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3 Stories That Will Make You Say, "WTF??"

Fat shaming can look like this:

Cue obnoxious 6th grader:   Boy says to girl, "You're fat!  Na-na-na-booo-booo!"  He runs away. He secretly thinks the fat girl is cute but can never admit because we live in a patriarchal society that teaches us to abhor women who take up space.

Cue fat shaming victim:  Girl sobs. And then sobs more. She is humiliated and spends the next 20 years hating her body and going on diets so she can try to look like Kate Moss.  Epic fail.  (Insert shameless plug here) But then she starts reading my blog and website and slowly starts to love her self more and more.

Do you know the feeling?

Situations like these are not uncommon in school yards, but they've expanded to include all sorts of other arenas as well. I was reading up on some cases of fat shaming and came across some truly appalling examples.

Get this.  At the Borgato Casino in Atlantic City, female cocktail servers where subject to a policy prohibiting them from gaining 7% of their initial body weight.  The women allegedly faced mandatory weigh-ins and were told to take laxatives or stop taking prescription medicine in order to stay thin. To make matters worse, the judge ruling on the case said that it was a perfectly legal thing to do. He claims, "The Borgata Babe program has a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to ‘sex objects’ to the Borgata’s patrons… Nevertheless, for the individual labeled a babe to become a sex object requires that person’s participation.” Um.  Wow.

Don't get any bigger than this or you're FIRED!!

I don't know about you, but I used dread going to water parks.  I always felt like my body was being compared to those of thinner women around me, in skimpy swimsuits.  When I was a teenager I always wore a t-shirt over my swimsuit to cover what I thought were my gargantuan thighs.  Now I actually have gargantuan thighs and like them on most days.  But I digress.  Here's the story...

Madelyn Sheaffer of Missouri lost 100 pounds and decided that she finally felt comfortable wearing a bikini--yay Madelyn!!  However, when she showed up to the Adventure Oasis Water Park, she was asked by employees to put on shorts because they said her bikini bottom was too small.  Sheaffer recounts, “I just felt like I was singled out… I felt like it was both age and body discrimination…There are 16- or 18-year-old girls wearing just the same amount and no one’s criticizing them or making them feel ashamed or feel uncomfortable in their bodies.”  My thoughts exactly.  The supervisor on duty told Madelyn to put on shorts or leave.  Our girl called the police to file a complaint.  At a girl!  But it doesn't end there.  The police removed her from the park, saying, “the facility made the call and we rely on their judgment.” WTF is going on here?  I guess having fat and not having a model thin body is against the law now. And I thought Missouri was the "show me" state.  So much for that.  

This is Madelyn.  Not sure I get it, Missouri.

And then of course there's that asshole psych professor, Geoffrey Miller from the University of New Mexico who just plain hates fat folks.  Did I mention he's an asshole?  Oh, right.  He tweeted this: “Dear obese PhD applicants: If you don’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation. #truth.”   There has been a huge backlash against this prick. Unfortunately there is evidence to back up  the fact that graduate school candidates with a higher body mass index who did face-to-face interviews got into schools at a lower rate than applicants with a lower BMI or overweight candidates who had phone interviews.  I guess we're back to the fat = dumb and lazy argument again.  

Yes. Yes you are Geoffrey Miller.

And so, what is the point of sharing all this?  Well, besides enlightening the hell out of you, I hope you'll get angry and fight fat shaming when you see it happening.  Sometimes it's subtle and at other times it's right there in your face.  So whether you're fat or not, stand up and do the right thing, because discrimination is ALWAYS wrong.

ciao for niao,

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