" A well-known 2004 study, for example, found that a 65-pound increase in a woman’s weight is associated with a 9-percent drop in wages — an obesity penalty equivalent to about three years of work experience. "
- National Geographic
I posted on my Instagram a short exploration into my own internalized fat-shame and how it presents itself (like so much of identity is) through clothing choice. Like most of my "self discoveries", it comes from deep down feelings I try to avoid, being reflected back to me through my Instagram following.
So often thoughts that I have carried as a unique personal experience / view, are really just fatphobic beliefs we never mention and therefore don't realize are so pervasive. To breakdown fat phobic rhetoric we need to openly talk about our lived experiences and in doing that we must also comfortable admit we are fat, without shame or apology. That's the piece that I think remains such a big stumbling block.
A few months ago I posted a piece on Plus Size Loungewear and a handful of people remarked about how they could never wear sweatpants, because they're already fat, they can't possibly look lazy. One person went so far as to say she hates seeing other fat people wearing athleisure because it reflects badly on us (fat people) all. It was a feeling I recognized in myself as well - not the resentment of what others wear, but the underlying reason I am always overdressed. The fear of looking sloppy, "because my body already implies I am", according to fatphobic rhetoric, and yes well researched examples of employment discrimination.
I think it's an important conversation.
We can't fix workplace bias related to fatphobia until we widely accept it's an issue.
When I was researching my caption (because YUP that's a thing I do), I wasn't saddened by the information, I mean I already knew it, I have felt it, and my constantly styled self reiterates just how hard I work to push back against that unspoken bias that is built on misnomers demonstrates my awareness on the daily - no, I was most upset seeing these articles have been published for over a decade and how little has changed.
As always, weight discrimination affects women more substantially than men, as one article aptly put it "This is because parts of our service sector have an “aesthetic labour” market where body image and grooming are at least as important as competence. ", and while the articles didn't mention race, I am confident weight bias is only compounded by racial bias (again well documented in regards to workplace / financial discrimination) and therefore impacts the financial earnings of Black Women / Trans individuals most.
If you are interested, I linked a handful of the articles below so please educate yourself. If you are thin consider your hiring practises / workplace treatment of fat people, as one article states, ob*se women are SIXTEEN TIMES more likely to experience workplace discrimination than men. If you are a fat person struggling with these feelings internally, I encourage you to address them and better understand them. These articles are hard to read - TRIGGER WARNING: For discussions around weight shaming and weight loss.
When we talk about the Body Positivity movement being a human rights movement, THIS is what we are talking about.
Here are a handful of articles on the topic, however a quick google search will lead you to many many more. If this is such a prevailing and well documented problem, why are we doing nothing to correct it?!