Is it a crime to call someone fat?

FRÅGA
Hello Lawline. I hope you can answer my question in english since I don't understand Swedish...I'm wondering if it is a crime if I call someone who's overweight that she's so fat you can't tell the difference whether she gets pregnant or not? I've heard about that you have freedom of expression in this country and would like to know if it's really okay to call someone fat without penalty? If it's okay to say whatever you want then it should be okay to call someone fat??Thank you in advance.
SVAR

Hello,

thank you for reaching out to Lawline with your question!

In Sweden, we have freedom of expression (2 kap. 1 § första punkten regeringsformen). However, freedom of expression does not mean that you can harm or offend others.

Calling someone fat can be a crime. A person who speaks disparagingly or humiliates another person may be guilty of insulting (5 kap. 3 § brottsbalken). However, the aim must be to violate the person's self-esteem or dignity.

Since what you're saying can be perceived as derogatory, it could be a crime. However, it also depends on whether your purpose is to offend the woman or not. Previous judgments on insults have shown that one can be judged without the purpose of offending the person. Regardless, I advise you not to call someone fat.

If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us again!

Sincerely,

Siva Arif
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