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Fat People & Weight Discrimination

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#1 ProgressTheory

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

Are overweight people truly discriminated against? Do you think we should be more sensitive to their feelings or should they try harder to fit in (excuse the pun).

 

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#2 c.h84

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 01:17 PM

I don't think that overweight people are discriminated against. I feel that some people that are overweight tend to be a little more emotional about what others think, but that is the same with REALLY skinny people too they don't think they are too skinny but everyone is always talking about them. I think people need to be happy the way they are. I do think as a whole Americans could do more in terms of eating right and exercising regularly. Lets be honest how many people really think that they always eat healthy and always work out probably a very slim percentage. There is room for improvement across the board on this for me.



#3 blurinoctober

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:07 PM

Ha. Ahahaha. As a teenage girl, who's been around many other teenagers and adults in both working and school settings, I'm going to have to say they are. People are absolutely horrible to each other and it's worse if someone is obese. It's hard to see an obese person in public and not hear someone making fun of how they walk, how they should lose weight, how their clothes fit, etc. It's ridiculous.

 

I think it's someone's personal choice if they eat healthy and exercise. I mean, really, who else does it affect? I eat how I choose and only exercise when I think it'll be fun (like riding bikes sometimes or taking my dog out to walk a trail). I weigh something like 150 and I'm 5'4. It affects no one but myself and it wouldn't even if I weighed 350, or even 100.

 

I'm not saying either of those extremes would be healthy or wouldn't be the possible result of an extreme eating disorder, but they wouldn't be up for the entire nation to debate.


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#4 Malaki

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

Of course they are discriminated against, it is what those with low self esteem do to others that they find a flaw with.

 

Think about it, there is a Mayor out there that has banned salt, sugar, fat, soda pop all in the name of battling overweight people. Of course he is a Progressive and Democrat and they are the best at discrimination, 



#5 ab.maverick

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

I don't think they are discriminated against.  There is social preference for certain body types and typically its not overweight.  People who are overwieght are not refused service anywhere, and just because people are not attracted to them doesn't make them discriminated against. 



#6 Guest_Phil_*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

Criticism does not necessarily=discrimination. That's not to say that some people might not practice discrimination against the obese just as they might against short people or people with big ears. 

 

Being obese is unhealthy. Depending in the degree, it can make it harder to function in certain situations where physical exertion is necessary. Arguably, there is a cost to society when someone becomes chronically ill due to over weight.

I'm generally against legislating against "unhealthy" foods except when they are fed to children in schools. Then i think that the public has the right to insist that children are provided with healthy and nutritious food.

 

As far as a person's right to be obese, i say go for it! If that's how one wishes to be then it's fully within their rights to do so. But if someone snickers at them, it's no different from being laughed at for any other physical attribute.



#7 Guest_victoria robin_*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

I think we should be patient and give support to all mankind in any eating disorders.

#8 Guest_pam_*

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

Discrimination usually is most apparent in the work place or education.  When someone is not given the same chances as someone else due to something that should not be taken into consideration, discrimination happens.  It has been proven over and over that larger people typically are not chosen over others when appearance is taken into account, when appearance should not matter at all.  Furthermore, it is often larger women that do not get a fair chance.  I'm referring to instances when size should not have been a factor in choosing.

 

While the teasing,general meanness, and bullying are not right and I myself have been a victim of all of these things, they are not discrimination.



#9 viresintra

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

I think that they are discriminated against, and just treated really badly by people in general. I think it's really wrong to bully anybody or to make things difficult for them just because they look a certain way. I have struggled with body image my entire life, even though I'm totally healthy at 5'4" and 130-135 pounds, and I think that negativity towards different body shapes has definitely made this harder. I think that treating people like crap doesn't get you anywhere - I have amazing friends who are overweight and I would rather be there to support them if THEY decide to lose weight. It's their decision.

 

That said, I have issue with the HAES (Health At Every Size) movement as well as bloggers like Kate Harding because as much as they'd like to think you can eat yourself up to 500 pounds and be healthy, you can't. I think it's one thing to be tolerant of people who are different and another thing entirely to encourage things that are scientifically unhealthy. I've also heard the term 'healthism' thrown around, meaning that apparently it's "oppressive" to think that everyone should strive to be healthy. Gimme a break, LOL. 

