My mission is to love people "from the inside out" and inspire others to do the same.

Interrupting Sizism

Just now I watched part of a Friends episode--the one where they play out what they'd be like if certain changes in their lives hadn't occurred. One of those "what if"s is what if Monica hadn't lost weight? And, wouldn't you know...there are all sorts of subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at the "fat" Monica. I couldn't watch very much of was almost-physically painful.

Making fun of people because they are fat is not cool, period.

What I want to know is: Why is it still "acceptable" in today's society to do so? How is it that we've come to the place where we've realized that it's not OK to make fun of people's gender, ethnicity, skin color, sexual preference, etc.; but we still think it's OK to make "fat" people the brunt of jokes?

More to the point, what can we do about it? The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination  advises,
Interrupt sizism. Notice when something you see or hear is discriminatory against larger-than-average people. Don't laugh at "fat jokes". Interrupt sizism or weight discrimination when it is possible by pointing it out and expressing your opinion that it is wrong.
In other words: Speak up. It's too late for that Friends episode, but the next time I see or hear fat jokes, I'm going to "interrupt" it.

Who's with me?

"Working to End Discrimination...

...against people who are heavier than average." This is the mission of the first organization I'd like to highlight: the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination. They "act as consumer advocates for larger people, especially in the areas of medical treatment, job discrimination, and media images." They believe, as do I, that (and I quote):
  • All people, no matter what their weight, deserve equal treatment in the job market and on the job.
  • All people, no matter what their weight, deserve competent and respectful treatment by health care professionals.
  • Prejudice based on weight is no different from, and no better than, prejudice based on skin color, gender, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • The media's portrayal of fat people is often inappropriately negative, and that the media promotes people's fear of fat and obsession with thinness.
  • Weight diversity is a positive goal. Our dream is a world in which a person's life, health, well-being, and happiness is unrelated to that person's weight.
  • Happy, attractive, capable people come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Each of us has the responsibility to stand up for ourselves and for people around us who may suffer weight discrimination.
  • Sizism and weight bigotry will end when people of all sizes refuse to allow it to continue.
Also, their web site provides some specific ways that individuals can work to change attitudes about people of size.

I hope you'll join me in taking steps to end discrimination based on size and weight.

What This is All About

As touched on in About This Blog (see left), I began to care about loving people from the inside out as a result of having known and loved my late fiance, Ron Knope [pronounced kuh-NOPE].

What is "loving from the inside out"? It's taking the time and making the effort to get to know people for who they are inside before determining how you feel about them. It's refusing to judge others based solely on how they appear on the outside.

As you can see, Ron was severely obese--and that proved to be the ultimate cause of his death. After he passed away, I knew that I wanted to bring some good out of such a terrible tragedy, but for a while I didn't know exactly what that would be. I considered working to raise awareness of obesity itself...but I found that just too difficult. At some point I realized that I could have even more passion and could more easily express it if I worked on motivating people to look past appearance--and to appreciate others first and foremost for who they really are.

Two things primarily led me to this passion: One, I got to know Ron online before I even knew that he was obese. It wasn't something I felt he deceived me about; it just never came up. My introduction to his true size was seeing a new, full-length photo he posted on his profile. And while I was shocked at how big he was, I already knew and cared about the person inside...and the thought of not continuing in friendship with him never even occurred to me. I know that if I'd met him in person or seen the full-length shot first, I would have rejected him, focusing on his weight to the exclusion of all else. Just that thought breaks my heart. And--if I'd done that, I would have missed out on being loved by the sweetest man I've ever known.

Two, Ron told me a little about the abuse he suffered at the hands of strangers and even sometimes at the hands of friends. For example, when he would eat in a restaurant, he'd have to request a table instead of a booth because he couldn't fit into a booth. Sometimes when he was with friends and requested one, someone would ask, "Why do we need a table?" and then "Oh..." when they realized it was because of Ron's size. Whenever he and I ate out, I'd just ask for a table and be done with it--and he told me how much he appreciated that. Imagine having such a "small" thing become the occasion of a stinger....Hearing that broke my heart.

I've started this blog because I want to document and publicize my efforts to open peoples' minds and hearts to see beyond the outside, to relate to others based on who they truly are.

I'd love it if you would join the cause. How can you do that? I'll post specific ways here as I discover them. But you can start by asking yourself, "Who am I overlooking because I've made an assumption about them based on their appearance? Who am I missing out on knowing?"

If answering those questions leads to any stories you'd like to share, feel free to comment on this post and share them. I'd love to hear about your journey as well!
© Loving From the Inside Out

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig