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CASEYSAUER Posts: 1,533
7/2/13 6:39 A

Absolutely! It affects every aspect of the over weight person's life!

BLONDY01 Posts: 73
7/2/13 6:37 A

I admit I have less tolerance for really big people after being in the military, and when you see skinny people every day it's hard to not see yourself as fat :( My whole family is heavy and I joined the military knowing I would have to stay in shape. Then I had a son and got injured and just can't get rid of the weight. I'm 5' 7 and solidly built and only 26% body fat, but because of the lower belly pudge I failed the waist measurement and I'm getting kicked out of the military... I think if you can pass your other components your waist size shouldn't matter.

GREENHOME1 SparkPoints: (1,165)
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7/2/13 6:16 A

I think I'm experiencing reverse sizeism: thin people (i.e., strangers on the street) smile at me a lot more now that I am more like them.

On the other hand, I agree that health workers should set the example.

SHOOPETTE SparkPoints: (0)
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7/2/13 6:10 A

I read in an article that overweight people have less chances of getting a job compared with thinner people with equal degrees and work experience

BARBARA41955 SparkPoints: (379)
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7/2/13 5:51 A

What gets to me..... people see me on my scooter and assume that because I am fat that's the reason I in the scooter! When it's my illness that put me in the w/c And that's why I am fat! Gaining 100 # in two years..

GREENGOBBLIN SparkPoints: (29,567)
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7/2/13 5:35 A

My SO's family are all genetically built to look like chopsticks - tall and incredibly thin. I on the other hand, am 5'1 and fluctuate between 108 (race weight) and 112lbs (post-race). One of his aunts took the liberty to approach me at a family gathering, and bluntly said to me I've put on weight. How's that for a conversation starter?
I pondered over this for many days, feeling quite down on myself until something inside me clicked - it's not me, it's HER. What makes people think they are free to pass judgement like this? So I have decided the next time I see her, I will very sweetly inform her that she has aged.

CHERNABOG69 Posts: 1
7/2/13 4:53 A

I was discriminated against at a restaurant that I worked at. We had to wear these hideous maroon dresses that zipped up the front. I had my husband's aunt hem mine to my knees. The manager had another waitress tell me that my dress was too short. Hers was so short that you could see her butt if she bent over. I told him that mine would be longer when every other waitress had hers the length he wanted mine. That was the last I heard on that topic.

ATZIONCH Posts: 3,368
7/2/13 2:04 A

You bet there is!

FANCYQTR Posts: 12,834
7/1/13 6:34 P

I read an article (it might have been in SP Health News) where they did a study on how overweight individuals were treated in courts. Overweight men the juries/judges actually paid attention to the witnesses, etc, to decide on their innocence or guilt. With overweight women they were automatically considered guilty. If that isn't prejudice, I don't know what is.

Someone mentioned being a health care worker. My cousin is a nurse. She was an LPN when her state quit using LPNs (I don't know how long they took to phase them out, because I think she had a job while in RN training). Before she could get into school for RN training she had to lose a lot of weight. Otherwise she would have been unemployed.

7/1/13 6:07 P

YES. It's called sizeism and it's the only socially acceptable form of discrimination left.

Want to know what's sad? 81% of ten-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Children as young as six describe the silhouettes of obese children as "lazy," "dirty," "stupid," "ugly," "cheats," and "lies." And where did they learn this? From us.

Studies are now showing that obese adults are perceived as less desirable employees. They are deemed "less competent, less productive, not industrious, disorganized, indecisive, inactive, and less successful." And why? Because of us.

There's a quiz on the Harvard website, "How sizeist are you?" I suggest that everyone takes it. It does visual testing to determine if you have a bias at a subconcious level.

By allowing fat to equal bad and thin to equal good, everyone gets hurt (but ESPECIALLY women).

HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
7/1/13 9:22 A

Yes...This is an issue that is not talked about enough...and not recognized in our world....

TIG123GER SparkPoints: (77,547)
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7/1/13 9:17 A

I believe so. I know I've done it before, even though I'm heavy myself. I have judged others that were much bigger than me, wondering how they can stand it and why they don't change. I know from my own journey & struggles that it isn't that simple and it's not a conscious decision to be overweight and it is overwhelming to tackle for many. Airlines punish us. Amusement parks punish us. Restaurants have "special" chairs for very overweight people. The news films peoples' bodies when they do stories about fat people, emphasizing big butts and waists. It's no wonder the general public also judges because they see it everywhere.

