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Are fat chicks "stupider" or "smarter"?

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:34 PM   #16
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I will say this. Sure, there's a subset of overweight/obese individuals who are lazier/less ambitious at that higher weight, possibly due to depression. FWIW, I consider myself one in this category. At my highest weight I wasn't as productive at work. Then again, I was also a new mom to a very demanding baby/toddler AND we weren't nearly as financially stable as we are now (not saying we're rich now or anything but we were pretty bad off then) to the point that we couldn't afford enough childcare. So... way too many factors going on there.

On the other hand, DH is overweight because he likes to eat but is probably one of the most ambitious/driven people I've ever met, no matter WHAT we weighs. Actually, the year that he was the most sucessful in work he weighed the most (and really neglected his health because of the amount he was working). This past year he's been working on his health and that has affected the amount he could work (not hugely but it's still made a difference).

It's akin to the idea that poor people are lazy. Sure, you can find some who are. But you can also find poor who became poor due to health issues, disability, lack of educational opportunities, unforeseen incidents etc. Obesity is an incredible complex issue so I'm not sure if you'd be able to find a smoking gun for the causation. I do think there is a certain subset of obese individuals that do emotional eating and that could be tied to depression. What percentage of the individuals do with that I have no clue, but I imagine treating depression/helping with organization skills, etc could certainly help those individuals and might be worthless for others.

Oh, and for the record? I do know some very well-respected individuals in my field who are overweight. 100% of them are male, though... All the females who are famous? Yeah, they're at a healthy weight. Actually, there are very, very few females who are even remotely overweight in my field. That being said there are a number of smokers/drinkers so it's not like everyone is 100% health conscious either.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:30 PM   #17
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When I'm heavier I feel the need to make up for it by making good grades. When I was thinner I was too bothered with my looks to even study. However, I don't think it really matters if you are fat or skinny. I think skinny people can be smart and fat people can be smart too.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #18
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I think that this is something heavier women face all the time- people look at us and think we're lazy and discriminate accordingly. I'm not lazy. I'm absolutely punctual, don't miss work for sick days, take copious notes, work out regularly, and while I'm not a genius I'm quite intelligent and read daily. I take an interest in many things, and make a point to learn new things daily.

I don't believe that weight and intelligence are related. I do believe, however, that there are people out there that have made that erroneous connection and perpetuate it, creating a continuing culture of discrimination against overweight women in particular (I don't see this type of commentary pointed towards overweight men, interestingly). I am surprised to see that someone among us here would do that, however.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:35 PM   #19
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I don't believe that weight and intelligence are related. I do believe, however, that there are people out there that have made that erroneous connection and perpetuate it, creating a continuing culture of discrimination against overweight women in particular (I don't see this type of commentary pointed towards overweight men, interestingly).
Exactly. Why is it only us "chicks" who have to be judged on our appearances? For women, the judgement goes both ways- if you're heavy people assume you're lazy and stupid. If you're a bombshell, people assume you're stupid and not worth much beyond your looks. So am I to understand that there's some measure of thinness, (but not too thin) and attractiveness, (but not too attractive), that I have to obtain to be thought of as "smart"? I wear glasses, so I've got that part covered

Then there's the idea that "fat chicks" are this group of people who are all pretty much alike because we happen to be female and overweight. (I'm not overweight anymore, but I still say "we" because I am still that same person even though I've lost weight. Hmmm.... The whole concept of the question is off-putting to say the least.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:05 PM   #20
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I've been on the receiving end of this prejudice, and I absolutely hated it. There was, however, a grain of truth in my case. Bear with me as I explain.

I am intelligent. SATs? ACTs? College? AP courses? Cake. I didn't even have to really try most of the time. I write well; I've been acknowledged for it. At work, I picked up on new concepts easily, had damn near perfect recall, and could master any computer system you threw at me.

