On the radio today, on my way to work, the topic of conversation was “are you a fatist?”, a fatist being someone prejudiced against people who are obese. Since obese tends to be relative with regards to people considering you fat or not (or better stated, your relative fatness is a matter of perception), I can’t say at what point your fatist tendencies would kick in. Racist can easily spot racial differences (although that is becoming harder with the intermingling and intermarrying of races), but most overt forms of racism are frowned upon. This doesn’t seem to be the case with fatism.
Note: I judge what people wear all the time, how they look quite a bit, but usually in a fashion context. I am guilty of thinking, and saying, someone is too big to be wearing blah blah, but I am an equal opportunity fashion disaster pointer-outer. My pet peeves are muffin tops (an affliction of skinny people, mostly) and wearing form fitting pants that sag in the seat like you took a dump in them (also usually skinny people). I know it’s wrong, and I’ve been judged harshly enough to know better, but that’s probably the main reason I do it. Targets look for other targets to foist the unwanted attention on. When you are secure in yourself, you can admit it doesn’t really mattter. Yet I know very few people who don’t judge people this way.
Literally, every time I visit Pink Susie, someone makes a comment about my weight. Even if it’s to say I lost weight, but it’s usually that I’ve gained weight. Before it was, “How will you catch a boyfriend if you keep gaining weight?” Note: I am just under five feet tall. My weight is a lot more visible because extra pounds have nowhere to go. Also, I am still hover in the mid 130s–all thighs, butt, and (unfortunately) gut. I wear it as well as I can, and dress well for my body. I’ve been down into the 110s and up to present weight in the past 2-3 yrs. (I sound like a townhome price!) It bothers me that they are so concerned with my weight, have been since I was a teen, a 98 pound, flat stomached, big butt teen. I was warned if I ate blah blah I would end up one of the “butt sisters” as often as I was praised for my writing accomplishments and academics. Being healthy is fine, but being skinny is the best, and however you get there, get there: this is the message.
I don’t discriminate against bigger people. I talk to them normally. I sit next to them. I befriend them. I don’t think it’s fair theybuy two seats or people assume they overeat. But I am terrified to be one of them. If it broke my heart for my rude uncle & aunts to say things when they are unfounded, how much more will it hurt when strangers won’t sit next to me , or tell me I ought to be ashamed of myself when it is founded?
So, fess up: are you a fatist? A skinnyist? Are you treated differently because of your size/shape, good or bad? How can we be more sensitive to others & their weight?