Fatphobia and anti-fat bias are topics that I am interested in for some time. I was afraid to speak up, because… I am fat. Yes, my darlings! Being fat made me feel small and incompetent. The discrimination I suffered since early childhood made me want to become invisible.
First few questions for you for self-reflection:
• Who do you imagine when you hear the word fat?
• Have you ever heard the word fat in the pejorative sense?
• If I would ask you to draw an attractive person, would they be slim or fat?
• Could you give me the name of the famous female and fat movie star? Hard, isn´t it?
• What about singers, a part of Adele?
Most probably the answers to these questions will prove that fat people, and especially women somehow became invisible. According to the WHO report in Europe, we have over 26% of fat people (they use the term obese and use BMI as an indicator, but we will talk about it in some other article). One-quarter of the European population is fat and it is so challenging to think about fat artists, fat politicians, fat female CEO and in general fat people in position of power and/or position exposed to the public eye.
And why is that? The answer is very simple — because we suffer from fatphobia. It is a systemic problem, deeply rooted in our culture and causing a lot of harm. When a person listens once that they are stupid, probably they will disagree and pass by. But when the person hears that on the daily basis, after some time they will probably believe so, even if it is not true.
And the same happens with fat people. I know… I know… you want to tell me that there are very objective ways to measure if someone is fat or not, so what this lady is saying that if I hear too many times that you are fat, you will become one? Yes! I am saying this.
¨54% of women would rather be hit by a truck than be fat¨ — Esquire magazine survey
Being fat is something that we learn while the number on the scale is increasing. By commenting on other people’s size, suggesting diets, not having size-inclusive clothes, or they occupy a small section in the store, by not having fat role models, who believe that they can be fat and…