2323 posts tagged fat discrimination
This is a healthism story with a fortunately happy ending.
I’ve always been big, but over the past few years, pain has taken over my life and I’ve gotten even fatter. A very large fat.
Every doctor I’d been to had been dismissive about my pain, and especially of the pain in my feet. ”It’ll get better if you lose weight” is probably the most common result of a doctors visit for me. ”How can I exercise when I hurt so much and feel so awful?” seems to puzzle doctors.
I finally fired my GP last year, although it costs more to use anything but the clinic at my workplace, my new nurse practitioner is worth every penny to me. I finally got up the courage to ask about the pain after she’d been seeing me for more concrete things for a few months and she listened! Last month, I got a referral to another rheumatologist and, guess what, I’ve had some kind of inflammatory arthritis for the past 5 years!
I’ve been on prednisone now for about a week and, even though I’ve got bronchitis, I can’t help but to get up and dance around every so often on my feet that look like feet instead of swollen pink blobs. I can walk to the bathroom without crying in agony! My hands also look more like what I remember with fingers instead of sausages and I can see my knuckles and open bottles, etc.!
I’m so happy, but I’m also angry at my old doctor for blaming everything on my weight and causing so much suffering. I’ve still got plantar fasciitis and that probably is my weight, but it really doesn’t bother me much compared to whatever else was going on in my foot joints.
I’ll go back next week for my official diagnoses, but all it took to make me feel better was this common drug. They also tested me for some other common things and found out I was anemic and low vitamin D.
This blog was the thing that gave me the energy to switch doctors, the courage to bring it up again with my new nurse practitioner and the confidence to feel that I deserved to be helped despite what others thought about my weight. Thank you and this goofy nerd dance is for everyone else who shared stories about their doctors!
I was referred to a rheumatologist for a genetic condition, and when I arrived at my appointment the receptionist barely glanced at my chart and told me to go sit in waiting area C. I went over and sat in the seating area she told me, and sat right under a sign that said “Dietician.”
Five minutes later a nurse came over from waiting area A and said, “There you are. Your doctor is over by waiting area A,” and showed me to the doctor’s office for my appointment.
The receptionist had taken one glance at me and assumed that I was there for the dietician, never even considering that I might be there for some reason other than losing weight.
I have a friend who is engaged and gay. She and her partner were discussing children and the prospect of a child’s future as a gay/straight adult. Although she would of course accept and love her child regardless, she hoped for a straight child so they would not endure the ridicule, heartache, and oppression that she has faced as a fat-bodied gay woman. This is more of a question for the mods (or whoever wants to answer really) if you were to have children, would you wish them to be fat or straight-sized? I know ideally we would live in a world where fat people are not oppressed, but if you had to have a child with thin privilege or one who is adorable and fat yet ridiculed, what would you choose? I think this is worth considering in the current social climate, gay parents wonder if their child will be gay, biracial parents wonder what “race” their child will identify with, what do fat parents think?
I wish for a world that doesn’t oppress gay kids/adults and privilege straight kids/adults, where passing for white doesn’t convey privilege, where random strangers don’t sit next to my white cousin in a clinic and berate her for marrying and having children with a black man (happened to her last week), or where being fat in a public school means you’ve got a good chance of being physically and emotionally abused by your peers and teachers, etc.
While I understand the compulsion to want your children to pass for a member of a privileged group because it will be easier for them, hoping that they will pass sets you up for disappointment if they don’t, when really, the child has absolutely no control over the social soup they’re born into.
Instead of saying, “I hope you pass,” I’d prefer to say, “I’ll brave all the slings and arrows of the world to love you.”
In my particular case, if I were to have a fat child I would do my best to not send that child to a public school, because public schools are incredibly toxic for fat kids at present. It would take me having the means to have them schooled alternatively, where I could monitor the messages my child is getting, whether they’re being bullied, etc. Not everyone has these means. I’m only speaking for my particular (childless and not planning to have children) situation.
