Weighing In: Overcoming Fat Prejudice

By Laura Brooks
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Fat prejudice cuts across all races, socio-economic levels, and genders (although women face far more fat discrimination in general).  Overweight people are often subject to public ridicule, but there are more insidious, subtle, and illegal forms as well, especially when it occurs in the workplace.

"Body mass significantly decreases women's family income," a
study by two researchers at New York University found. "However…men
experience no negative effects of body mass on economic outcomes."

The Last "Accepted" Prejudice?

If you think that, in today's PC environment, state legislatures would have adequately addressed weight discrimination in the workplace by now, think again.

The BigFatBlog claims to have a 'complete' list of states/cities where this type of discrimination is illegal and, if accurate, is discouragingly short: Michigan, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Washington.

The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination's goal "is to end weight
discrimination in health care, media, education, employment, social
interactions, and many other areas of life."  Their website offers an excellent list of resources for victims of discrimination, or people looking to support their mission.

Be Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. to End All Forms of Prejudice

We've used a fitting quote for MLK day is our Beauty Tip for the week: 

"A man can't ride your back unless its bent."

Keep the dream alive for all people! Become empowered. If you feel you are the victim of weight discrimination, know your rights.  If you want to help end this pervasive prejudice in today's society, try changing your own attitudes and speaking up when you see examples of discrimination around you.

For more information, take a look at other weight neutral / fat acceptance websites and blogs such as the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance or Health At Every Size.

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Matt says:

    It’s sad that not everyone realizes that beneath everything, we are all humans. Beneath all our skin color, fat, muscle, and everything else, we all share most of the same qualities for life. If we all learned to work together, this world would be a much happier and more productive place.

  • It is unfortunate that not everyone is treated the same. Great info, great blog!

  • Vanessa says:

    As an overweight successful businesswoman, I am alarmed at the increase in fat prejudice, particularly among women. I do a lot of international business and quite often when I go to some countries on business, I find some of the women very rude that I have to deal with. I have experienced some going fat bitch as I pass loud enough that I hear, others just stare at me in disgust. Do they not realise I am a competent businesswoman just because I enjoy my business lunches and lattes, is no business of anyone elses. There are a lot of overweight businesswomen out there and I quiet often find we are unfairly shunned. Of all the overweight businesswomen I know we are excellent at our jobs and vital to our organisations. Also our slender colleagues have more sick days then we have. One woman I dealt with for another company was always rude to me, making unfair demands of me in rather roothless timeframes and threating always to withdraw their contract if not delivered. She eventually left the particular company and I met her later on at a conference. She told me rudely that she loved putting me under pressure as she got some sort of satisfaction from putting my small fat body under stress. I told her that was bullying and she then said she didn’t care.

    The most recent incident was at an airport I was going on a business trip. I was stuck in traffic and had to run to the booking desk to make it on time. I am unfit and was struggling to catch my breadth. On front of me were a couple, the female turned around stared at me in disgust and turned around and said to her partner “look at the fat cat behind us” he turns around grunts and turns back says “suit is stretched on her, obviously too lazy to try weight watchers”

    It then gets worse their luggage was 15 pound over the limit and the air company was wanting them to pay extra. The woman kicked up a stink, she then turned around and pointed at me after a lengthly argument with the boarding desk girl “See her she’s about 50 pounds heavier then me, is she going to have to pay an extra charge”
    Eventually they allowed it on their credit card and went. I didn’t say anyting as its best to ignore such people, but people must realise we all have feelings and have no right to make comments at others despite who or what they are.

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