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Using weight as an excuse for not being liked? Is it weight or something more?

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Old 07-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Using weight as an excuse for not being liked? Is it weight or something more?

I've been thinking lately about weight and if it really makes a difference in day to day life and how we are viewed and treated. I am at my highest weight again, and I was taught growing up that fat people, especially women, are judged and that it can and does effect their social status. However I am realizing not everyone thinks that. I can say in my own experience, that I did notice a difference in attention for men, such as holding doors, when I was thinner, but that's it.

There is definitely something to be said regarding people's perception of "fat" people. And unfortunately different people are going to have different opinions, so it makes it hard to tell if people's negativity is related to a weight prejudice or not.

But I wonder if "being fat" also gives the perfect excuse not to look at other things about ourselves that may not be appealing to others. Instead of thinking maybe people don't like the way we talk, dress, our work ethic, or opinions...is it easier to say they don't like us because we are "fat".
On the other side of the coin, there are going to be peope out there that judge the overweight, and let this influence their overall opinion about someone.

When I was in high school (many moons ago!) there was this girl that was on color guard (I was on poms) and she was probably over 300 lbs. She had friends, but my goodness she (and her friends) were nasty people. She was just a down right B. She never thought twice about making a rude comment, voicing her insensitive opinion without being asked and just treating others like crap. Her friends were of varying weight, including normal weight, but they were mean too. I typically had nothing to do with her, not because she was fat, because she was an ahole.

Strangely enough about a decade after high school, I met her again through a job. She was a little less obnoxious, but still a rude person. She was definitely more tolerable though, and as I became facebook friends with other coworkers (and I eventually left this job, but stayed FB friends with them) she requested me and I ok'ed her.

But over the few years I was friends with her on facebook ( I finally defriended her) she would post such rude stuff. She would vague post stuff like "I hate when people post pics of their kids" so needless to say, she began being defriended by our old coworkers (by this point she had left the other job as well). I finally defriended her when she posted "If one more person posts they are pregnant, I'm going to puke". This post happened to be when I found out I was pregnant again (but didn't post it yet) after having had 2 miscarriages.

There were times she would also post about her weight (still like over 300 lbs) from time to time and she would post about how she was "discriminated" against, or people wouldn't be her friend because of her weight. Everyone said it behind her back, but no one bothered to say it to her face...but it had nothing to DO with her weight...she was just a nasty person that no one wanted to be around. Being thin would not have mattered. But she literally blamed her weight, and therefore never bothered to improve the way she treated people. To top it off, blaming her weight also meant that the "fault" was on everyone else for being weight bigots, instead of her for being a rude and nasty person to everyone!!


I have to say my DH is a perfect example of the complete opposite. He is well over 300 lbs, and he is loved at work. He doesn't ever SAY that because he is humble, but I've seen it when I go in there, at the company Xmas party, his coworkers tell me and even feed back from patients! (I worked with a girl that was his patient, she actually said "I love your husband!" and prompty turned red! lol She said he is an amazing healthcare provider)

His coworkers stop me to tell me what an amazing person he is, including female coworkers. I have no doubt that despite his size he has ladies at work that would take him in a minute!! There have been a few "things" that have been said either over facebook, or in real life, I don't want to go into detail, but I know he has a few admirers.
I've had my family go to his hospital as patients and they tell me DH is "so obviously adored and liked at work. Everyone talks so highly about him". Seriously my DH is living proof that weight is nothing when you are an amazing person with a kind, pleasant, infectious personality!!!


What are your thoughts on this? Where do you draw the line from your weight really having an effect on how people treat you, and at what point do you realize that maybe it has nothing to do with your weight if you are "not liked"? Have you ever known anyone like this, that uses their weight as an excuse for not being liked, but it was obvious that it was more to it than their weight?
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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I have three examples where my weight really did affect how people viewed me.

1) I had a group job interview at Bath & Body Works. One of the applicants was a good friend of mine, but we decided not to announce our friendship and jeopardize our chances of getting a job. There were 6 openings, and 5 of us were called back for the interview out of 10 applicants (as stated by manager). A week later, my friend got a call-back. I didn't. The manager, still not knowing we were friends, told her that she wishes she could have hired me, but she was positive that I'd be unable to perform job tasks and I just didn't "fit" the rest of the coworkers... and... she had a "hard time" getting along with "the larger people" because apparently, we're cranky when we're hungry.

