I’ve had quite a few thoughts running through my head lately about “weight prejudice.”
This is where overweight people are treated differently because of their weight. I’ve even heard overweight people saying that skinny people just don’t want to be around them at all.
I think a lot of this prejudice goes back to childhood. If you’ve grown up thinking that it’s acceptable to make rude comments about others you’re likely to carry this on into adulthood. This can be anything from religious bigotry to ethnic hatred, racism to sexism, and it’s no different to ‘sizism’.
“… children no more than 6 years of age describe silhouettes of an obese child as ‘lazy, dirty, stupid, ugly cheats and liars.’… black-and-white line drawings of a normal-weight child, an obese child, and children with various handicaps, including missing hands and facial disfigurement, (were shown) to a variety of audiences. Both children and adults rated the obese child as the least likeable. This prejudice extends across races, across rural and urban dwellers, and, saddest of all, even to obese persons themselves.”
Isn’t that shocking?
I think most of us have experienced some form of discrimination at one time or another. You may have found yourself on the receiving end of unkind comments about your looks, your clothes, your religion, or your job, etc.
But, I’m wondering if you’ve experienced unkind comments about your weight? Or, perhaps you’ve been the one doling out the bad comments?
The truth is, that many overweight people do feel others treat them differently because they’re “fat!” And, whether you agree that this is the case or not, it’s very real to those concerned.
Here are 5 ways to deal with weight prejudice
#1 Make good friends, forget about the bad
If certain individuals are treating you bad because of your weight, they simply aren’t worth worrying about, are they?
People like this are not your friends, nor should you want them to be, and even if you were slimmer they’d still be nasty.
My advice is to make friends with people who are worth your friendship – be assured there are people out there who will treat you well no matter what size you are.
#2 Keep negativity in check
When you feel self-conscious it can be very easy to start thinking that no-one likes you because of XYZ.
But, even if there are some people out there who don’t like you because of your weight (their loss, right??), this is certainly not the case with everyone.
Do remember though, if you’re always thinking negatively and putting yourself down inside your head, it will show on the outside, and this can certainly make it more difficult for people to get to know the real you.
So, try to be yourself around people and stop worrying about how fat your are, or feel. Check out How to Stop Negative Thinking for more tips.
#3 Step out with confidence
You are a great person and you do deserve people to treat you well. So, be confident, and try to show people you’re not afraid of what they think of you.
Remember, prejudice is driven by ignorance, you don’t need to bow to that kind of person. Be confident in your own skin.
#4 Be friendly
If you’re constantly angry or grumpy this can be more off-putting to other people than any issues they may have with your current weight.
So, examine yourself too – don’t simply assume the blame always lies with others.
Remember, if you’re angry against others on the inside this is usually evident on the outside too, and it can make it very difficult for people to warm to you.
#5 Don’t play the victim
If you don’t like the way your body is right now, don’t just assume that you can’t change things.
You absolutely can if you put your mind to it.
If you really do want to lose weight though, you need to do it for you and you only, not to gain the approval of other people.
Many people fall into the trap of thinking that being “skinny” would make them so much happier or more successful, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s more to do with your mind-set than anything else.
Choose to eat healthy, to exercise, and to take care of yourself for you and your health. Remember, no-one else is going to do that for you. It’s your call, so take action.
While being overweight may really get you down at times, do try to remain positive. Remember, you cannot fix other people or their crummy attitudes…fat people or thin ones.
So, choose to be happy and healthy for you, not others.
For those of you reading this who don’t struggle with your weight, I challenge you to check yourself next time you see someone who is overweight.
What thoughts enter your mind? Do you think of them as lazy, or without self-control?
Remember, no-one is perfect. What gives you the right to feel superior over another, just because you are perhaps thinner, or more athletic? It would be more fitting if you endeavored to reach out to others with whatever help you can give.
If you cannot help in some way, turn in the other direction, rather than criticising, or making rude comments. Give others the respect they deserve as human beings.
What are your thoughts on this subject? I’d love to hear from you.
“Prejudice cannot see the things that are because it is always looking for things that aren’t.”