GOLFDAVE43 SparkPoints: (11,093)
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7/1/13 9:12 A

As unfortunate as it is there is DEFINITELY prejudice for people who are overweight.

MMCDAN03 Posts: 305
7/1/13 9:05 A

I work in the healthcare field and there definitely is prejudice against overweight people I and a few other coworkers who happen to be overweight deal with on a daily basis. From the sidelong glances if we happen to eat or drink something besides water or "health" food, to the attitudes that we are somehow ignorant because of our weight even though we may hold higher degrees or have more education than the "skinny" coworkers. I think it may even be worse on this field because of all the pressure to educate the patients and emphasis on promoting the healthy BMI.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
6/29/13 11:28 P

I use public transit. I've heard some nasty things about overweight women from some of the guys on the bus. They say these things about women who are their girlfriends. It sickens me.

As I was checking out, the cover of a tabloid magazine showed pictures of overweight celebrities. People find perverse pleasure in the suffering of others. I have friends who are obese and I know how hard some of them work, especially those struggling with other health conditions. Sadly, people enjoy seeing formerly slender people gaining a lot of weight.

STARFISH0911 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/29/13 4:53 P

There is definite prejudice against overweight people.People are made fun of and stores don't carry sizes larger than a 14...People judge you by what you look like and do not care if you are on weight gaining meds(Like I am) or are trying to eat healthy and get more exercise but lose weight very slowly.I did however get one of my favorite jobs when I was at my heaviest so in that case noone was prejudiced against me but I Know of others who have been discriminated against in the job market.Society places great value on a thin is apparent in all advertising and television.When will people learn not to judge one another??? It is a cruel world we live in.

FANCYQTR Posts: 12,834
6/29/13 1:58 P

A lot of problem for overweight or obese people is because of the prejudice, too. When you are always being put down, made fun of, unable to get a job, etc., you can end up emotional eating. I have a lot of problems from that. (Of course, I got made fun of when I was thin, too, because I've never been pretty).

I think that they now figure overweight to be a smaller weight than they used to and they figure obesity as at a smaller weight. I know that they called one singer "fat" when she was wearing a size 2. So now they are putting people down if they are that small and when you see ads for weight-loss groups they are always saying that you need to go from size 14 to size 6. I think if I was down to 130 I would still wear at least a 14, so I would be made fun of for being fat still.

CAFFEINE_PIRATE SparkPoints: (293)
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6/29/13 12:29 P

Oh definitely. For some reason overweight people tend to be stigmatized and stereotyped, and I believe the media influences it a lot. I work at a retail clothing chain that was actually mentioned in this thread, and we don't carry a wide variety of clothing in sizes beyond 14, and the limited selection we do have is mostly drab and frumpy, nothing for younger overweight women. I had a lady come in not too long ago, who fell in love with a particular dress she wanted for her daughter's wedding, and needed it in a size 18, but it didn't come beyond a 14. She was pretty upset and I was too!

My mother has had issues with her weight since she was a teen. My dad made her feel like crap over it for so many years until she finally left him, and the way he made her feel about it always terrified me that if I gained weight or got too big, my future boyfriends or husband would do the same (and yes, I had an ex who once told me I would be hot if I lost my "spare tire").

However, over the last three years that I've been trying to lose weight, I've come to the realization with the help of so many people on SP that being healthy, and being comfortable in your own skin is much more important than society's standards or the numbers on the scale. Don't let society's perception motivate you, do it because you're here for YOU.

TALKIEBARBIE46 Posts: 6,357
6/29/13 10:17 A


LILSPARKIE85 SparkPoints: (40,593)
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6/29/13 10:05 A

I would say so. I would also add that, sometimes, I see prejudice against very thin people as well. It is so sad to see people hurting each other based on something as superficial as looks. Let's all spend today being a little nicer to one another. :)

PATRICIAANN46 Posts: 18,912
6/29/13 9:51 A


ANGELN325 Posts: 5,222
6/29/13 9:30 A

Definitely! I have the same issues I had when I was thin, except when I was thin, my bulging discs and other issues were taken seriously. Now...I'm just fat, but that's okay because the physical therapy helps. Wished I would have been given it when I was thin. Maybe I would have had more mobility and not gained all this weight...although who knows. Most of the weight gain happened after developing asthma and even more so after I took the meds to treat it.