 

I believe that we should strive to be healthy as a population as much as possible, which pretty much means trying to fall into a 'not overly thin nor overly large' weight range. There are always going to be exceptions to this, of course, and that those people should be the ones supported by 'fat acceptance' activists, not the average person who is struggling with their weight. I do think people being obese effects society as a whole - for example in countries like Canada (where I live) we pay for everyone's medical care through our taxes. It's frustrating seeing taxes wasted on preventable health conditions while people are waiting months to see specialists.



#10 Neelofar1334

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

Overweight people are definitely criticized, but not discriminated against. I don't know if it's the area I live in or the people in this area, but skinny people are made fun of even more than overweight people. Being a naturally skinny and short person myself, I've dealt with way more than an average over weight person. People argue that society today is not accepting for those who are over weight, but that's not necessarily true. There is a major increase in stores tailored to suit bigger women and a lot of stores carry extended sizes. People also argue that there are too many skinny models, but whenever a skinny model is brought to attention, she's criticized way more than a "curvy" model would be.

 

I think we're regressing as a society in terms of picking on skinny people, and t wasn't as noticeable a few years ago as it is now. Skinny people have feelings too, it's the same thing as picking on a bigger person. 



#11 viresintra

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

Overweight people are definitely criticized, but not discriminated against. I don't know if it's the area I live in or the people in this area, but skinny people are made fun of even more than overweight people. Being a naturally skinny and short person myself, I've dealt with way more than an average over weight person. People argue that society today is not accepting for those who are over weight, but that's not necessarily true. There is a major increase in stores tailored to suit bigger women and a lot of stores carry extended sizes. People also argue that there are too many skinny models, but whenever a skinny model is brought to attention, she's criticized way more than a "curvy" model would be.

 

I think we're regressing as a society in terms of picking on skinny people, and t wasn't as noticeable a few years ago as it is now. Skinny people have feelings too, it's the same thing as picking on a bigger person. 

 

Where are you living? I ask this because it's definitely not the common experience where I'm from, haha. I think it does really depend where you are and what the 'norm' is. I do notice that for very petite people it must be really difficult to find clothing, however, I do still think overweight people are more discriminated against. When was the last time a very overweight girl was given a job over a very thin petite girl with the same qualifications?! Maybe in your area, but I just don't think it's happening.

 

I do however find it really insulting when people make fun of thin people because of course having your body picked on always sucks. I was at the mall once and a very emaciated girl (she was also eating lettuce and a diet coke while wearing a red rope bracelet so she was very likely anorexic) was sitting minding her own business when an overweight guy threw a burger wrapper at her and told her 'Go eat something, skinny b*tch!'. The poor girl started crying and was clearly so upset by it. The bottom line is a persons' body isn't something to be rude about :/



#12 MyOCDisMild

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

I'm not sure if I'd go as far to say they're discriminated against, but I certainly think they're ridiculed and demeaned because of their weight. My oldest daughter was bullied incessantly through elementary school due to her weight, and she tried like crazy to shed a few pounds, completely against my wishes. It wasn't until a friend of hers was hospitalized that she stopped dieting and went back to eating the 3 square meals a day. My 11 year old was driven to tears because she was unlucky enough to grab ahold of her father's 'chunky' gene. This angers me to no end, particularly because she's an awesome kid who would give her last to anyone..... They may not be discrimnated against, but they certainly aren't treated with the utmost repsect.

 

#13 Neelofar1334

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 07:53 PM

Where are you living? I ask this because it's definitely not the common experience where I'm from, haha. I think it does really depend where you are and what the 'norm' is. I do notice that for very petite people it must be really difficult to find clothing, however, I do still think overweight people are more discriminated against. When was the last time a very overweight girl was given a job over a very thin petite girl with the same qualifications?! Maybe in your area, but I just don't think it's happening.

