Weight Loss Support - Fat on the Job - Discrimination Article




Nikaia
02-15-2007, 06:34 PM
I found this article on MSN, and thought it'd be an interesting read. Finally, concrete proof - in numbers, on little graphs so that people can see it - that there is a REAL bias against overweight people.

Article (http://msn.careerbuilder.com/custom/msn/careeradvice/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=922&SiteId=cbmsnhp4922&sc_extcmp=JS_922_home1&GT1=9048&cbRecursionCnt=1&cbsid=85d8792ed2b14706908ddc0ca673bf77-224879284-WW-2)


SwimGirl
02-15-2007, 08:09 PM
I think people react to me BETTER because I'm overweight, I'm just overweight enough that people feel "safe" around me. I don't know if it's actually because of that.. or if it's just because of me and my personality. I guess we'll see when I get this weight off...

-Aimee

FreeSpirit
02-15-2007, 08:14 PM
I know discrimination is bad, but, I can completely understand their logic.

Smaller people tend to be more outgoing, which would make it better for them to deal with clients. When a person is larger (if it's not from a disease) it can say alot about their personality.

I'm not saying it's like that for everyone, or that it's right, I'm just saing that I can understand where they're coming from.


samanthaf63
02-15-2007, 10:16 PM
I am very fortunate to work for a company that doesn't discriminate against anyone. I was sort of shocked Day 1 of orientation to see some of the folks that were in the session with me - some were scuzzy, some were fat, some were ugly, some were attractive, some were stunning. But then, my company's philosophy is "We hire all kinds of qualified individuals, regardless. We are our customers."

I've worked for other companies who were not so progressive, and it's a sad fact of life. As mentioned in another post, it's no longer possible to discriminate based on color, religion, physical condition, gender identity or sexual orientation - but it seems to be legit to discriminate based on fat. A sad comment on today's society.

MicheleKC
02-15-2007, 11:08 PM
I work with the military. Needless to say, the military is a very physical culture. A lot of them are into running, running in marathons, training for marathons, etc. They have to meet certain fitness standards, so I have noticed that they tend to hire civilians who are not obese. I'm not sure if this can be construed as discrimination, since a lot of the civilians they hire are retired military.

kaplods
02-16-2007, 12:51 AM
Having been obese virtually all of my life (except for a couple years in high school), I've only had a taste of what life would be like if I were "normal."
I did nip a lot of discrimination in the bud, though. With a bachelor's degree and master's degree in psychology and then retraining in computer programming, I've interviewed for many professional positions, and often felt that "negative" vibe when the interviewer seemed to be put off by me (and I assume my weight). I have always had an incredibly outgoing and pleasant personality, and I would bring it up in the interview. "Is my weight going to be a problem for you?"

What is funny, is how often the interviewer's mouth would drop open, and they'd start to stammer. I'd go on to explain what I thought their concerns might be, and why they shouldn't be. More often than not, putting it out there seemed to help me get the job. As with most discrimination, I think the most insidious part is that people often have no idea that they're making the decisions they do. Bringing it out in the open made them really think about it.

When I was younger, my weight didn't stop me from doing much. The "lazy" stereotype was laughable, because I always worked two jobs or worked and went to school - or both. During my last year of graduate school, I had only one class left to take. I worked a 50 -60 hour a week job, taught two community college classes, and took my last graduate class - 60 miles from where I lived and worked.

It always seemed that I was "too busy" to lose weight, because it always was so difficult if not impossible to to lose weight with the schedule I was keeping. In fact, I think I worked so hard at "proving" I wasn't lazy, that I destroyed my health, not only by being unable to lose and keep off the weight, but with the lack of sleep and stress that was part of that lifestyle.

veggielover
02-16-2007, 01:53 PM
There are some really cramped kitchens in NYC eateries that can't hire fat people because they'll block the paths of everyone else (ie, line cooks). Also, they judge the waitresses based on appearances at top notch places, which, I'll be honest, I could understand why.

junebug41
02-16-2007, 02:16 PM
I think people react to me BETTER because I'm overweight, I'm just overweight enough that people feel "safe" around me. I don't know if it's actually because of that.. or if it's just because of me and my personality. I guess we'll see when I get this weight off...

-Aimee

I have given that a lot of thought and I think generally you are right (I didn't used to think so). I never thought about it like that! Especially with women. My uncle was telling me the other day that the rest of our family was asking him if I've changed personality-wise and he said definitely not, still as outgoing as ever. I noticed a huge change in how people treated me after I lost weight. Women were meaner, men were nicer. That isn't to say that it's the case with everyone I meet, but I have had more experiences that make me take notice of the difference. And this is just first impressions, after all.

Huh. Interesting.

phantastica
02-16-2007, 02:57 PM
I've never felt I was subjected to discrimination in the workplace because of my weight. I'm quite tall and large-boned, so while my weight seems high I carry it quite well and look "thick" as opposed to soft/chubby. That might make a difference?

I think that NOT being a sex symbol has assisted my career. I've always worked in industries and departments that are more male than female, and I've never had a problem asserting myself in that environment.

I'd think the opposite is true about waitresses ... a chubby waitress would indicate that the food's so good that the waitstaff can't resist?

Mami
02-16-2007, 05:45 PM
I guess I passed the test as I hired an obese person to be our office manager. I really liked her on the phone and found her skillful and practical, and I didn't change my mind at all when I saw her. It really had no bearing at my firm, but I would easily imagine that it is a factor in some hiring decisions.

almostheaven
02-16-2007, 05:51 PM
There are some really cramped kitchens in NYC eateries that can't hire fat people because they'll block the paths of everyone else (ie, line cooks). Also, they judge the waitresses based on appearances at top notch places, which, I'll be honest, I could understand why.
We had a discussion on this at a small cafeteria at the state fair this past summer. The aisles were so narrow, my dad and daughter had trouble getting through them. They were trying to cram as many as they could into a small space. The waitresses were very slim and could slip past one another, barely, between the aisles.