I might be naive. But that’s my take with the information I have at this present moment.
I have a fifteen year old cousin who I have met twice and weighs ~300 pounds. She’s a distant cousin that lives on the other side of the country so we don’t hear much about her. But since she has gained whatever weight all I hear about her is that she weighs 300 lbs, and I can’t stand it because she is a lovely, wonderful person who is much more than how much she weighs.
She recently got a gastric bypass surgery at fifteen. A major surgery that changes how your body works for the rest of your life and can cause all sorts of problems. And she did have problems. She got post-op pneumonia and the surgeon messed up and nicked her colon and she’s been in the hospital for at least a few weeks.
Being a teenager is hard, and being a fat teenager is even harder. I was a fat teenager and now I am a fat twenty-something and my weight is personal, and when I was younger it was even more personal and something I found humiliating—and if my family talked behind my back about my weight I would be even more humiliated. I remember being told that if I gained X more pounds I would be morbidly obese. I thought that meant if I gained any weight I would die.
If my cousin is anything like I was, she hates herself, she’s ashamed of being fat, ashamed of “needing” the surgery, ashamed of getting the surgery, and ashamed that people know about it and talk about it. And she’s also ill-informed and thinks she’s going to die. And that just feels awful especially combined with surgical recovery, post-op complications, and being stuck in a hospital bed.
I can’t imagine the pressures she felt to get this surgery from family, from friends, from doctors—something I’m sure she was told would “fix’ her so she could finally fit in. I don’t know how much the surgery was her idea or how much she felt like she needed to get it to fit inI can’t imagine how she feels or felt before because all I’ve heard about her is that she’s fat.
No one else in her immediate family is fat and I’m sure that makes her fatness stand out more and makes her parents push harder for her to be thin. And now my whole family is talking about her and her fat and her bad surgery and my grandparents keep talking about how they hope that the surgery will help her lose weight. Like if she loses weight, this horrible experience will be erased or not matter. Like she isn’t in pain and isn’t miserable and isn’t human. Like she’s fat and once she gets that over with she can have feelings again and be treated like a person again.
The post below is based on the movie “Mean Girls”
Thin privilege is being able to shop where you want, and not be mocked by the [thin] shop attendants in front of 3 of your best friends
It was a week before prom and I was doing the final try on for the most gorgeous dress. It was one I’d had my eye on for months - a beautiful peach silk dress with a stunning black belt. It perfectly suited my skin and my hair, and my friends agreed it was perfect.
Unfortunately a while back I broke up with my long term boyfriend. I was devastated, and gained a fair amount of weight as a result. I wasn’t thrilled, but I wasn’t starving myself, unhappy or putting my body through pain so I didn’t mind. I was happy with my body and this dress was absolutely sublime.
This meant that the dress didn’t fit me. I was mortified and totally put on the spot in front of my friends. When asked if there was a bigger size available, the shop attendant sneered at us and before she walked away told us to “try sears”. Excuse me? This was for prom, the biggest night this side of college and you don’t go to any effort to help me, and just palm me off to a lower class store because that’s all I deserve?
Thin privilege is being able to get flattering dresses in your size
Thin privilege is being treated with respect by shop assistants
Thin privilege is being able to shop anywhere and not relegated to “cheap” stores
I ended up starving myself to fit in the dress. It was awful and painful, and while it made me look like a rockstar, it was an awful, painful experience
Thank you to the troll for finding this story from the movie mean girls. Ya’ll are boring but we appreciate you giving us submissions that relate to real things people go through due to fat stigma. -FBP
Like a lot of girls, I spend a good amount of my prep time in the morning putting on makeup and doing my hair. Making sure my clothes “Flatter me correctly”. Making sure my hair and makeup is “Perfect”. I HATE doing this, but I have to. I have to make sure that I’m “socially acceptable”.
And every morning, my fiance’, the man who thinks I’m beautiful no matter WHAT just stares on in total and utter confusion.