2) I was walking with my 7-year-old daughter from the car to Walgreens, and there were 3 teenage boys hanging out near the entrance. One of them looks at my daughter and says "You better run away before your fatty mother eats you!" My daughter cried and cried because she couldn't understand why the boys were so mean.

3) I joined my mother (also morbidly obese), my little brother (10 yrs old) and my daughter for dinner at Ponderosa Steak House a couple of years ago. As we were looking for a table to sit at, a man from a group of people stood up and said "I suggest you all get your buffet food now because it doesn't look as if there will be any left once they get up there" and he pointed at us.

Believe me, I don't condone your "friend's" attitude at all. She really did sound like a major B. BUT, people really do have a preconceived notion of the personality of fat people. We're the butt of all the jokes, we're assumed to eat anything that can fit in our mouths, and we're assumed to be lazy, disgusting, and gluttonous. We're made fun of because we can't wear the latest fashions because we're not a size 0, and we're made fun of when we do try to look nice because we supposedly look like beached whales. We're damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

Those three incidences have made me incredibly self conscious. I honestly plan outings around me... like, if we go to a show or sporting event, I make sure to get standing tickets. I only visit movie theaters where I know I fit in the seats. I refuse to try any amusement park rides because I've been kicked off before, in front of everyone over a loudspeaker, that I was too large to ride. I joke about myself to others, just so they won't have a chance to poke fun at me. It's a very horrid world we live in, where people are judged by how small their waist size is instead of how their character is.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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I think it depends on the people around you. Some people will like me no matter which weight I'm at and some will judge me much harsher when I'm fatter. It's hard to say if it's because I act different but really I think it's just my appearance. For some reason, when I'm thin, suddenly these people find me more fascinating and they want to invite me to more occasions because I look good and that elevates their status (or so it seems). It's really sad.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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My old boss turned around and said to our office that he finds reasons not to hire overweight people.

My dad continuously told me that people judge overweight people more as they will assume that if you don't take pride in your body then you wont take pride in your work.

I'm lucky that I haven't experienced too much discrimination due to my weight, I used to worry that my relationships failed due to my weight but I've had ex's tell me directly that it wasn't even a factor, that they didn't realise how much of an internal issue I make my weight.

I think people will always judge, and if its not weight then they will find something else. It's our ability to not let it affect us that shows our true character.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaApril View Post
I have three examples where my weight really did affect how people viewed me.

1) I had a group job interview at Bath & Body Works. One of the applicants was a good friend of mine, but we decided not to announce our friendship and jeopardize our chances of getting a job. There were 6 openings, and 5 of us were called back for the interview out of 10 applicants (as stated by manager). A week later, my friend got a call-back. I didn't. The manager, still not knowing we were friends, told her that she wishes she could have hired me, but she was positive that I'd be unable to perform job tasks and I just didn't "fit" the rest of the coworkers... and... she had a "hard time" getting along with "the larger people" because apparently, we're cranky when we're hungry.

2) I was walking with my 7-year-old daughter from the car to Walgreens, and there were 3 teenage boys hanging out near the entrance. One of them looks at my daughter and says "You better run away before your fatty mother eats you!" My daughter cried and cried because she couldn't understand why the boys were so mean.

3) I joined my mother (also morbidly obese), my little brother (10 yrs old) and my daughter for dinner at Ponderosa Steak House a couple of years ago. As we were looking for a table to sit at, a man from a group of people stood up and said "I suggest you all get your buffet food now because it doesn't look as if there will be any left once they get up there" and he pointed at us.

Believe me, I don't condone your "friend's" attitude at all. She really did sound like a major B. BUT, people really do have a preconceived notion of the personality of fat people. We're the butt of all the jokes, we're assumed to eat anything that can fit in our mouths, and we're assumed to be lazy, disgusting, and gluttonous. We're made fun of because we can't wear the latest fashions because we're not a size 0, and we're made fun of when we do try to look nice because we supposedly look like beached whales. We're damned if we do, and damned if we don't.