 

I do however find it really insulting when people make fun of thin people because of course having your body picked on always sucks. I was at the mall once and a very emaciated girl (she was also eating lettuce and a diet coke while wearing a red rope bracelet so she was very likely anorexic) was sitting minding her own business when an overweight guy threw a burger wrapper at her and told her 'Go eat something, skinny b*tch!'. The poor girl started crying and was clearly so upset by it. The bottom line is a persons' body isn't something to be rude about :/

I live in Virginia, and actually I wasn't hired at a job because of my body type. I went to an interview for a part time gig to list items on eBay and the items they wanted listed were things like desktops and computer parts- not that heavy. The warehouse was huge and there were shelves at least 40 feet high and things piled upon each other, so when they saw how short I am (5 ft tall), they chuckled in a very rude manner. Anyways, they had me lift some things to see how I could handle it, and I could do so with no problem (working out is also for getting stronger, not just getting thinner!  ;) 

 

Even though I wasn't competing against a bigger girl for the job, my "skinniness" pretty much threw everything off. So there's a little anecdote to consider. I always hear people making comments like that, it really is sad to see, I wish people would realize that they're not much better than the people who make fun of overweight people. I've been called anorexic, even though I really don't look the part, and I eat more than most of the girls in my age group.



#14 pafjlh

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

I think it depends on who you are dealing with. I am what you would call plus size, and this past year I have been dealing with a whole lot of pain in my legs.  I went to a specialist in this field earlier this year, and instead of getting answers I was left feeling humiliated.  This man took one look at me, classified me as fat, and that was the end of him taking anything going on with me seriously. He told me nothing was wrong after doing a few x-rays on my lower back, not neither of my hips or knees where the pain was located.  He then told me to lose weight because my weight was my problem.  Now, I won't pretend he didn't have a point because losing weight would no doubt help my pain.  But, I have been starting to lose weight yet my pain has only gotten worse, I am no having more scans done this time of my hips and knees, will anything be found who knows.  All I know is if something is found I will have mix feelings, for one thing I will be relieved to know something is indeed wrong, but I will also be completely angry that this wasn't found before all because I was discriminated against because of my weight.



#15 kerry

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

That said, I have issue with the HAES (Health At Every Size) movement as well as bloggers like Kate Harding because as much as they'd like to think you can eat yourself up to 500 pounds and be healthy, you can't. I think it's one thing to be tolerant of people who are different and another thing entirely to encourage things that are scientifically unhealthy. I've also heard the term 'healthism' thrown around, meaning that apparently it's "oppressive" to think that everyone should strive to be healthy. Gimme a break, LOL. 

 

I've bumped into that sort of attitude, too. I particularly remember there was an article once posted to a community I hang around a lot about a teenage boy who was already something like 600 pounds, and people were breaking out the "being fat doesn't necessarily mean that you're unhealthy" bullshit. If somebody is 20, 50, maybe even as much as a hundred pounds overweight, I might accept that argument, but this is a kid that weighed more than my entire household combined, which at that point included three adults, a teenager, two K-3 students, and a baby. Granted, we are a fairly fit family, but still!

 

I do definitely agree that people who are over or underweight should not be teased, shamed, looked down upon, or discriminated against, and I support fat acceptance to that extent, but some people go waaay overboard with it. That kid needed serious help and support to get well, not people suggesting that weighing as much as three grown men put together is just peachy. :blink:



#16 dorothymoreno

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

I don't think that it is right for anybody to be  bullying or judging anybody period, for any reason. People should worry about their own problems or setbacks or whatever the case may be and stop worrying so much about other peoples business.  As for the statement that being overweight is unhealthy well just because you aren't overweight doesn't mean you are healthy either, but in either case, it doesn't mean you can be mean or ugly to people just because of the weight whether over or under. People should try a little kindness and respect, and if you can't say anything nice about a person then keep your opinion to yourself, unless asked for it. :)


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#17 viresintra

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:24 PM

I live in Virginia, and actually I wasn't hired at a job because of my body type. I went to an interview for a part time gig to list items on eBay and the items they wanted listed were things like desktops and computer parts- not that heavy. The warehouse was huge and there were shelves at least 40 feet high and things piled upon each other, so when they saw how short I am (5 ft tall), they chuckled in a very rude manner. Anyways, they had me lift some things to see how I could handle it, and I could do so with no problem (working out is also for getting stronger, not just getting thinner!  ;)

 

Even though I wasn't competing against a bigger girl for the job, my "skinniness" pretty much threw everything off. So there's a little anecdote to consider. I always hear people making comments like that, it really is sad to see, I wish people would realize that they're not much better than the people who make fun of overweight people. I've been called anorexic, even though I really don't look the part, and I eat more than most of the girls in my age group.