"Why are you putting on makeup? We’re just going to the store"
I simply reply;
"I honestly don’t feel like getting into a fight. I don’t feel like provoking superficial assholes. Today, I’d like to AVOID the trolls, thank you".
Why? Because me leaving the house without makeup starts FIGHTS. People yell at me, tell me to kill myself, and even try to beat me up just because of my size. People are openly rude to me, and if I’m not having the best of days, *I* could end up retaliating, which you know would result in jail time and having to go to a court that’s NOT ruling in my favor.
I have to ignore the fact that the only person I need to impress is already impressed regardless of my weight, what I wear, or ANYTHING. He thinks I’m beautiful because he loves me, and I’m forced to completely ignore that FOR MY OWN SAFETY (And his freedom, since he’s willing to start a fist fight with any man who trash talks me).
Not to mention, I, too, think I’m pretty… But I’ve been fat shamed and bullied to the point where I simply say;
"You gotta turn them on to survive out there".
Which should NOT be true; but it is. I think I look just fine without the makeup or the “fashionable” clothes, but without dressing up, I’m treated like shit. The shirt I wear can determine whether or not I’m verbally or psychically abused, and even then, it doesn’t always help. At best, when I try my best, I get a “At least she tries”. Like, they feel sorry for the fact that NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I’ll NEVER be “Beautiful” DESPITE THE FACT THAT I *KNOW* I ALREADY AM.
Thin privilege is being ALLOWED by society to leave your house to a casual situation without having to dress up to hide your “flaws”. You can leave without makeup and still be considered attractive, even if you’re currently undergoing an acne breakout. Oh, and you can wear whatever the heck you want, too.
Thin privilege is not having an every day fear that somebody will verbally and/or psychically abuse you due to your looks. Thin privilege is being able to feel safe because you KNOW you’re not a target to trolls, bullies, and bigots. You can COUNT on everyone being nice to you. Meanwhile, girls like me really have to just pray we don’t run into the wrong person.
Thin privilege is knowing that you’re beautiful, and having the world respect your self esteem (Or tell you you’re beautiful if you DON’T have that self-esteem). But girls like me aren’t allowed to love ourselves because we’re NOT “Beautiful”, and thus LOVABLE to everyone else. We have to try hard to impress people, anyway, even if we don’t want to. Even if we know our worth. Even if we don’t NEED their validation in our own minds, we still need their validation just to live a “Normal” LIFE and to get the basic respect we ALL deserve!
Girls with thin privilege wear makeup to stand out and receive attention.
But I? I wear makeup to fit in, and to NOT receive ANY attention.
Sorry for being anonymous but I’m afraid somebody might know I submitted this. :( Sorry for being a weak fatty.. (you guys rock!)
Thin privilege is having your boyfriend threat you with break up. I’m in tears while writing this I seriously don’t know what to do. My bf just told me that unless I “start taking some serious steps toward losing some weight!” he will have to reconsider our relationship. This took place in a lovely up-scale restaurant while we were having our 3 year anniversary dinner! I was fully expecting him to propose to me, but in stead he started to talk about my weight. I was 140 lbs when we started dating and I have gained a lot since then. I just don’t understand how he can blame me for something like this when he KNOWS that I haven’t changed my eating habits one bit during the time we’ve dated. I tried to explain that my body simply feels more comfortable at 220 lbs and that many of the women in my family have gained around my age a lot of weight. but no… He said that he doesn’t want a fat bride so he won’t propose until I’m “small enough”.
My world has literally shattered.
Ouch. I’m so sorry, Anon. Huge is you want them.
Dump him. Dump him a lot. He will never stop hating your body, even if you were one of the people long-term weight loss worked for, and you dropped it all. He would police your body for the rest of your life. DUMP HIM.
Fat hatred is a bumper sticker I saw on a Jeep today that said “Lift it up [as in install a taller suspension system]: Fat girls can’t jump!”
Thin privilege is being considered a person, who might possibly be attractive, instead of being treated as automatically ugly and an object for ridicule.