Those three incidences have made me incredibly self conscious. I honestly plan outings around me... like, if we go to a show or sporting event, I make sure to get standing tickets. I only visit movie theaters where I know I fit in the seats. I refuse to try any amusement park rides because I've been kicked off before, in front of everyone over a loudspeaker, that I was too large to ride. I joke about myself to others, just so they won't have a chance to poke fun at me. It's a very horrid world we live in, where people are judged by how small their waist size is instead of how their character is.
These are very interesting and I imagine painful examples. I only say interesting because in all three cases, the people that were obviously treating you poorly based on your weight didn't "know" you. Especially the last two, they literally knew nothing about you other than your weight and over all appearance as they had never even had a conversation with you.

I do agree that these types of incidents occure and that there is no shortage of people that are rude and heartless enough to make comments at someone else's expense. And the first was obviously what I refered to in my OP, a weight bigot, someone that does discriminate and judge people based on weight.

After typing this post, I found another one about something similar, regarding the OP being ignored by coworkers because of her weight. I think in those cases, or in situations where its a family member, a classmate (as I gave the example of a girl from high school) or people that have "gotten to know you" that there is more to it than weight.

I believe in a case where people get to know someone, that weight become irrelivant for the most part. (minus the occasional person who truly is prejudice against overweight people, but I doubt that is as common as it seems) I think the situations you cited are different and show true heartless and cruel prejudice. And while I am not down playing them in anyway, think of all the people you walk past and interact with everyday (like people in line at a store) that never say anything like that.
I think in the case of the classmate I talked about, there was no prejudice, it was just that she was not a good person to be friends with. However, I am willing to bet that there *were* kids especially in school that made fun of her weight. Kids can be cruel and I can't imagine that no one ever made fun of her based on her weight. I'm also willing to bet that even if she had been a really awesome person, that there still would have been jerks that put her down based on weight.


Is it fair to say that this might also depend on how much overweight someone is? Is the woman that is 30-40 pounds over weight reaching when she says its her weight, as opposed to the woman that is say 200 lbs over weight? Can all people over their healthy weight blane their extra pounds for not being well liked?

I'm really sorry those thing were said to you. I know you probably know this, but it really shows the evil and hate in the heart of someone that can so carelessly hurt another human being like that.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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I'm glad you unfriended that person. Don't need that sort of negative energy in your life. That sort of behavior doesn't need to be rewarded! What I hate most about Facebook is that it seems to have removed the blessing of letting old friendships and relationships die a natural death.

For me, I'd have to say that how I am perceived and judged by others because I'm fat lasts for about as long as they don't know me. The moment someone gets to know me, we are well past it. I am a very fun, likeable person.

How long people stay hung up on my being fat is about as long as I keep bringing it up if I refer to myself in a self-deprecating way. Which is why I finally stopped doing that!
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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[quote=luckymommy;4797025]I think it depends on the people around you. QUOTE]

I think this is correct. I think some people will always be prejudice. There will always be people that dislike people of a certain size, color, religion, gender etc.

However I do believe the majority of people in the world will not avoid someone based on being over weight alone.

I think if there is one a hole miss treating someone, its fair to say its him. However if someone has themselves convinced that everywhere they go (work, school, bridge club, knitting group, the mall, family gatherings...) that everyone treats them poorly because they are "fat" then I think thats a copout.

I did not find when I was thin that I was invited places or liked anymore than when fat. (Accept I think there is a little sexual type attention from random men, I exampled door holding).

However I *did* notice when I was thin, I was treated poorly by "fat" women. It was weird, because in my head I was still the fat girl, since I have always been. So when I was finally that thin, toned running girl, I still gravitated towards heavy women as I've done my whole life, but I was rejected. It took my hubby pointing it out to me for me to realize what was going on as I couldnt figure out why both friends and aquaintences that were over weight woman were avoiding me and being rude and ignoring me. It really hurt as I was still the same person on the inside. One "friend" was honest enough to say that hanging out with me in public made her self conscious so she didn't want to anymore. This wasn't all my over weight friends, some wouldnt have cared what I looked like, but my new fit body quickly weeded out any one with a lower self esteem as they no longer wanted to be around me because it made them "feel bad".

