit­i­cism of San­tana.

“No­body said obe­si­ty is healthy but that is the on­ly con­tri­bu­tion you could make broth­er? In a so­ci­ety that has so much ills right now, that is your on­ly con­tri­bu­tion?” Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton asked.

De­scrib­ing her­self as “pleas­ing­ly plump,” Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton ac­cused Khan of dis­crim­i­nat­ing against cit­i­zens based on how they look.

“This burn­ing me be­cause he put the woman and fat peo­ple down in a kin­da way. You can’t put me down broth­er be­cause this fat la­dy is an achiev­er. This fat la­dy came a long way and I still go­ing strong,” she said, as she re­peat­ed­ly de­scribed Khan as a “dog” and “stinker.”

Stat­ing that she wished to meet Khan in per­son or get his cell­phone num­ber to con­tact him di­rect­ly to ex­press how she felt by his state­ments, Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton had to com­pose her­self sev­er­al times to avoid hav­ing to us­ing ob­scene lan­guage.

“If I spend one more minute I would cuss stink. You go see me bring out the ghet­to in me,” she said.

Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton called on cit­i­zens liv­ing in Khan’s Barataria/San Juan con­stituen­cy to think twice be­fore sup­port­ing him in an­oth­er elec­tion.

“The peo­ple in your con­stituen­cy should not have re­spect for you be­cause they might not be fat but might have fat chil­dren. God make peo­ple all dif­fer­ent sizes,” Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton said.

While Des Vi­gnes-Milling­ton spent the ma­jor­i­ty of the time slam­ming Khan for his state­ments, she al­so sent San­tana words of en­cour­age­ment.

“I want to tell the young la­dy don’t feel bad. You do you and en­joy your­self,” she said.

The con­tro­ver­sy arose af­ter San­tana made a post on Ash Wednes­day dis­cussing her ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing body-shamed by spec­ta­tors while play­ing mas with The Lost Tribe on Car­ni­val Mon­day and Tues­day. In a fol­low-up rant, Khan called San­tana “a tub,” told her to “shut up” and that he did not want chil­dren in T&T to be obese.

Even amid so­cial me­dia up­roar over his re­sponse, Khan stood by his state­ments as he claimed they were made out of con­cern over the ef­fects of a high rate of obe­si­ty in T&T.

“I will not stand idle look­ing for votes, say­ing things of sweet­ness while the non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (NCD) epi­dem­ic grows, de­stroy­ing all in its path and be­ing swept un­der the car­pet by state­ments like fat ac­cep­tance and fat sham­ing,” Khan said when con­tact­ed by Guardian Me­dia on Sat­ur­day.

San­tana re­spond­ed by say­ing that she for­gave Khan for the com­ments. The is­sue was al­so high­light­ed dur­ing the 3rd An­nu­al Women’s Rights Ral­ly and March at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah, Port-of-Spain, on Sat­ur­day.

As so­cial me­dia re­mained abuzz over the is­sue yes­ter­day, San­tana main­tained her non-con­fronta­tion­al stance as she chose to re­post me­dia cov­er­age of her ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing mas.

“You do not know if a per­son may be suf­fer­ing from thy­roid is­sues or maybe deal­ing with hor­mon­al im­bal­ance is­sues, etc. Even if a per­son is over­weight and obese, it’s best to en­cour­age them to lose weight in a sen­si­ble man­ner, re­spect­ful­ly, and of course, do it in a healthy way,” she said in a Face­book post, yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

An out­spo­ken Khan chose not to di­rect­ly com­ment on the spat on his Face­book page yes­ter­day, in­stead opt­ing to post a news sto­ry on Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin ad­vis­ing women on how to main­tain their fig­ure at an In­ter­na­tion­al Women’s Day event in that coun­try and a meme stat­ing: “On­ly dead fish go with the flow.”

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