Thin privilege is when my sister said to me that someone being mean to a 17 year old girl when she doesn’t play a sport very well is as bad if not worse than being told not to eat again.
I reminded her that even if the girl never played the sport again, it would still be better than never eating again, seeing as you would die. (That’s not to say I think what the person who was mean was correct in their comments. I thought they were rude and wrong.)
Her response? “Yeah but not playing sports could lead to obesity which could lead to death or other health issues!”
I just wanted to tell her that a) we are talking one sport here, not all sports, b) stopping playing sports may or may not cause weight gain, but refusing to eat will certainly cause death c) weight gain is not bad in and of itself, and d) Is “obesity” or pretty much any other health concern it “causes” really worse than death? (I put cause in quotations for obvious reasons).
She didn’t understand how damaging such a statement could be because she has never been fat a day in her life. She has always eaten whatever she wants. She now eats “healthy” because she’s a vegetarian who likes to cook lots of dishes, but it wasn’t always so. I, on the other hand, was not so lucky with the genetics.
Now I love my sister, but her ignorance on the experiences of being fat angers me more than I can express. For example, she can’t understand why I find it very annoying and am not flattered when men call me pretty. According to her I need to be nicer about it and say “thank you” or something, because the men are trying to be nice. She doesn’t understand that when I was fat, the same men that call me pretty now were horrible towards me and would never be “nice”. Sorry, they’re not “nice”. And I will not be all thankful for someone pointing out a trait of mine that I don’t care much about. Where were all of these nice men when I was fat? (I’m not even going to get into why I find such “compliments” mysoginistic and devious in nature, and how a lot of times my sister doesn’t notice that the compliments are more geared towards her and then just bounced on me to get her attention. Example of something someone says to her: “Oh, you’re so pretty! And your sister, too!”)
Having the luxury to be unaware of fat phobia and fat discrimination is thin privilege.
Woot! You posted my submission and within minutes I had an anon troll! I feel strangely vindicated and weirdly happy about this! It’s a teeny little baby troll doing a very bad job of tone policing, nothing terrible, but it is all mine. I shall cherish it. And by ‘cherish’ I mean ‘squash’.
I took the mods from this site as my example and attempted to do you proud.
TW: Long text, minimal cursing
I have a friend who, in the last 4 months, went from a size 18 to a size 14. She’s never had a problem with fat people, especially when she considered herself more of one (She never found it to be “Gross” or “Unhealthy” and actually didn’t hate herself for her weight, though she did want to be a little smaller), but she had decided to lose weight so she could fit into a dress her friend gave her that she totally adored, so she worked to wear it (And it fits now, not to mention).
So… Here’s my friend in a size 14, driving down the road when a cop pulls her over. He runs the plates and asks to see her ID and registration. On the ID it said she was 216 pounds because it was taken back when she was a size 18, and there IS a visual difference. The cop looks at the ID and then her and actually jokes with her; “You sure this is you?”. And before she could really answer, he replies (A little flirty) “Nah, just messing with ya’. You’re losing weight; keep it up!”.
What had he pulled her over for? A broken tail light. To remind her to get it fixed. So why was there a need to talk about anything else?
When she told me about it later, she let me know that he actually sounded nice and genuine, and that he really just pulled her over to let her know about the tail light. Still, she was offended because he invaded her personal space by stating an opinion that had nothing to do with anything except for her weight (And really, her BODY). She felt the “Pat on the head” with the encouragement was insulting, too.
Because, you know, he’s a cop. He’s not a friend. He’s not family. He’s not her boyfriend.
He’s not even a fucking doctor. This guy is a cop.
And it’s not anyone’s business - especially his - how much she weighs now and how much she did then. He doesn’t have a right to bring it up.
She told me (Not exact words, but exact point):
"It almost felt a little backhanded. Honestly, the only thing about me that he’s allowed to comment on is whether or not I’m breaking the law or a light is out. I don’t care what his intentions were; that was NOT his line to cross"
I totally understand where she’s coming from, but her thin friends? They don’t.