Thing is, I also have some psychological issues. I've gone through periods of near-pathological shyness. I'm cyclothymic. I get very nervous taking credit for things or asking for things. And, on my worst days, any task that has more than three steps reduces me to a quivering mass of fright. The front I put up here? It's a front, and one that at times has suffered major breeches and even abject rupture. My life and my body together comprise the seismic zone of my issues.

These psychological issues, compounded by a now-failed marriage that could be most generously described as "interesting", were a large contributing factor to my weight gain. They were also a large contributing factor towards my current lack of life awesomeness. So, while being fat didn't make me not smart--I've always been smart--the massiveness of my weight was a symptom of some deeper psychological problems that also affected how successful I was.

So, yes, it was maddening that people would judge my intelligence by my size, since my intellect was unaffected. But if they used it to simply infer that, hey, something might not be right upstairs, then they would've been woefully accurate.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:16 PM   #21
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Exactly. Why is it only us "chicks" who have to be judged on our appearances?
It isn't. Men are judged on their appearance too, and just as harshly. Men who are "flawed" - too short, too thin, too fat, bald, wearing thick glasses.....

they all earn less money get fewer promotions, are the first to be fired, and attract fewer women than good-looking guys.


There was a study done of overweight dating, that found that very overweight men fare much worse on the dating scene than similarly overweight women. One of the theories is that because it's still traditional for the men to do the asking, that these guys are too shy to ask girls out - but the study found that the guys are also more likely to be rejected.

Statistically, there are more men attracted to fat women, than women attracted to fat men.


We make a lot of false assumptions about who is and who is not descriminated against.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #22
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But the question asked specifically about "chicks"- that was what I was referring to.

I disagree that it's just as bad for men anyway though, maybe it's equalizing as time goes by- but when is the last time you saw an unattractive female news anchor, for example? Yet I can name several older, balder, fatter male anchors without putting much thought into it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:30 PM   #23
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It isn't. Men are judged on their appearance too, and just as harshly. Men who are "flawed" - too short, too thin, too fat, bald, wearing thick glasses.....
I have to disagree, and point simply to Hollywood to show the difference. When an actress loses her looks or gains weight, she often has trouble finding work. When an actor gains weight (think Alec Baldwin, for example) he's still on top. Jason Alexander is short AND bald, still gets good gigs.

There is a double standard, and women are held to much higher standards than men, IMO.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
I don't believe that weight and intelligence are related. I do believe, however, that there are people out there that have made that erroneous connection and perpetuate it, creating a continuing culture of discrimination against overweight women in particular (I don't see this type of commentary pointed towards overweight men, interestingly). I am surprised to see that someone among us here would do that, however.
I didn't! I really did mean it as a 100% curious question, especially because as I said, there are many different types of 'intelligence'. I mentioned that I see both sides of the story, but I wanted to hear the opinions of 3FC ladies to get a full picture. If you're offended or anyone else is, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. It's posed in a very insensitive manner, I realize. But no one asked and it's been on my mind.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
I don't believe that weight and intelligence are related. I do believe, however, that there are people out there that have made that erroneous connection and perpetuate it, creating a continuing culture of discrimination against overweight women in particular (I don't see this type of commentary pointed towards overweight men, interestingly). I am surprised to see that someone among us here would do that, however.
I'm also fully aware of the correlation between poverty and obesity, the feast and famine cycle of food stamps, etc. I really wasn't just asking straight up about the correlation of a person's IQ and what they see on the scale. No no no no
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:37 PM   #26
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I didn't! I really did mean it as a 100% curious question, especially because as I said, there are many different types of 'intelligence'. I mentioned that I see both sides of the story, but I wanted to hear the opinions of 3FC ladies to get a full picture. If you're offended or anyone else is, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. It's posed in a very insensitive manner, I realize. But no one asked and it's been on my mind.
No apology necessary. I get frustrated with the bias, but I'm not upset that you brought it up.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:53 PM   #27
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wtfudge: It was an interesting question, don't feel bad about asking and don't feel bad about not predicting a correlation that someone else saw - that doesn't make you un-politically correct or un-sightful. I am quite glad you are among us!!

