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Old 08-17-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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Hey guys! So I wanted to bring up a sensitive topic because it is something that really bothers me. Don't you guys hate how making fun of and stereotyping overweight individuals is one of the last socially accepted prejudices in America?

Overweight people are portrayed in movies as being fat, lazy, smelly, lacking self control and generally unattractive. For some reason it is ok to make us the butt of distasteful jokes. I know that comedic actors believe that everyone should be able to make fun of themselves. But what about overweight parents who take their children out to the movies and have to watch their size being ridiculed on a huge screen. How can we command respect as an authority figure our children when they learn from the media that being fat is something shameful or embarrassing?

While we might be able to forgive Hollywood for being superficial, what excuse can we make for authors? Reading is supposed to be an intellectual pursuit free from superficialities and meant to teach us a moral lesson. However most of the heroines and heroes in books are thin. Heavy people fall into 3 very specific stereotypes. 1. Evil 2. a bumbling simpleton 3. a matronly motherly figure (even when is comes to Molly Weasley, her magical strength only comes out when defending one of her children). While people might love characters like Hagrid or want them as a friend, would anyone want to be them? Date them? Not likely.

The final thing that pisses me off is how overweight people are treated in the workplace. Considering the fact that most jobs today are desk jobs, why should our weight work against us? I don't need to be active to do these jobs. My brain's synapses don't fire slower because I have a bigger gut. What if I am heavy, not because I am out of control, but because food *gasp* makes me happy and I don't feel the need to limit myself? And just because I am relaxed with my diet doesn't mean I am relaxed in other areas of my life because believe it or not people are not that one dimensional. This discrimination has even deeper effects. I happen to be a Republican and I would love to see Chris Christie run for president, but he never would win because of his weight. This is how much America hates fat people. Someone who might make (in my opinion) a stellar president in these terrible economic times will not run for office because of how America would react (and has reacted) to his weight.

So there you have it, my giant rant about Fat Phobia. Sound off below, I would love to hear your comments/reaction. Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Don't you guys hate how making fun of and stereotyping overweight individuals is one of the last socially accepted prejudices in America?
Along with religion (having one or not having one), bad credit, being short, being bald, having depression or bi-polar disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, people who drink socially, people who don't drink socially, wanting to carry a handgun, being socially conservative, being socially liberal....

Honestly? The list goes on and on. Lots of prejudice is socially acceptable, this just happens to be one you're particularly aware of.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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Obviously, what I am about to say is my personal opinion, and different cases vary and the statement does not hold true for everyone. But, one of the reasons people see "fat" as being an okay reason to make fun of someone is that in a lot of cases, it is completely changeable.

You mention that its because you like food and have a relaxed diet. That is completely changeable. Being of another race, having a mental disorder, are not changeable, so that is why most people have become more sensitive to the issues and do not make fun of people for them anymore.

Of course, with that being said, there are some health issues that cause people to be over weight, but the majority of North Americans are overweight because of lifestyles. That is why people see it as free grounds to make fun of. Change your lifestyle, change how people view you is pretty much why people think it is acceptable.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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Obviously, what I am about to say is my personal opinion, and different cases vary and the statement does not hold true for everyone. But, one of the reasons people see "fat" as being an okay reason to make fun of someone is that in a lot of cases, it is completely changeable....
I think this is a rationale people use to justify being a jerk. It isn't the reason WHY people make fun of others, it's the reason they give themselves to make themselves feel better about doing so, "It's not like I'm a **** or a racist or any other kind of bad person, because the people I make fun of have a choice... I only make fun of people who are fat, smell bad, dress funny, who are less or more educated than I am, people who talk funny (hey there's diction lessons and you can learn a language if you really WANT to), belong to weird religions or believe weird things, belong to weird groups, read weird books, watch weird movies, eat weird foods, have weird hobbies or weird family menbers and friends..."

Fat isn't the last acceptable prejudice, prejudice and ridicule is still alive and well in many areas of life from fashion to politics. People make fun of what they find threatening, don't understand, or heck just to pass the time.

Prejudice and ridicule are often the hobbies of people with nothing better to do.
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:26 PM   #5
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While we might be able to forgive Hollywood for being superficial, what excuse can we make for authors? Reading is supposed to be an intellectual pursuit free from superficialities and meant to teach us a moral lesson.
I disagree with this. Many publications are written for entertainment purposes only, superficialities and all. While some authors choose to include a moral lesson in their stories, it's far from a requirement.

IMO, discrimination is alive (and accepted) in many areas of society. "Fat phobias" don't upset me more or less than other forms of prejudice.
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #6
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Fat phobic people are probably people who used to be fat and hated themselves or have some other insecurity about their own bodies. I see very little hate toward fat people coming from people who are truly happy with their weight and lifestyle.

Echoing OhThePlaces' disagreement that authors are required to be moral. I won't name drop any equine-looking right-wing pundits' names here...
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:20 PM   #7
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Along with religion (having one or not having one), bad credit, being short, being bald, having depression or bi-polar disorder, diabetes, high blood pressure, people who drink socially, people who don't drink socially, wanting to carry a handgun, being socially conservative, being socially liberal....

Honestly? The list goes on and on. Lots of prejudice is socially acceptable, this just happens to be one you're particularly aware of.
Seconded.

ETA: And I agree that most of it comes down to choice. Personally, I don't care if people are fat or not, but I have no problem judging people on other choices they make, so I can see how that is probably why it's more socially acceptable.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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Words only have as much power as you give them.

I've never been offended by the word "fat" and it takes a lot of the power back. I think, again, let me stress, words only have much power as you give them.

I view the word "fat" as an adjective, like blue eyes, brown hair, etc. I do have a fat body. There is more body fat on me than some people and less than others. If you don't like me because I carry more body fat on you, that's your loss. Your issue. Your deal. Not mine. I couldn't care less who does/doesn't like me.

While I do agree with flourless, fat discrimination is still legally acceptable in most of the US States. Michigan (and 6 other US cities) is the only state that created a law against preventing fat discrimination. Like you can flat out say, "Yeah, didn't hire them because they were fat." In fact, a hospital in Texas will no longer hire anyone with a BMI of higher than 35, but there's no penalty for being "underweight" which is also extremely unhealthy. The only penalty is for those on the other end of the spectrum. But, let's be honest, I wouldn't want to work for those idiots to begin with.

Here's a map of the only places that have made weight discrimination illegal.


Ahhhh...don't get me started. I've written papers on this topic. It's infuriating for me because I've always eaten relatively healthy, I've always been relatively active. (I played competitive soccer for 12 years.) I passed all the fitness tests; I just don't look like I should though. I live a healthier lifestyle than more thin people. It wasn't until ONE month ago that I started thyroid medicine and finally have some sense of relief where my body is catching up with my brain.

So, I do what I can for me. I use the word "fat" as an adjective. It throws a lot people off, especially other fat people. I don't like "overweight" because over whose weight are we discussing? I don't like all of those other sugar coated words: voluptuous, thick, BBW, etc. I like FAT. I am FAT. I have brown eyes, brown hair and I'm fat. And you know what? No one makes fun of me, and I think it's because I've always embraced that. I never got bullied. I never got teased. (but that might be because of my smart mouth. haha!) I never had a hard time getting a "man." I'm married now. I'm confident.

My dad told me once, "If it wasn't your weight, it'd be your eyes, if it wasn't your eyes it'd be your hair. It's always something with idiots." And you know what? He couldn't be more right.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
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We will always find something to judge, and even if it wasn't "acceptable", we would still do it.
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