It is hard enough dealing with problems of image when you are a woman. Everywhere you look there are air-brushed models, unrealistic representations, and judgment. As I’ve grown, I have realized the falsehood of these things and have moved on from comparing myself to actors and models.
As a plus-sized woman, however, I am frequently annoyed with stereotypes and assumptions about us. It is time us big girls spoke up and have been heard.
I recently was very disappointed when a well-known writers’ conference had the whistle blown on them (justifiably so) for deciding to not bring a staff member back for this year’s event due to her size. Weight or size discrimination occurs every day and it has happened to me.
There are many distinct reasons someone could be overweight-which is why the stereotypes are so aggravating.
We’re always eating.
Consider the TV sitcom in which the token fat person is always shoving their face and has no self-control. This is partly a lazy method of writing for a cheap laugh. But it’s a common stereotype and it’s annoying. And is it really all that funny?
We’re all lazy.
I’m busy from the minute my feet hit the ground in the morning until my head hits the pillow at night. I am aware of many other overweight people who are the identical way. Just because we’re not hanging out in the gym like it’s a hobby doesn’t mean we’re sitting on our butts eating candy all day.
We’re all sick because of our weight.
I realize that being overweight can increase the risk of a multitude of diseases and issues (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.). However, it is not a GUARANTEE and you can’t assume that an obese person is suffering from these challenges.
I remember when I became pregnant with my son. I was 37 years old and obese. Don’t think I did not observe the up-and-down eyeball evaluations I was getting. I’m aware I’m fat and you believe I’m as old as Methuselah to be giving birth, but I am not dumb and I will take good care of myself and my child!”
I’m not giving advice on this in any way, shape, or form. See your doctor for it. I ate healthy and had good prenatal care. But I could have done with the judgment.
We are jealous of thin people.
Not long ago, someone at work (who happens to be lean ) made a huge point in talking to me to go on and on about how fat she thinks she’s getting. It’s very apparent that I am considerably heavier than her and she was speaking ONLY to me at the moment. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this sort of thing said to me.
When someone who is obviously quite thin says this to someone who is obviously thicker, the first thing that comes to mind is that they want you to say”Oh, I wish I was as thin as you! You aren’t fat in any way!” It is an obvious fish for a compliment.
Here is the thing, I do not care about who is thinner than me. I am not comparing myself to them!
All of us have low self esteem and feel awful about ourselves.
I’m currently almost at my highest weight (and I am aging), I feel better about myself than I ever have.
The only person I truly care about being drawn to me is my husband, and he is not complaining.
I once had a health coordinator where I work condescendingly tell me”you are worth it” as if she assumed that just because I was fat, I did not believe I needed to pursue whatever I felt was good for me.
We don’t know we’re fat.
I have had more than one person over my life feel the need to point out to me that I’m fat. We don’t need for people to make us aware of being overweight. We are perfectly capable of knowing this on our own, and believe me we understand it.
We do not know how to eliminate weight ourselves.
We don’t have to be enlightened with unsolicited advice as if we aren’t aware that you need to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight. We are not all totally helpless in this capacity and for lots of us, if want to lose weight bad enough, we’ll do it!
Sure, there are educated professionals that are extremely skillful and experienced in helping people reach their goals. Nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches, etc., I am not at all saying they’re not valuable or important. What I mean is, we don’t need the”stink eye” if we have been indulge in seconds or possess a dessert.
I once had a coworker show me her sandwich, which had lots of vegetables on it, and say”Oh, look at that. Does not that look nice, vibrant, and delicious with all of those vegetables?” She said this to me like I was a child, like she was introducing the idea of eating veggies to me. I’m sure of her patronizing agenda because of other things she had said to me in the past.
We are all jolly slobs.
Is it really that funny for so many silly, bumbling TV, book, and movie characters to be chubby? Do they so often have to be represented as simple-minded, adorable goofballs? We are not all stupid and uneducated, yet loveable idiots. Think of the chunky kid in the kid’s adventure movie who always has to be rescued or the portly cartoon mouse that is always lagging behind… you understand.
Some people are now very educated, successful professionals. We’re goal-oriented and have a lot to offer an organization with our well-developed careers.
There is a link to hygiene and obesity.
We also are no less inclined to look or dress professionally to present ourselves well. I once had a family member tell me about someone they believed seemed unhygienic (and happened to be obese ) by saying”I know fat smells…” My eyes about rolled out of my head.
We know this is a frequent stereotype or we would not see the slob character in a TV series or movie portrayed as fat. You’ve seen it-stains on their shirt, wrinkled clothes, general unkempt appearance.
That it’s anybody else’s business or that discrimination should be tolerated.
What I need to say about these creators of these stereotypes is this-if it will not affect you, then don’t judge. It is not really anyone else’s business what someone weighs or what size they wear. It is not OK to move your own low self-esteem toward a fat person so as to make yourself feel better.
Stereotypes and assumptions are harmful. This is where discrimination is born. This is the way we are passed over for promotions and chance. It is not OK to discriminate against someone for any reason, and size is not an exception.
It’s time we talked out.