It is hard enough dealing with problems of image when you are a woman. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized the falsehood of these things and have moved on from Squirrel Poop comparing myself to actors and models.
As a plus-sized woman, however, I am frequently annoyed with stereotypes and assumptions about us. It is time us big women spoke up and have been heard.
I recently was very disappointed when a well-known authors’ convention had the whistle blown on them (justifiably so) for deciding not to bring a staff member back for this year’s event because of her size. Weight or size discrimination happens every day and it has happened to me.
There are lots of distinct reasons someone could be overweight-which is the reason why the stereotypes are so aggravating. Overweight women (and men) are no exception.
Below are the top 10 most offensive stereotypes I’ve experienced and I think it’s time to call them out.
We are always eating.
Consider the TV sitcom in which the token fat person is constantly shoving their face and does not have any self-control. This is partially a lazy method of writing for a cheap laugh. However, it’s a common stereotype and it’s annoying. And is it really all that funny?
We are all lazy.
I am busy from the minute my feet hit the ground in the morning before my head hits the pillow at night. I know of many other overweight people who are the identical way. Just because we’re not hanging out in the gym like it is a hobby does not mean we’re sitting on our butts eating candy all day.
We’re all sick as a result of our weight.
I realize that being overweight can increase the risk of a multitude of ailments and issues (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.). However, it’s not a GUARANTEE and you can not assume that an overweight person is suffering from these challenges.
I recall when I became pregnant with my son. I was 37 years old and overweight. Don’t think I didn’t notice the up-and-down eyeball assessments I was getting. I wanted to tell them “Yes! I am aware I’m fat and you believe I’m as old as Methuselah to be giving birth, but I am not dumb and I will take good care of myself and my child!”
See your doctor for it. I ate healthy and had good prenatal care. But I could have done without all the judgment.
We are jealous of thin men and women.
Not long ago, someone at work (who happens to be thin) made a huge point in talking to me to go on and on about how fat she thinks she’s getting. It’s very apparent that I am considerably heavier than her and she was talking ONLY to me at that time. This is not the first time I’ve had this type of thing said to me.
When someone who is obviously quite thin says this to someone who is obviously thicker, the first thing that comes to mind is they want you to say”Oh, I wish I was as thin as you! You aren’t fat in any way!” It is a clear fish for a compliment.
Here is the thing, I do not care about who’s thinner than me. I’m not comparing myself to them! And if they need a fat man to envy them to feel good about themselves, then I feel sorry for them.
I’m now almost at my highest weight (and I’m aging), I feel better about myself than I ever have.
I realize that what people find attractive can vary dramatically. The only person I really care about being attracted to me is my husband, and he is not complaining.
I once had a wellness coordinator where I work condescendingly tell me”you are worth it” as if she assumed that simply because I was fat, I didn’t believe I deserved to pursue whatever I felt was great for me.
We don’t know we’re fat.
I’ve had more than 1 person over my life feel the need to point out to me that I am fat. We do not need for people to make us aware of being overweight. We’re perfectly capable of understanding that on our own, and believe me we understand it.
We do not understand how to eliminate weight ourselves.
We don’t need to be enlightened with unsolicited advice as if we are not aware that you need to burn more calories than you consume to be able to lose weight. We are not all totally helpless in this capacity and for many of us, if need to drop weight bad enough, we’ll do it!
Sure, there are educated professionals who are extremely skillful and experienced in helping people reach their goals. Nutritionists, personal trainers, coaches, etc., I’m not at all saying they are not important or valuable. What I mean iswe don’t need the”stink eye” when we have been indulge in seconds or possess a dessert.
Doesn’t that look nice, colorful, and delicious with all of those vegetables?” She said this to me like I was a child, like she was introducing the idea of eating vegetables to me. I’m sure of her patronizing schedule because of other things she had said to me in the past.
We are all jolly slobs.
Do they so often need to be represented as simple-minded, adorable goofballs? We are not all stupid and uneducated, yet loveable idiots. Consider the chunky kid from the child’s adventure movie who always has to be rescued or the portly cartoon mouse that is always lagging behind… you understand.
Some of us are now very educated, successful professionals. We’re goal-oriented and also have a lot to give an organization with our well-developed careers.
There is a link to hygiene and obesity.
We also are no less inclined to look or dress professionally to present ourselves well. I once had a family member tell me about somebody they believed seemed unhygienic (and happened to be obese ) by saying”Well, I know fat smells…” My eyes about rolled out of my mind.
We all know this is a common stereotype or we wouldn’t observe the slob character in a TV series or movie portrayed as fat. You have seen it-stains in their shirt, wrinkled clothes, general unkempt appearance.
That it is anybody else’s business or that discrimination should be tolerated.
What I need to convey to these creators of the stereotypes is this-if it doesn’t affect you, then do not judge. It’s not really anyone else’s business what someone weighs or what size they wear. It’s not OK to transfer your own low self-esteem toward a fat man so as to make yourself feel better.
Stereotypes and assumptions are harmful. This is the area where discrimination is born. This is the way we’re passed over for promotions and chance. It is not OK to discriminate against someone for any reason, and size isn’t an exception.
It is out there, the challenge is real. It’s time we talked out.