 

I just have to say one thing here, it's different to be denied a job because they doubt your physical ability to do the job (regardless of the fact that you clearly demonstrated you could handle it) than to be denied a job because you're thin. Say, for example, you and an overweight girl applied at a clothing store with the same qualifications? Statistically, you would be the one getting the job!

 

I see that it sucks for anyone outside the normal weight/height range even if they are skinny, but it's not really fair to call it the same thing. My boyfriend is a funeral director and many very tiny girls aren't hired in homes for one simple reason, they can't move the bodies! It sucks, but I wouldn't call it discrimination.



#18 Mr. Philstivus

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:01 PM

I've had a similar debate with fellow martial arts practitioners about instructors - should an instructor be overweight? My personal opinion was that although there ARE overweight teachers in the arts I don't believe that they embody or express the principles of those arts, namely self-control, discipline and balance of mind and body.

 

As soon as I stated my opinion on one forum I had a bunch of people jump on me and tell me how "fat is not unhealthy" and "just because you're fat doesn't mean you can't teach". Their knee-jerk reactions to my statement were totally expected, however, and I had to spend some time explaining how I didn't personally despise the large-of-girth - just that they weren't a good representation of a healthy, martial lifestyle.

 

Of course then they started in on "How big are YOU? Send pictures!" Right, like I'm going to give you guys nudie pics without even charging for membership in my website! :rolleyes:

 

I just told them I'm 6', 200 pounds and 54 years old. Right away they consulted their little insurance company tables and said "Oh, my God! You're morbidly obese! How DARE you talk about other instructors!"

 

*sigh*

 

I wasn't EVEN going to get into how those tables are out-dated and totally wrong, how BMI is an erroneous measurement, how I have muscle rather than fat, how you can be 200 pounds of Jell-O or 200 pounds of prime beef ... :lol:

 

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So it was left as it began: some still believe that a guy with a belly down to his knees can be a role-model for martial artists, while I still believe that outside of a RARE genetic condition YOU are the one that decides what your appearance is.



#19 Neelofar1334

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

I just have to say one thing here, it's different to be denied a job because they doubt your physical ability to do the job (regardless of the fact that you clearly demonstrated you could handle it) than to be denied a job because you're thin. Say, for example, you and an overweight girl applied at a clothing store with the same qualifications? Statistically, you would be the one getting the job!

 

I see that it sucks for anyone outside the normal weight/height range even if they are skinny, but it's not really fair to call it the same thing. My boyfriend is a funeral director and many very tiny girls aren't hired in homes for one simple reason, they can't move the bodies! It sucks, but I wouldn't call it discrimination.

 

Well it technically would be called discrimination because I clearly demonstrated my ability to do the job. If I was taller and weighed 80 pounds more, I don't think it would have been a problem, but it was a problem and that was very clearly shown by their comments and attitude towards me. I could understand if they wanted to judge a book by it's cover and say no simply because of my outer appearance  but the fact that I demonstrated that I can do the work and still get denied it is discrimination. 

 

And the fat girl at a clothing store argument is a real slippery slope. If you speak statistically, those statistics would have to be conducted in a manner where it's not focused in one region. Like I said, I really haven't seen it like that around here, so I'd wonder if statistics taken from one part of a country could possibly be compared to another part. 



#20 Neelofar1334

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:54 PM

I've had a similar debate with fellow martial arts practitioners about instructors - should an instructor be overweight? My personal opinion was that although there ARE overweight teachers in the arts I don't believe that they embody or express the principles of those arts, namely self-control, discipline and balance of mind and body.

 

So it was left as it began: some still believe that a guy with a belly down to his knees can be a role-model for martial artists, while I still believe that outside of a RARE genetic condition YOU are the one that decides what your appearance is.

 I agree with you, Mr. Philstivus. I don't think any sport instructor/trainer should look unhealthy, which also includes being overweight. Those people are there to motivate and teach you, and if they don't look healthy, how are you supposed to be motivated?

It always threw me off when we had overweight instructors for gym class in high school. I just don't understand how someone associated with health and fitness could be accepted "with a belly down to his knees". 


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