Many scientists pursue ideas that are completely unaccepted by society (i.e. Galileo!). I'm not saying the idea is correct or incorrect, but there is nothing wrong with contemplating it.

We mussn't leap to concluding "biases" and "discrimination", we can start with the simple thoughts and work our way up to more complex, correct views.

I know you had the intuition when writing the post that your correlation between being overweight and less-smart was incorrect, you even stated that. But, you also simply wanted to explore the topic, inspired from personal experience. As you found in many personal experiences cited, being overweight often contributes to feeling depressed, thus having a lack of interest in pursuing activities.

Actually, for me at least, I have never heard of the stereotype that overweight women are less-intelligent/studious (no one ever perpetuated it to me, that is). In fact, in my experience, quite the opposite.

I've mainly only associated overweight women as being more intelligent - particularly more intelligent than the prettier, thinner women. They seem to not be as outwardly wrapped up in boys and partying, for example, thus having more time and inclination to study. So, if anything, the stereotype would be that the "pretty, thin" people are less-smart, definitely less studious, than those who are overweight.

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Old 12-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #28
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I became fat after my parents separated I think from poor nutrition not because I was lazy or anything. I never took the time to understand my health because it was never a priority compared to the situations in my life. I hadn't even considered the possibilities of healthy eating until I went on my first weight loss plan with my parents not fully understanding. I've always attained A and Bs throughout high school and college. In college I started learning about health slowly. Now that I'm in a career I made the time to have my health a priority. But I also think rating someone's intelligence level based off of weight is fallacious. I think it would be better to measure intellegence versus the capacity to understand and translate data. There are multiple intelligences so measuring a specific type of intelligence would also have to be noted. The scale is relative on the whole matter.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:58 PM   #29
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Honestly, I don't think weight has an affect on intelligence nor where someone goes in life as much as is assumed. I use to have overweight friends, and some were not very bright while some were incredibly intelligent. People saying being overweight can hold you back at your job, but I think that is false to. For every person who won't hire you for being fat, there is someone who will hire because they don't see you as a threat.

In my case, I graduated at the top of my class and rarely studied. It was easy for me to remember and learn what the teacher taught us, so it wasn't necessary for me to study, though I did study when I needed to. I have always been into reading and writing, etc... I've been fat since I was 5. My laziness has always varied. I was a cheerleader (while being fat), and our gym class required us to run 20 minutes without wallking. If you stopped running, you would get a C for the day. My gym teachers complimented me for never walking, because many of my thin classmates did stop and walk, so they were very surprised. Then after gym I'd go to cheerleading for 2 hours which was more running and physical activity. As a kid, I rarely spent any time indoors. I was always running around, riding my bike, etc... but was still fat. However, I've been incredibly lazy the past 5 years and only weigh 50lbs more than I did when I wasn't lazy.

I can see where it's easier to assume that fat people are fat from being lazy, but I just don't think that holds true, especially seeing as exercise and activity is only 30% of weight loss. I know many thin people who never exercise. It's just too broad of a thing to generalize because there are too many factors to obesity in the first place. I have also never heard the stereotype of fat people being stupid, nor smart. This is the first time I've heard of intelligence being correlated to obesity. Though, I do sometimes wonder what my intelligence would be like if I had been thin, since I've always been fat. I might have been the type who would rather be out socializing and dating rather than reading and writing. But I still think it varies too much to generalize.

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Old 01-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #30
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Actually, I'd love to see IQ and weight plotted on a graph and see what I can see. It would be impossible to get enough unbiased data to generate anything reliable though.

My own opinion is that perhaps overweight people may be a bit more emotionally intelligent than the general population, probably due to years of self analysis. Maybe not, who knows?

I've been both thin and fat and have a BS and an MA for which I never really studied for. I'm lazy all the way through

I think however you're going to be is developed at a early time in life and can change over time.

What does not change, and probably won't in the near future, is the perception of society. You can choose to concern yourself with it or not.

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