What Laura Thinks // Prejudice

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

I am taking part in a blog collective in that we all write a post under an umbrella topic. Started by the ever lovely Rhiannon and with some of the best women I know taking part (that would be Amy and Alice) we will all be writing monthly. This month's topic is 'prejudice' and I decided to write it on something that I feel very strongly about.

I am fat. I don't sit around eating a family pack of crisps to myself every evening or eat four dinner's on the trot. I eat a varied diet and the majority of my meals are under 600 calories unless I eat out. I enjoy a bottle of wine every now and again and I have no opposition to exercise when I am well enough. I can often be found in the gym on a good day blowing off steam, taking the dog for a five mile walk and walking to and from school daily for the school run.

"So, why are you so fat?"

In truth, it's portion control. I eat a lot of food. It may be food that's arguably good for me but a lot of it still equates to a good amount of calories. Since I can't exercise too much with my condition my weight is stable. I am losing 1-2lb a week consistently but I can't see a difference in my body shape right now so while it is disheartening, I feel so much better for eating well. If I cut down my portion sizes and walked just ten or fifteen minutes more every day there's no doubt I'd see a bigger difference but I don't. That's my choice.

People have said that I must be lazy. They have told me they imagine me to be disgusting at home because that's the view we have of overweight people. Comments like "Why do they make tracksuits in larger sizes? They'll never use them for their intended purpose". Comments that include the words 'lazy, disgusting, afraid of exercise, no pride, unhealthy' etc. These words are all born of prejudice, of pre-judgment. These people don't have grand insight into our lives or our homes but feel they do as excess weight speaks volumes.

Yes, there are health issues associated with being overweight. Yes, some overweight people do eat too much of the wrong food. Yes, some overweight people don't exercise. To position an entirety (over half of the UK population, in fact) in 'Fat camp' is wrong. We are not all like each other. Some, like me, don't really have an excuse. Some do. Some fit into this category of lack of pride, unhygienic and lazy. Some don't. Some find it offensive because they're struggling with their weight themselves and chipping away at their self-esteem doesn't help matters. Some are very comfortable in their own skin at the size they are. We are separate people rather than one fat entity that needs to be eradicated.

I won't get started on the NHS paying through the nose for obesity related cases. I won't start on healthy lifestyles being promoted yet unattainable for those on low incomes or with health conditions. I won't start on the choices of grown adults and I definitely won't start on inflicting unhealthy lifestyles on those that have no choice. They are related to what I'm trying to say but I have a whole lot of opinions on those matters.

In short, prejudice against the fat is prevalent in modern society. Thin is in, always has been and while curves are celebrated, cellulite is condemned. When my ideal body unfortunately exists in a separate body (Kelly Brook's) and is considered akin to a 'heiffer', something is wrong. Adele is overweight, celebrated for her voice but condemned for her imagined lifestyle. You see a fat person in a magazine and you know the article will reference the weight, not the achievements even in some small part. In a multicultural world with many acceptable lifestyle choices this prejudice should not be as readily available to pick up as it is. For us, for our future generations and for our mental well-being.

It is so difficult to look past the fat and see the person for some people but when you realise it's none of your business and judging someone on facts you've overheard or read isn't as black and white as you'd like it to be, it becomes a whole lot easier.

15 comments:

  1. This is so well written, i can totally relate.

    My biggest issue with prejudice is how differently bigger people get treated. Being different doesn't automatically mean i am a bad person.

    Looking forward to reading the rest of these umbrella topics!

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  2. I'm currently at my heaviest weight and I could write blog posts for days about the woes of dieting and trying to get healthy and feeling like I'm getting nowhere.

    People forget that everyone's body is different and everyone eats in different patterns, times, portions etc. in my teens I was a svelte size 8-10 and literally lived on junk food and ready meals and over time the lbs piled on as I left my teens behind and my hormones settled. Now I struggle to shift lbs and if anything I'm somehow still gaining even though I eat healthily.

    Girls are so carry and cruel about other women's weight because deep down we're all insecure to a degree about something even those of us who do love the size we are.

    Fantastic entry hun! x

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  3. I'm so glad that topics like this are being addressed amongst bloggers, as much as I love reading and writing about beauty products, this really is the the type of post I am interested in and hope to write. Also you look amazing! I'm launching a project I think you would be interested in, in the coming months so would be great if you could keep an eye out :) xo

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  4. I'm really glad you've addressed this and I can relate.
    I don't get it so much now, but I always used to be looked down on because of my weight. I don't really have an excuse, I used to eat a lot of chocolate back in school at night because of bullying and I've carried the weight since, despite a change in lifestyle. People just look at you and treat you for how you look, not what you achieve or what you've been through.

