Weight a minute….

Posted on January 13, 2012

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Blogger’s Note: Ok, before I launch into this blog — Yes, I meant to spell it “weight” instead of “wait”.

The United States is a melting pot of races, religions, sexualities, etc. If this is the case, why have I been dealing with people making jokes about my weight for my entire life?

Just recently, Papa John’s Pizza fired a cashier for using “lady chinky eyes” on a receipt to describe an Asian-American. Those kinds of jokes and sayings no longer tolerated in most sects of American society. Otherwise, the story wouldn’t have gained national attention.

In another case, a woman gained national attention when she put up a “Whites Only” sign at her apartment swimming pool because (she claimed) an African-American girl’s hair products were clouding up the water.

Blogger’s note: To clarify, I am not trying to draw a comparison between weight and race, gender, or sexuality. I am merely trying to point out that in a county where so many slurs are not socially acceptable and tolerance is preached fiercely– why is it still deemed somewhat socially acceptable to insult someone who is overweight?

There are plenty of stories online about weight discrimination:

Weight discrimination could be as common as racial bias

Airlines put the squeeze on fat fliers

Weight discrimination may worsen the health of those overweight or obese

A friend of mine mentioned this on Facebook tonight, and I wanted to bring it up here. Let’s step outside the legal parameters for a moment: Why does it seem like making fun of someone because of their weight is the one slur that is not looked down on by society?

I have my own thoughts on this: It’s the one prejudice that people aren’t forced to get over or deal with. As far as I know there are no weight discrimination lawsuits, no precedent. And people in this country are told every day to lose weight…so, of course, to not lose weight and not look like a stick is the “wrong” choice.

These ideas that we hold about weight and appearance are driving teens and adults alike into serious eating disorders. It is ridiculous that so many years after women’s rights, civil rights and gay rights…there is still one part of society that it’s alright to laugh at, one group of humans who are not seen as real people, one group who is still seen as insignificant — those who are obese. And, to be honest, we make up about one-third of adults in this country.

I don’t want to get into the political, legal or economic aspects of this issue. What I really want to know is why it is socially acceptable in this country to be almost anything except fat?

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