Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009 Wednesday -'Fat Prejudice'

"America's Hatred of "Fat" People"

"In late June the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched its LEAN Works Web site, a clearinghouse of information on the health costs of employing fat people replete with recommendations on how to prevent and control obesity. "

I got the above off the Internet. The article source was Newsweek and it was dated Friday, August 28, 2009. The reason I included it, was that it was one of the first articles that I got when I Googled "hatred of fat people". I got 247, 000 hits. Of course, any overweight person did not need to do that to learn of the prejudice of people against fat people. They know it by the everyday reaction of people against them and their own internalization of those prejudices.

About a year ago, I tried group therapy which was based on PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) which I have and have been diagnosed for). Many of the people in that group were over weight and there was one woman who was not over weight but brought up the subject over and over again. You could tell she enjoyed "twisting the knife" into those with weight problems.
Many of the women in the group had severe suicide problems along with drug and alcohol abuse issues. Luckily, I do not have drug and alcohol problems nor do I have self-abuse as many in this group did such as "cutting" nor was I suicidal. They were nice women of different ages but the professional leader was afraid of some of the women in the group. That was scary for me. Most lived at home with their families of origin. I have not done so since I was a teenager and I am 64 years old. I was the only one that completed college and worked consistently.

The reason I brought up the group therapy (and I don't think I did it justice) was that almost all of them had control issues and all of them were afraid to go into public. Some of them would put small dogs in their purses. They wanted to control the environment around them which of course they couldn't. People are so cruel to overweight people. I experienced this myself, but I am 5' 8" and learned to turn my size against people who try to look down on me. I look down on them and I have a MP3 player I just plug in my ears and turn them off. It still is not easy to go into the public anymore than it is for those in that group therapy. I go to certain places such as Barnes and Noble Book Store and they know me there.

I have lost jobs and been harassed on work sites because of my overweight. There is a good side to all of this. I learned to be my own person and to survive on my own and to depend on no one else but myself. That is a useful skill that many women don't learn. Many women I know cannot exist without having a boyfriend or husband. I had plenty, don't get me wrong, but I have had to survive for long dry spells and I do very well on my own. People are afraid of being alone and I thrive in it. I rarely feel lonely and have lots of hobbies that I love to do. I am a big time writer and reader. I love to do all kinds of art. However, like the women in the group therapy I do tend not to go in public because people do give overweight people a bad time. I would love to be slender one time in my life so that I look normal and see what it is like to be that way. Maybe the personality I developed is such that I still won't get along with people all that well anyhow.

I post on a newspaper forum, and I am always surprised to how little some posters know about the world. Because I do read, I have a good solid foundation on which to operate from. I don't read because I want to escape from being different. I read because I love to. I love to write because I love to and have a strong lust for words. I don't think I would have developed such a strong intellectual bent if I had been thin and more attractive. I think, for me and for many women in the group therapy overweight is a defense against people who want to use us for their needs and not allow us to develop our own interests and desires.

I am an optimistic person. There was an advantage in being overweight that I feel is no longer there. I want to see how the other side of the world lives now. It will not be easy changing the way I have been doing things, reacting to the pressures of the world and to the messages that I have internalized. Prejudices that are formed by others are also internalized by me too. I hate fat people. It is a double edge prejudice like all prejudices. I really have to work on that.

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