A recent article in the Huffington Post explored the fat discrimination experiences of 14 different women. The women are young and old, black and white, tall and short. Their stories are as different as each woman, but equally humiliating in their psychological effects on the victims. The question is, why is this shit even happening? How do we deal with this kind of abuse and prejudice in this day and age? Though some would disagree, fat discrimination is in fact a civil rights issue.
Kristina, 38 years old, from New York shared this story:
“In 2000, I had lap band surgery. I have lost over 100 pounds. I am exactly who I was the day prior to surgery as I am today. My level of confidence may have increased a bit, but my outgoing, happy, carefree personality has not changed. Everyone else has changed.
People hold the door for me when I enter or exit a building. More people say hi to me. When I randomly chat with people while waiting on a line, they are more likely to engage in a full conversation instead of giving a quick answer. Men approach me, despite me telling them I am married an[d] uninterested. Life as the “thick girl” vs. the “fat girl” is huge. Every day, I see how differently I am treated. Every day I know how people react to people who are severely overweight … But no matter what people are, they all react to fat people the same — as lazy, unwilling, ugly members of society. I was never lazy, never unwilling and always productive.”
Patti, 52 years old, from Indiana:
“I have been waiting 30 years to tell my story! I applied for a clerical job fresh out of college at a local optometrist’s office that had advertised an opening. I had a stellar interview, as far as the line of questioning went. As we were wrapping up, the optometrist’s wife, who was conducting my interview, gazed past me and said “You know, we have VERY small hallways here.” My naïveté prevented a good comeback, although I’ve thought of many since then! Mind you, I was probably a size 18 (while she was likely size 2).”
How is it that perfect strangers have the audacity to make such comments and be so obvious in their discrimination? If Patti were Black and the interviewer said” You know, we’re pretty much a White office here,” there would be an outrage–the company would be sued. We must, as a society, demand that all people, including fat people, be treated with respect and dignity.
I know a lot of fat people–hell I’m one of them. And they are smart and stupid, ambitious and lazy, pretty and ugly, nice and mean. I also I know a lot of skinny people who are smart and stupid, ambitious and lazy, pretty and ugly, nice and mean. Just as the color of one’s skin is not a measure of one’s worth, neither is the size of their jeans.
Enough is enough! I look forward to your comments.
Ciao for Niao,