But I wonder if I *was* acting differently after losing weight???
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kayles View Post

My dad continuously told me that people judge overweight people more as they will assume that if you don't take pride in your body then you wont take pride in your work.

I'm lucky that I haven't experienced too much discrimination due to my weight, I used to worry that my relationships failed due to my weight but I've had ex's tell me directly that it wasn't even a factor, that they didn't realise how much of an internal issue I make my weight.

I think people will always judge, and if its not weight then they will find something else. It's our ability to not let it affect us that shows our true character.
Me too, I was taught that weight was the be all end all for how you will be viewed. So its been a long journey seeing that people are liked and loved no matter what they weigh. I avoided any relationships un my DH, because I believe that over weight women were not good enough to date. I took any advancement (dating wise) were a joke. I still ahve these beliefs about weight when it comes to sexual attraction and attention. I do still believe that no man wants to date a fat girl or be seen talking to a fat lady in public or by his friends. I have posted about this. I can logically say its wrong, but its a personal truth that runs so deep and far back I cannot undo it. I feel embarassed for my husband that he hasa fat wife, even though I'm pregnant right now. My DH has never said anything ever to suggest this, but he doesnt have to. I have been conditioned to believe that all men think this ony some are too nice to tell their parteners. (DH has told me I am beautiful at ever weight, I know he is telling the truth, but I dont believe him...)

However ever I feel that when it comes to friends, school mates, coworkers and the general public that most wouldnt turn down a *friend* based on weight, girlfriend, yes, but just a friend? no.
Your boss is an example of how there will always be those out there that DO discriminate against weight. Those are the people that teach people like you and me that overweight people are judged harshly. Those that discriminate against weight probably assume everyone else shares their dislike for fat people.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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I am the manager of a fitness studio, since December. When I first started attending classes as a client, I was a bit hesitant about letting the real me out all the way. I'm a bit of an extrovert, but my mother and the X did a number on my head, always shushing me about being "too loud" or "not lady-like" or whatever other crap judgment they needed to impose on me to control me. It took three years for me to feel comfortable and completely myself around people who are fit and athletic. But once I started feeling like I really was entitled to fit in with "those people" because I had achieved a level of physical fitness, I felt like I became one of "those people". But it turns out they all thought I was one of them all along! It was me who was holding myself back. When I stopped holding myself back and started owning my place in the group, that's when I was hired to be the manager!

I actually had to walk away from several relationships because they were holding me back from being happy and feeling fulfilled. They weren't predominantly fat or thin, but they all seemed to need me to remain fat for a variety of reasons. Some dumped me because I was losing weight. Some I drifted away from because they were so toxic. Some were so shallow and I really had nothing in common with them. They just wanted to use me for stuff.

The ones that love me for who I am, and I love them for who they are, they're still in my life.

My 21-year-old son won't move out. That's the only relationship I can't seem to be free of! I need to step up my "bi-atch mother" game! Boy needs to grow up and get a grown-up life! I don't feel like he needs to be "parented" any more, but apparently he feels that I must remain his "patron". *sigh*
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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I do agree that a lot of times weight can be used as an excuse. One of my best friends is friends with a girl who, throughout high school, was very obese. She was probably the rudest person I dealt with in high school, for seemingly no reason. She had plenty of friends and we didn't cross circles that much, but the interactions I had with her made me really dislike her. She just seemed to have such an abrasive personality.

I know, fat or skinny, there are going to be awesome people and rude people. However, I often wonder if maybe some of the "rude" people (like you mentioned in your op) have adopted a sort of "get them before they get me" attitude. It's very possible that they were made fun of so much growing up that they have just hardened themselves to the world. At this point, yes, their attitude is what keeps people away. But maybe they got so used to being initially judged for their weight that they decided it was easier to be rude first.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's an excuse to be rude or hateful or w/e. But maybe the girls we both talked about here developed the rudeness they display to others as a defense mechanism. We'll never really know I guess.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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I think how you grow up can make a difference, as people that were overweight as children learn different ways of reacting and adapting to the teasing. Some may get a bitter chip on their shoulder and become aggressive. Some may want to shrink from the rest of the world. I was of the latter.