DETOX55 SparkPoints: (1,380)
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6/29/13 2:34 A

The thing I'm most worried about is the normalisation of obesity...

In most developed countries around the world, people are struggling to maintain a normal weight due to the massive lifestyle and societal changes that have occurred over the past 50 years.

The human body isn't designed to carry all this additional weight; it's a huge problem that has so many implications for society moving forward.

Underweight people? Yes, there are issues there too...

This isn't about pointing fingers; it's about facing facts...our weight issues and obsessions are going to result in societal breakdown on a level most of us have not yet considered...

Edited by: DETOX55 at: 6/29/2013 (02:47)
BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,560
6/28/13 12:07 P

Returning to his thread I think my problem is with the title.
Prejudice against the "overweight"? Being overweight is the norm. Only a shrinking minority of society is NOT overweight or worse.
Were the studies done about discrimination against the obese, or morbidly obese?
I don't doubt their validity or the personal experiences described, but I can't figure out prejudice against the "overweight" when just about every adult today is in that group.

Of the 33% not in that category, some percentage have eating disorders, so who is left to be pointing fingers at anyone?

ARDINGLO Posts: 518
6/28/13 11:37 A


THENEWROSE Posts: 1,410
6/28/13 10:52 A


ITSABSURD SparkPoints: (18,393)
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6/28/13 10:18 A

Overweight people make less money.

BLOOGRL SparkPoints: (10,382)
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6/28/13 9:53 A

Definitely agree with these posts. I've dealt with it my entire life; in school, at work, in relationships, etc.

Also, CMCole made a good point - the fat/overweight actors are usually made fun of or the "comedians" of tv shows and movies. I remember at one point Louie Anderson mentioning he always use to make fun of his weight in his standup, part of it was so others couldn't beat him to the punch...and I can definitely relate to that because I love humor and I rely a lot on the self-deprication kind. I always get a laugh.

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (265,047)
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6/28/13 9:03 A

You bet there is!! I live with a partner who has MS and largely due to medications, is obese. I see things and watch people all of the time. It's very sad. Our society, in many ways, is not very accepting of anything that goes against "the norm."

GODDREAMDIVA1 SparkPoints: (385,497)
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6/28/13 8:35 A

Yes...we pre judge ourself for being overweight

GODDREAMDIVA1 SparkPoints: (385,497)
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6/28/13 8:34 A


CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
6/28/13 6:53 A

often there is a bias, and it's not always obvious, even to the person exhibiting it.

It is unfortunate, but as others have said, we live in a very 'visual' society, and to make it worse, many of the advertisements and TV shows only show thin people - and shows with larger people often make fun of them

DETOX55 SparkPoints: (1,380)
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6/28/13 3:59 A


People make judgements based on what they see.

Becoming overweight doesn't happen by accident so perhaps some of the judgement is justified...

CIRANDELLA SparkPoints: (0)
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6/27/13 10:50 P

You bet there is. It's emblematic of a sick, hateful society, too.

PATRICIAANN46 Posts: 18,912
6/27/13 6:19 P


FANCYQTR Posts: 12,834
6/27/13 5:18 P

Lots of times it is hard to find any clothes that will fit overweight people. I have been in department stores like JC Penney that don't have anything over a 16.

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
6/27/13 5:12 P

In some areas of life, there is prejudice. Did anyone hear what the founder of Abecrombie and Fitch said. He says none of his women's clothing is above a single digit; however, men's sized are plus because he want to cater to male athletes. He said he only wants beautiful people wearing his clothes.

As a teacher, I hear students say derogatory things against teachers who are overweight or fellow students who are overweight. I spend so much time talking about respect with them. More than likely, they learn such prejudice at home. I've even heard kids talk negatively about their parents' weight.

Knowing people who are overweight for different reasons, I don't automatically assume they are lazy. I know so many people with health issues or who are taking medications that impact their weight.

