Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Weight Stigma Awareness Week

If you’re not already aware that this week is weight stigma awareness week then  you’d better hurry up and jump on the wagon! Especially since the organization, BEDA (the binge eating disorder association), sponsoring this week has suggestions on how you spend each day. Yesterday was to make art that helps you in your body acceptance journey. Me, I made a painting (primitive, but nice, yes?) According to BEDA, their goal is “to bring awareness to a common and entrenched social injustice that often results in serious physical and mental health consequences for those affected”.

Serious physical and mental health consequences. Let’s get serious for a moment.  Teens who even think they’re fat are more likely to attempt suicide and, let’s face it, the fat  hate starts early  and children as young as three years old show weight bias against heavier people, attributing things such as being ugly, lazy, and stupid. By three years old, people. That’s some seriously early weight hate indoctrination. One study shows that children 5-11 prefer underweight friends and react more positively to underweight stimuli than overweight stimuli (which they, of course, reacted negatively to).

So today is “reclaim” day. Reclaim your body image, reclaim your mental health. Reclaim yourself. Post sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. Make a pin board as BEDA suggests, lf body love quotes and images. Surround yourself with fat art, with fat blogs, with fat people, whatever! Just remember that today is a day for loving yourself absolutely and unconditionally. And don’t forget to look at the upcoming days: recommit and celebrate! Recommitting means committing to take care of yourself, to challenge thin privilege and the weight based industry, to challenge negative thoughts about yourself and others and to recommit to being a fat acceptance activist and participant. And, finally, end the week by celebrating you. Simply you and how wonderful and amazing you are. Get your spouses and friends and family and children involved! Make a list of all the great things about yourselves and pin it to the fridge or in your office. Or just take a you day and relax with some hot tea.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to tell people about weight stigma awareness week- that’s where the awareness part comes in!

Discrimination and being fat.

Finding a job is my main priority at the moment.  I am moving overseas in a year and a half, and need cashmonies so I can start my life there in a financially stable way. With that in mind, I have applied for sixty-two jobs since getting back on the 30th of January.  That’s a fuckload of selection criteria, my friends. After considering making some sort of artwork with the twelve rejection letters I have thus far received, I have landed myself a job interview on Friday next week. I really really -really- want this job, like you wouldn’t believe. Ninety nine percent of my brain is filled with “I’m awesome! My brain has great things to offer and I am loyal and hardworking and freakin great. You’re gonna be so lucky to get meeee!”

It’s that other one percent that is the real problem. Let’s face it: society discriminates against the obese. The incident regarding Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines’ shitty treatment has enlightened a lot of previously ignorant people to this fact. But it’s not enough.  I don’t know when it will be enough. When fats are given the same treatment as anyone else, I suppose.  

I’m just sick of magazines that are plastered with “Lose five kilograms in one week!” and fashion labels that consider size twelve a “plus size”.  When society ingrains this kind of thinking in us from such an early age, how are we supposed to change it?  I feel so demoralised sometimes when it’s assumed that fats don’t deserve to be treated decently. Because we “brought it upon ourselves.” Fuckers. I feel agitated when I see a fifty to one ratio of haters to understanding people. I don’t know how to stop this ignorant behaviour, especially when it’s been ingrained from such an early age in many people. It feels as though I am not doing enough. And I am often met with criticism for believing in Fat Acceptance, because “it’s just a way to justify being fat and lazy and eating like crap.” And I sometimes honestly don’t know how to come back at people who say such things. I can point them in the direction of studies, personal accounts, and numerous blogs around the net, but to them I’m always that fat lady with a sinister agenda to convert us all to being sloths. My bias as a fat woman takes away any credibility to them. My agenda to make children eat six cakes a day shines through.

I’m not a person with some sinister agenda, I promise.  What I want (and deserve) is to not be judged, restricted or hurt simply because of the way I look.  Basically, I just wanted to be treated like a human being. Because anything else is discrimination, and just fucking sucks. It’s like someone said, if a thin person had complained about airline seats then the seats would be called too small. If a fat person complains, it’s because they’re huge tubs-o-lard and need to eat less and lose weight.  It’s fucking bullshit, people.

While I am at this rant, I’m sick of everyone’s definition of what a “Real Woman” is.  What the fuck, man! Real women come in all shapes, sizes, and sometimes even genders. Real women have curves. Real women don’t have curves.  Real women are skinny, fat, tall, short, have small boobs, big boobs, fat upper pubic areas, hairy toes, long necks, and bad posture. Or not! They can be anything. You see here’s the real thing; We are all different: AND THAT IS OKAY.

I’m a little nervous about this job interview, because I’m afraid someone will overlook how awesome I am for the job because they are judging me based on my appearance. I will be well put together, wearing my investment piece clothing (oh black suit on sale at Myer, how I love you.). But I still (justifiably) fear that people will consider me lazy, slovenly, and/or disgusting because of the way I look.  And it happens to lots of fats. Every day. I know that logically I’ll be fine in the interview; the worst thing that could happen is that I don’t get the job, but I come out with more interview experience.  But that irrational fear remains, somewhat.

How can we (as individuals, as groups, and as a FA community) work towards changing preconceived notions of fat people? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Jamie Oliver leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Someone on my twitter feed posted the link to Jamie Oliver’s talk about how it’s important to for people to learn about foods they are cooking and eating, and to pass that on to any spawn they might have. I totally agree with this; it’s important to be informed and listen to what your body needs.

What stopped me from listening to the entire talk was the constant peppering of OBESITY IS SO BAD, OMG WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE EARLY AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT.

…. I become really really frustrated with this kind of talk.  There is an obsession with weight in today’s society that is so distinctly BEYOND one’s health, and it’s so very ingrained that I don’t believe that most people realise they are even obsessed with it. It’s so easy to talk about the “obesity epidemic” but some people have talked about it with me as though I am not one of the chunky brigade. When i point out that “hey, I’m fat. And that’s okay!” there are wild flayings of “OH NO NOT YOU, YOU’RE NOT THE KIND OF PERSON WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.”

Who are these people you are talking about then?  And more importantly, what gives a person the right to talk about someone else in such a way? What happened to compassion for others? Kindness towards anyone regardless of their appearance? Am i just missing a part of the human psyche that thinks it’s okay to blatantly hate on the way someone else looks? Perhaps as a fat girl (being on the other side of the judgement conundrum) I am just not looking at it from a lot of points of view. Then again i’ve known some pretty bitchy fats so I really don’t think that’s the case – horrible people come in all shapes and sizes too.

I don’t know.  I just honestly wish that celebrities like Jamie Oliver would do a bit more research before blatantly hating on us fats.  Why can’t we be educated about food without the whole shaming thing? Sometimes I wonder if Jamie Oliver plans to come out with some hideous sort of meal replacement plan, and that’s why he’s doing this. SIGH.



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