The Obese Are More Likely to Discriminate Against... The Obese!
Yup. The end.
Ok, I guess I will talk a little more about this topic, since it is near and dear to my heart. Being morbidly obese my whole life, I absolutely have experienced this.
I was a fluffy woman, but when I got to “super morbidly obese” status, my friend group changed. I hung out with others who were more or less the same size and got what I was going through.
Nothing weird about that - it makes total sense. However, I did see trends in their discussions.
If they saw a 400 pound women struggling to walk across an isle at Target, for instance, they would shake their heads and say, “I am SOO glad I am not their size. That’s sad. How in the world could you allow yourself to get so big?”
I was always perplexed by these comments, as most of my friends were not that far off from that size. Why is it the person who is struggling that is bigger than you incites you to feel either sad for them or disgusted by them that they have “done this to themselves” and you are not that far behind?
I never had the balls to say anything. I just wanted friends, and even snarky friends are friends, nonetheless. So I would keep my mouth shut. I was a wuss.
I never liked the negativity. I had enough negativity while navigating my life, let alone making another feel crappy as well. However, I also knew that some of my previous friends had said that about me, even to my face.
My thin friends, God love them, may have thought it, but tried never made me feel like the token fat person. They worked hard to make me feel included, even if they didn’t get why or how I was a bigger person. My fat friends-if they were my size did the same. My fluffy, not as fat friends were a little harsher.
The pecking order was fascinating.
Being “discriminated against” is something I don’t even like to say, however, it is the best word that fits. In fact, when you think lazy, weak-willed and stupid, an obese person usually comes to mind.
So it’s no wonder that we are quick to judge others that are not as “evolved” as us. We don’t want to be the one that people say crap about. I certainly know I didn’t...
However, for your own sanity, you will need to find a way for other bigger people to stop being snarky or jerky to you. Here is how.
5 Ways to Stop Obesity Discrimination
1. Confront Them
Not in a negative, “Shut the hell up” way, but when they are talking amongst themselves and you know that they are likely saying something about you - go up to them. Ask them a nice question.
Talk to them.
Understanding that these people who are not being very nice may be so entrenched in their own self-esteem issues that they need to make others feel bad to make themselves feel good. You become a person to look up to and also a person that people cannot ignore or make fun of.
2. Smile and Be Kind
This is super hard. Let me tell you - I have had others do some mean stuff.
I have had my own mother tell me she thought my husband was a saint for sleeping with me at night because I was fat and disgusting. OUCH!
However, at some point, you have to let it go. Why? Because it just eats you up. It makes you crazy. She obviously had some issues regarding my weight; however, those were not my issues.
3. Don’t Take on Their Insecurities
Because another less obese person is treating you poorly, you don’t want to take on their traits. Don’t be mean to others. Be kind to everyone, even if they are jerky to you.
I pride myself on this. I never wanted to degrade another in order to make myself feel better, which feels better at the moment, but feels awful in the long term. You become a person no one wants to hang around. Don’t take on these insecurities just because you want friends.
4. Demand Respect
Again, not by being a jerk, but by not letting another degrade you.
Politely ask them to clarify what they are saying if they are being snarky to your face. A question like “what do you mean by that?” could be a clarifying question.
This weird, awkward question makes others kinda pause and realize that maybe they aren’t being cool with you. They will realize that you don’t really like what they are saying and that you will call them out on things that they say.
This simple question can negate any gossiping about you only because your smaller counterparts may have more respect for you.
5. Decide When to Cut the Cord
If you have had a friend for years that suddenly has begun to be snarky, negative or mean-spirited because you are the fluffier one in the group, then you need to question if this is even a friendship.
People have a lot of insecurities; however, it may not be a friendship that is worth saving. Evaluate and look at it objectively and see if that person has done this in the past to others and if this is a trend. This may be a big clue if this has happened in the past with someone else.
It is bad enough being obese - yes. I do believe discrimination happens.
From jobs not hiring me (back in the 90’s I got told I was too fat for anyone to take me seriously) to old ladies taking out things from my own grocery basket, I have experienced this. It is pretty unexpected from someone else that is also morbidly obese, however.
I mean, dang, from an early age I was taught that I was dumber, weak-willed, and super lazy, as I am sure many other obese people were taught about themselves as well.
However, coming together in unison to support each other and help each other either in a weight loss journey or just to help another through a tough time should be done by any and all sizes of people who are your friends.