FANCYQTR Posts: 12,834
6/27/13 4:55 P

I have seen prejudice for most of my life. People are completely prejudice against people who don't have the "right looks" and if you get overweight it gets even worse. I know that I have been told I am too stupid to do anything. I have been told that I am the most qualified for a job, but they will not hire me. I have had my applications thrown in the trash while the person was laughing. I am sure that I am not the only one who has had that problem.

People have a tendency to consider anyone who is overweight stupid and lazy. That is my problem (the lazy anyway), but there are people who have other physical reasons they are overweight and people who are not overweight just will not believe that there are those reasons. PCOS and hypothyroid are only two things that can cause problems. But according to many people, including some that have lost weight, the only thing that causes the increased weight is overeating and lack of exercise.

BROOKLYN_BORN Posts: 7,560
6/27/13 2:37 P

I do not doubt anyone's personal experience or even the research. However, I do question and wonder WHO is showing this prejudice? Since 2/3 of the USA are overweight, obese or worse and some percentage have anorexic eating disorders, who are left to do this bashing? Is it the overweight bashing the obese? The obese making fun of the morbidly obese?

As society get larger, what we consider normal is becoming skewed. Here on SP you can read comments about the "bony" or the "flat chested" or those "unhealthy" size zeros.
BTW today's size zero has the measurements of what we called a size 8 back in 1960.

NO ONE should be made fun of or put down because of their body, PERIOD.

LILLITH32 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/27/13 2:02 A

I remember watching a show on TV where the they condicted an experiment on this topic. They brought in identical twin young women in their 20s, both beautiful blondes with very pleasant faces. They dressed one of the girls in a fat suit, so she looked about 200-250lb, and sent both of them to the local mall. When they walked into the stores, the "thinner" girl got all kinds of positive attention from the staff and customers, and the "fat" girl got ignored.

STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,376
6/26/13 8:33 P

There's definitely a prejudice against overweight/obese persons. My personal theory behind this is that the popular belief is that obesity is due to a seeming lack of personal responsibility. It's the whole "you did this to yourself" mentality and people don't have sympathy for that. Many people out there believe that if "fatty just put down the fork" they'd be normal, pleasant, and socially acceptable.
What I find interesting is that people who for example are into rock climbing, or some extreme sport, and they lose a limb because of an accident while doing that sport, the public generally thinks of them as a hero and a survivor even though the result of those injuries are due to an action that the individual CHOSE to take. At the same time, if someone loses a limb due to diabetes, the sympathy just isn't there.

Also of course, there's the media. People are trained to want to look a certain way, behave a certain way, and desire a certain quality in another person, and obesity is just not one of those qualities. We can say that we're not affected by advertisements, but the reality is, they're all around us. Not just on television, but even this website is full of them. The need is created so that we will believe that with x product, we will be that person that we are told we think we need to be.

JESSAELINN SparkPoints: (22,120)
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6/26/13 4:36 P

Yes. My whole family is obese. Repeatedly, I've seen that people assume my family is not interested in the outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, amusement parks, etc, etc. We DO ALL those things! PLUS, when we continue doing those things, we notice that not only are we happier, we have inevitably forced ourselves outdoors and got a little more exercise than usual, and we feel better! I think the issue my family has is not doing things consistently and eating healthy. This is the habits I grew up with, but I'm sure glad my family exposed me to activities as well, though we do struggle, it's not like we're not interested in it. I noticed people assume that we don't want to join them, they won't even invite us, it is very strange and frustrating.

REBCCA SparkPoints: (404,888)
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6/26/13 3:28 P

Yes I do believe overweight people are part of prejudices people have. It may be my imagination but I honestly feel that after I lost 50 pounds I was definitely treated more considerately by many more people. Part of that could be because of how I felt about myself, but I do feel being fit and healthy gives one an advantage in many relationships.

PSHOWS SparkPoints: (6,487)
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6/26/13 2:26 P

I also applied for jobs at a Size 22.... Maybe even 24. I had two different Interviewers say, "I don't think you will "fit in" here" !
Don't get discouraged. Persevere with good healthy choices for yourself. I am still researching this topic but all studies are concluding that the prejudice exists. Maybe I knew so many people were like this and liked me for my looks. I think I wanted people to like me for who I was.