They keep telling her things like;
"Hey! He was being NICE! Give him a break!"
"Well, he’s right, you know!"
Her sister even suggested that if she hadn’t lost the weight, he would have given her a ticket. The friend in question being a newly self-claimed “Thin ally” after, oddly enough, reading this blog with me one day (She’s read up a few times since, but doesn’t have a Tumblr). She’s the “Accidentally offensive because she truly DOESN’T understand, even though she wants to - or claim she does, anyway” type. She was trying to show an example of Fat Discrimination, but it only made it worse because it felt like she was rubbing it in - again mentioning weight when she doesn’t need emphasizing it more than the conversation was already.
My friend’s actually more annoyed with the lack or understanding from her thin friends more than she is concerned about the cop. She knows he was trying to be nice (So she blames society moreso for the way he acted, though he still could have chosen to keep his mouth shut).
Kind of funny, though. Makes me think that if a thin girl was told “Your boobs are looking good today”, there’d be a lawsuit (If it was a cop, anyway). Because it’s sexual harassment to comment on a woman’s breasts, right? Her butt, too! Even her lace, lips, and legs!
So why is it not sexual harassment to comment on the REST of her body? How in the world is it not sexual fucking harassment to comment on how good she does or does not look because of her weight? It’s still focusing on talking about something that does or does not turn him on! Doesn’t this bother anyone?!
Oh, wait. Because it’s "not a sexual thing".
It’s a “Health issue”. My bad. Totally forgot.
#SARCASM. #Eye rolls.
Regardless of how he said it, how nice he was, or how genuine he’s being, it’s still offensive because it’s not his place to be making statements about her body, regardless of his opinion of it. Period. She can’t sue over it, sure, and she doesn’t plan to. But why is that concept so hard for people to understand? I could give a bunch of example situations right about now, but I’m going to just hope you’re catching my drift here.
Isn’t your partner’s families first words when they hear your nationality ”Oh, is she fat?”.
Yes I AM fat. Thank you for asking, want to know about my countries culture? The people? The history? About me personally? About my work?
Oh no, you just want to hear about my weight?
Thats okay then.
YES, THANK YOU FUTURE MOTHER IN LAW FOR NOTICING I AM FAT HOW ASTUTE OF YOU TO NOTICE!
It’s worrying that you care more about my weight, than you do my personality or temperament.
Thin privilege is getting to eat at your favorite restaurant without seeing posters pitted against you. (Fat discrimination tw, body policing tw)
The other day I was at Nando’s, my absolute favorite place to eat. I had not been to this particular location before. While my family and I were waiting for our food to come, I was looking around the room from my seat. One thing I saw was a poster that said: “If you’re shaped like an apple or pear, eat apples and pears.”
Oh, of course. How dare fat people want to eat anything besides fruit and vegetables and ‘safe’ food? I mean, why wouldn’t we? We all should want to lose weight, after all, right?
When I was in college I had to do a major paper on any topic I wished. Of all the topics available I picked weight bias in the healthcare industry.
My paper and my research were impeccable. In fact I got an award for most thought provoking paper and classmates complimented me extensively.
The only reason this happened is because I’m a Damn toothpick. The only reason my paper and presentation were well received was because I’m small.
But I wrote the paper and did the presentation because of my husband. Because he weighed over 300 pounds. I wrote the paper because his self confidence is awful. I wrote the paper because his Damn boss made fun of his weight. I did the paper and presentation because he is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
He’s fantastic at his job. Received over 5 merit raises. He knows his department, he knows his employees. His area only runs at max efficiency because of him.
His boss has no right. People have no right to make blanket misstatements about a person based on their weight.
Thanks for this. I hope to one day convince my husband to not be ashamed of himself. I know this blog helps me toward that goal.
Thin privilege is doing a research paper on weight bias and being taken seriously.