    I've lost a bit of weight due to pure stress last year and I've never been happier. I'm still a 14-16 but I don't care less, I'm happy; I want to kick these prejudices in the face. xx

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  5. A persons appearance does not dictate what kind of person they are. In this day and age people should be able to look past the fat and judge people on their personality not their weight.
    Unfortunately people will always be prejudiced towards fat people. I am to a certain extent. But only because I wouldn't want to be fat as I'd be worried about people being prejudiced towards me.
    I have to say though, you don't look fat in your photo. You look to have a curvy, womanly, proportionate figure.
    Keep up the good writing and carry on enjoying your red velvet cake. Xx

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  6. I know a few women who would class themselves as overweight, some have joined slimming world or weight watchers while others are completely happy with how the look and don't want to change. I find it very sad that people judge people on their appearances, I admit I have most likely done the same in the past but I think everyone has.
    I love how you look in all your photos and never has the thought of your weight come through my mind.
    Thank you so much for taking part in my little blog collab, looking forward to the next one! x

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  7. Well you know my thoughts on this topic so I needn't say much except that I love your writing style and you are a babe x

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  8. This is so brilliant Laura. It's so sad that everyone is so fixated on appearances, and particularly size. It's ridiculous, when you consider that historically being fat was seen as a GOOD thing, as it showed that you have enough money to eat well. Mental.
    I would have to admit that there are times when I've pre-judged larger people, inwardly criticised their lifestyle and such like. But now, I try really hard not to judge ANYONE on how they look. One of my favourite people at work is really very fat- and she walks to and from work every day, doesn't snack, eats pretty normally- and it doesn't mean that she isn't incredibly lovely, king, and very good at her job.

    Just in general, people need to remember that how a person looks ISN'T who they are. If we all remembered that- skinny and fat folk alike- we'd all be a hell of a lot happier. xxx

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  9. I can obviously relate to this post. Im always judged by my appearance, for being short yet fat and decidedly hobbit-esque. It used to make me really angry until I became comfortable enough with myself to realise I was pretty smashing regardless of my excess chub or wobbly arse. I want to lose some weight for me, not anyone else, and I hate that folk judge me for it. Even if the staff room folk question my lunch options as though they're my carers- I could scream! I think you're absolutely beautiful and never questioned your fiiiiiit body, wobbly bits or otherwise! Am I creeping you out yet?! Xxx

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  10. I love your honesty.

    Weight is such a highly debated topic these days, its dizzying. Someone can be too curvy, someone might not be curvy enough -- there seems to be absolutely no happy medium, and that isn't fair. There is so much pressure on women to be the "perfect" weight, but in all honesty there is no perfect weight. No matter what, someone will be the one making snide comments in a corner putting you down.

    You're absolutely gorgeous, and in all honesty I'm envious of your figure. I'm fluctuating between sizes so much at the moment after being diagnosed with coeliac, and I'd just be happy to settle to a size! x

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  11. Firstly I just want to say I think you are very pretty and that I really like your figure! I think there is far too much prejudice against weight, not only towards those of a larger size but also to people who are skinny. My friend is very slim and is often accused of being anorexic despite eating perfectly normally. It's sad to think that there will probably always be prejudice of some sort against how people look, but hopefully posts like these will remind people to not judge too fast. x

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  12. i think you're gorgeous. you write wonderfully and this post is so relatable and true. some women are larger than others and more beautiful because of it. people just are different sizes from each other because of genetics, which should be celebrated. diversity is needed to survive, imagine how boring life would be if everyone looked the same.

    love your blog :) katydesu.blogspot.co.uk

    katy xxx

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  13. Sadly there is prejudice against people of all sizes, I get comments about how i musn't eat much because i'm small all of the time. But reality is i eat A LOT i'm just naturally small.

    It's a shame that people make judgements on the way we look, I don't think it matters how we look someone will always have something to say and make an inaccurate judgement about us.

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.com

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  14. Well said, funny hiw its ok to call someone fat nowadays when tou can't say nuch else about how they look.
    People forget we're not all meant to look the same. Yes it's unhealthy to be massively overweight, but just because someone isn't a 10,12, 14 doesn't mean they are unhealthy. Everyone's body shape is different.
    I'm a pretty fit and healthy person but ill never get in a 10 and struggle with a 12 sometimes, that's just my shape. People need to get over it.

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  15. I'm so sorry Laura that I've taken my time in commenting, I wanted to really read each of your posts and needed to wait until I had some peace to do that properly.

    I can totally relate to this, I am by no means slim myself. I HATE the attitude the other people seem to have towards anyone who isn't a tiny little scrap. I often feel that others believe that I should hate my body, I don't. Although if I could put a button and change it I would. I shouldn't have to justify being the size I am to the tiny little scrap of a thing in my office that feels full after eating a chive and spends every waking moment in the gym. I certainly don't appreciate the looks I get if I choose to eat in public. I seriously wish people would get a life some times.

    I think you're flippin' gorgeous! Who cares what the label in your frock says!

    Kate xx
    Just Pirouette and Carry On...

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