Although I started to get chunky in grade school, I turned fat practically overnight in 6th grade when I became asthmatic and was pumped up with prednisone and doctor's excuses to stay out of gym class. My self-esteem was completely shattered that year and I literally had zero friends until high school; even my best friend from before kindergarten preferred walking around alone at the playground than being seen with me. Teachers were extra hard on me and my asthma attacks were often brought on by anxieties from the endless teasing at school. And perhaps eating became my main comfort, making everything a vicious cycle. I wanted everyone to like me, and became a pushover because of it. I got so lonely and just wanted someone, anyone to be my friend. I don't think that has ever left me entirely: feeling judged for my weight, not fitting in, feeling like a loner, and perhaps even playing the victim.

One of my classmates was fat before kindergarten, and she handled it a completely different way than I did. She was loud, angry, aggressive, and quick to announce that she wasn't liked because she was fat. And oddly enough, she was always more popular than me in her own way. Or at least, people knew who she was all throughout school, and the same can't be said for me. We were actually lab partners in our cooking class and she was quick to criticize every move I made and often rolled her eyes when I mentioned my favorite hobbies. I recall her being exceptionally bitter about not being conventionally attractive, often harping about the "naturally skinny" girls being "brain dead" and outright mean to people like she and I who had "healthy meat on their bones." No clue what her weight was, but she was clearly as obese as I was (I was 250 pounds as a freshman) and I'm not sure why we went in such completely different directions.
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Old 07-20-2013, 06:23 PM   #12
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Hmmm, I do think it's a real complex situation.

I have seen situations where a overweight people can overcome the negative stereotype. In high school there was a girl on the cheerleading team who was fat, much larger than me and she was never made fun of. And she wasn't wealthy or anything so she didn't buy off the popular people.

She just was cheerful, got good grades, was involved in drama club, etc. She just lived her life and I think people respect that.

But I think the problem is that it's a vicious circle for fat people. They try to not let their weight stop them from living but people's cruelty makes them go inward and push people away however that just makes people pity you which makes the whole thing worse.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
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However, I often wonder if maybe some of the "rude" people (like you mentioned in your op) have adopted a sort of "get them before they get me" attitude. It's very possible that they were made fun of so much growing up that they have just hardened themselves to the world. At this point, yes, their attitude is what keeps people away. But maybe they got so used to being initially judged for their weight that they decided it was easier to be rude first.

.
This is a really good point. I did not know this girl before high school, so I don't know when she became over weight or if she used to be a kinder person. I can definitely imgaine that there are people out there that have been effected by the relentless abuse in school.(and in my opinion, some of the stuff that goes on in school should be considered abuse with long term consequenses) Also I dont know what her home life was like, but I do know from having met her parents that they were both morbidly obese. Actually, sadly enough (dispite the fact that I didn't care for her attitude) when I remet her later in life, I found out her father die when she was in her early 20s and her mother died during the time that I knew her through work. Both parents died from complications related to severe morbid obesity. Also this girl is an only child, so I do feel for her that she must feel very alone.

Anyway one the point of get them before they get me, I can definitely see that being a possibilty. Its hard to tell if that person was going to have a rotten personality anyway, or if their weight effected it (through interaction with others). But I "think* that if someone did start to act that way (getting others before they get them) that there would be some insight into it, maybe. I think those people would be different from the ones that are like "no one likes me and its only because I'm fat"...and don't give any thought to maybe it being related to their personality.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Elladorine View Post
I think how you grow up can make a difference, as people that were overweight as children learn different ways of reacting and adapting to the teasing. Some may get a bitter chip on their shoulder and become aggressive. Some may want to shrink from the rest of the world. I was of the latter.

