People are seriously divided over the ‘tired of being fat and ugly? Just be ugly’ gym sign

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A sign that reads "Tired of being fat and ugly? Just be ugly" to advertise a gym has caused a stir in Pell City, Alabama.

The sign was installed by Scott Campbell, owner of Pell City Gym, and has struck a nerve with some residents. However, he's determined not to back down.

Campbell erected the sign outside his gym on 15 May, but since then officials have told him to take it down or risk a fine.

Instead of removing it, Campbell posted a video of the sign on his Facebook page, which has now had 55,000 views, aiming to raise support for him to keep it.

In the video, he explains that:

They’ve given me til 5 o’clock tomorrow evening to take it down. So it’s going to stay up 'til 4:50 tomorrow afternoon.

Since then, authorities granted him a 24-hour extension to keep the sign up, allowing him to get a permit. In a second Facebook video, he explains the spirit of the sign:

I'm not a mean-spirited guy. This sign is a playful jab, it's supposed to be an attention grabber. I love people, I care about people, and I don't care if you're ugly or not. I can help you get in shape, and that's the attitude of the sign.

He has also set up a GoFundMe campaign with a target of $1,000 to help him keep the sign up. It has currently reached $245, about a quarter of its target.

Social media users were torn by the sign, some thinking it was fantastic, while others found it offensive.

Commenting below the Facebook video, some wrote "Keep the sign and pay the fine!" Another said: "Keep it up I don't see a problem with it!" A third commented: "I get the humour and think it's tongue in cheek! Not offensive and shouldn't have to come down."

Others, however, were less enthusiastic. One person wrote:

The sign should be taken down. Think about it, some [people] are already struggling being bullied & my opinion is that the sign is making it harder on [people] being bullied already. I'm not fat or ugly.

Speaking to WVTM, Campbell explained his reasoning behind the sign:

People had a hard time finding us. I wanted something that was kind of catchy.

He also explained how people have reached out to him from as far afield as Washington State, and some are using the hashtag #KeepTheSignPayTheFine in support of it.

What do you think? Is the sign fat shaming and offensive, or should it stay up because it's harmless fun?

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