I’m not even that big (and can’t imagine how bad this would be if I was any bigger and my heart goes out to anyone dealing with this), and I am amazed at how I am treated as an overweight person. I have been thin, so I know the difference between being a thin woman and an overweight woman. I lost weight at the end of high school, and I gained it back a few years later. With every ten pounds I gained, people looked at me less and less. Literally, people don’t look at you. This is especially true for men. I am not even talking about romantically. I mean as a person standing in the grocery line or sitting at a restuarant. They look right through you, and they’ll engage in really short conversation (if that). I almost wish I hadn’t lost weight in high school, because I wouldn’t know now that I am treated like a second class citizen.
In the grand scheme of things, is being chubby really a terrible, terrible thing? I didn’t kill anyone. I didn’t rob your house. I didn’t kick your dog. I ate too many cupcakes. Does that really make me such a terrible person? My blood pressure and cholesterol are perfect, and I am not on any regular maintenance medications. It’s so disgusting to me that when I do lose weight, I’ll wonder, “would this person given me the time of day when I was heavy?”
Discrimination against heavier people is everywhere. At work, I constantly check my clothes to make sure I am hiding as much fat as possible. I’ll usually wear an extra layer at work, even if it’s really hot inside my building. When I go to an interview, I wonder if I am being judged for my work performance or if they’re automatically assuming I am lazy at work because I am overweight. When I am out with friends, I focus on not trying to be fat or look fat rather than just enjoying my time out. Before I accept an invitation, I wonder if I’ll feel comfortable enough to go. I wonder what I have to wear to the event. I just never know who will be there, and if they’ll treat me like a person or not.
Over time, I’ve just gotten to a place where I’d rather stay home. When I’m at home, I’ll comfort myself with food. It’s a sick cycle. I feel like I am living life through a curtain. I want to finally walk out from behind the blinds, but once I do, I’ll never look at the world the same way. I hope I never treat anyone the way I’ve been treated, and I hope everyone knows their weight does not define who they are as a person.