DLHM1964 SparkPoints: (1,385)
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6/26/13 2:14 P

I'm looking for a job at age 48 and a size 22. You bet there is! I have seen some places I have applied to who hired air headed, no experience people just because they were in their twenties and thin. Love how the people in charge of hiring these lovelies were pudgy, balding, men in their 50s.

PSHOWS SparkPoints: (6,487)
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6/26/13 1:32 P

Yes, the media influences us but There was a study done with first grade children. They were shown pictures of overweight children and thin children. They were asked who they would like to be friends with and a large majority chose the pictures of thinner children. Also, these may have been drawings. I'm not sure of that. I have also had the opportunity of being quite slender at one point in time and quite overweight at another point in time. I definitely noticed that I was treated differently....... Much better when slender. Both males and females gave me attention, smiled often and wanted to be friendly or friends. Coincidentally, I had two friends who did not know each other tell me their husbands criticized them for being friends with a "fat" person. I also read that years back, there was less prejudice towards the overweight. When I was a child, there were many women in the neighborhood who were somewhat filled out in their house dresses. No one ever said anything about them. Most seemed happy. ....
Have we all become shallow? Maybe I am guilty of that because I like the thin look.... Mainly in myself. I know there are some horrible, mean people who have beautiful faces and ultra slender bodies. I know there are some wonderful, kind and brilliant people who may not have these desired physical features. For myself, my health has been affected when overweight. I feel better when slender...... Mainly because fruits and veggies make me feel better. Plus, I can move better and I feel like being friendlier and talking to people more. My back gets to be a problem with extra weight and poor food choices as well. It's good to have a husband who will love us ... Fat or thin.... I was quite thin when I met mine and I know he liked my looks. But he also liked my personality. Well, I do think the world out there favors desirable looks though.

PERFECTVELVET SparkPoints: (63,567)
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6/26/13 1:02 P

Yes, there is, primarily as a result of the media. I had a friend recently post on Facebook that someone told her, "You're too fat to shop at Walmart." Really? It's Walmart; people go there in their pajamas with their pet goats.

I have always been overweight, but ever since I got out of college, I have had incredible self-esteem. I look in the mirror and don't see someone who is fat. I see someone who is awesome. And to be honest, I've never had anyone say anything to me about my weight (except my mom, who tries to be encouraging, and my late grandmother, who refused to feed me because I was too fat).

I am on this journey to be healthy, not thin (that comes with it) and to keep up with my energetic toddler. My husband loves me fat or thin (bless his heart).

MELICIOUS26 SparkPoints: (17,376)
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6/26/13 12:39 P

I agree. I think there is a prejudice against overweight people. I think society puts a label on everyone that the media deems unattractive. It is a sad world we live in where we can't have a mind of our own, but rather we do or say what we think we need to in order to "fit it". I know that I have a very poor self-image because I am surrounded by images of fit, athletic, skinny women. I wrongfully believe that every man wants a twig for a wife. I am 20lbs overweight, and my fiance tells me every day that I am sexy and beautiful and that he wouldn't change a thing about me, and yet when I look at myself, I see fat thighs, a big belly, and flabby arms. My poor self image (thanks to the media) is my motivation to work out and eat right. I don't want to be deemed unattractive by society. And honestly, I think that's a horrible way to think, and I wish I could change my thought process but .......

HAWTLIKEME SparkPoints: (21,813)
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6/26/13 12:37 P

This is definitely something I struggled with. I can even remember at one point in a job search many years ago, my own mother trying to say that I would have a hard time getting hired unless I lost some weight. I have certainly noticed that after I lost some weight, I was being treated differently by some people (mostly strangers), but I can not be entirely sure if it was just as a result of a new confidence that I was exuding. One thing I know is that at one time I felt completely invisible and 80 lbs later, I no longer feel that way at all. Is it my own perception? It could be. Who knows.

PSHOWS SparkPoints: (6,487)
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6/26/13 12:26 P

I feel there is with many people.... Not all. But more people probably are negative towards overweight than those who are not prejudice towards the overweight. Realizing this can help with motivation especially if one doesn't want to be ostracized due to this factor.

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