Although I started to get chunky in grade school, I turned fat practically overnight in 6th grade when I became asthmatic and was pumped up with prednisone and doctor's excuses to stay out of gym class. My self-esteem was completely shattered that year and I literally had zero friends until high school; even my best friend from before kindergarten preferred walking around alone at the playground than being seen with me. Teachers were extra hard on me and my asthma attacks were often brought on by anxieties from the endless teasing at school. And perhaps eating became my main comfort, making everything a vicious cycle. I wanted everyone to like me, and became a pushover because of it. I got so lonely and just wanted someone, anyone to be my friend. I don't think that has ever left me entirely: feeling judged for my weight, not fitting in, feeling like a loner, and perhaps even playing the victim.

One of my classmates was fat before kindergarten, and she handled it a completely different way than I did. She was loud, angry, aggressive, and quick to announce that she wasn't liked because she was fat. And oddly enough, she was always more popular than me in her own way. Or at least, people knew who she was all throughout school, and the same can't be said for me. We were actually lab partners in our cooking class and she was quick to criticize every move I made and often rolled her eyes when I mentioned my favorite hobbies. I recall her being exceptionally bitter about not being conventionally attractive, often harping about the "naturally skinny" girls being "brain dead" and outright mean to people like she and I who had "healthy meat on their bones." No clue what her weight was, but she was clearly as obese as I was (I was 250 pounds as a freshman) and I'm not sure why we went in such completely different directions.
This is similar to what MedCHick was saying. I do agree with this. Whatever it is that determines which way we will go, I don't know.

In my OP I was referring more to those that *think* they are acting just fine and since people are not responding to them the way the want, they blame it on weight.

I'm kind of the first of these two examples. I grew up fat and poor. So I was made fun of for both, and while I was a bit more kind in high school, as I got into my 20s I became kind of aggressive. I didnt go full swing to the get them before they get me, but I did not take rude comments easily anymore. Because of this, I was absolutely off putting to a certain type of people. You know those people that say things that are little digs, those people that are a bit abrassive? Well those kinds of people do not like me. Because I am very quick to put them in their place. So I know why those types of people don't like me, not because I'm fat, its because I call them out on their crap!

However I think for people the the girl I was referring to, they really think its ok to treat people the way she does. (ironically SHE is the type of person I typically bump heads with because I will often speak up and tell her to stop being a B) I think its a cop-out for her to blame her weight because it means she doesnt have to work on treating others with a little consideration and respect.

However, because I have been taught otherwise when it comes to a relationship, I do believe that no matter how awesome a girl is, that if she is turned down for a date its because of her weight. I'm not saying that to sound harsh, its because thats what I was shown growing up, and what I was exposed to, the fat women are always undesirable as dates, girlfriends or spouses. So I guess my thinking that isnt too far off from people that always believe that their weight is the reason they are unliked by others...
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~ 5K at 26 weeks~Ran until 31 weeks~ (Stopped due to doctor's orders)
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Last edited by GlamourGirl827 : 07-20-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PatLib View Post
Hmmm, I do think it's a real complex situation.

I have seen situations where a overweight people can overcome the negative stereotype. In high school there was a girl on the cheerleading team who was fat, much larger than me and she was never made fun of. And she wasn't wealthy or anything so she didn't buy off the popular people.

She just was cheerful, got good grades, was involved in drama club, etc. She just lived her life and I think people respect that.

But I think the problem is that it's a vicious circle for fat people. They try to not let their weight stop them from living but people's cruelty makes them go inward and push people away however that just makes people pity you which makes the whole thing worse.
I think that girl is a great example of how weight really doesn't matter. However, I bet she did have to be a very strong perosn, I only say that because I suspect that there were times in her life (even if is was comments from family that classsmate didnt know about) that she has her confidence tested. But even so, we all have challenges. I do think that even if some os obese, if they are a fun, kind person that they will, for the most part do well socially. I'm not saying that maybe, especially in high school, that a person that is thin might not get some extra attention from the guys, but I've never seen a case where someone is disliked or ostresized soley because of their weight.
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2007- 230 lbs to 160 lbs after baby #1 Boy
2010- 220 lbs to 145 lbs after baby #2 Boy
2013 - 215 lbs to 157 lbs after baby #3 Boy
Baby #4 - It's a Girl!

~ 5K at 26 weeks~Ran until 31 weeks~ (Stopped due to doctor's orders)
~Now cycling, walking and strength training for a healthy pregnancy and hopefully faster delivery~
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