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Old 06-08-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
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It's all relative!

I have been involved with a lot of people over the years (most notably my ex husband, and my first boyfriend after the divorce) that feel that they have the right to say anything they want about overweight people, however hurtful that may be. I suggest that before anyone comments on another person's weight that they think about it and consider: That person may have been diligently working on losing weight and becoming healthier for some time now. Just because they appear overweight to the average person doesn't mean that they haven't already lost a lot of weight or gone down many sizes. An acquaintance of mine made a derogatory comment about 2 women walking on the side of the road when we were on the way to the gym. Lo and behold, we saw them at the gym later on, walking on the treadmill. Also, a person that others consider "fat" may be perfectly happy with their weight, especially if they have sacrificed and worked at getting to that weight. I personally feel "fat" at size 14. That's just my hangup, but I'm sure I'd be delighted at being that size if I had started at a much bigger size. My starting weight is equal to some people's goal weight, again, just my own hangup! The key is to be healthy and to become happy with the body you have. As I said, it's all relative!
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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I agree!!! I am one who never makes fun of ANYONE for anything and I teach my kids that at a very young age. My daughter has a portwine stain on her forehead so I have told them that its what is inside that makes a person pretty and it does not feel nice to be made fun of. I have used that as an example. My husband is one to quickly judge people, and it upsets me so much I think over the years though he has realized it and has stopped it. Its You can be real pretty on the outside but be a total queen B!!! Its what is on the inside that counts!
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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a fat person still deserves EQUAL RESPECT no matter what. whether they have lost weight or not. let's not throw anyone overboard on this!

there are only a few groups it's ok to be prejudiced against in modern America, and fat people are at the top of the list. SPEAK UP. it's a genetic thing like hemophilia or something... people need to be compassionate. we are suffering enough already.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
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Definitely! My point is, unless you know the person and their history, you don't know anything about them or their struggles ( or not). Unfortunately, it seems like the last acceptable prejudice in our society is against people who carry more weight. Even the term "overweight" is subjective, since I consider myself "overweight" but others may look at me and consider me just perfect. Luckily we are all different and all unique, and what appeals to one person doesn't necessarily appeal to another. I'm just getting used to the fact that I can carry a few extra pounds and still be desirable, for the first time in my life.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Unfortunately fat is the last acceptable prejudice in the U.S. And unfortunately there are even people on this board who show their prejudice at times (not talking about you, OP). I agree that everyone has their own journey, and commentary on other people's body sizes should not happen.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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It's a little thing but a good place to start is by not saying "fat person". Better to say "a person who is fat". They/we are a person first and foremost, and they/we shouldn't be primarily defined by the weight they are carrying.

As language frames thoughts, adjusting language helps adjust attitudes.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
It's a little thing but a good place to start is by not saying "fat person". Better to say "a person who is fat". They/we are a person first and foremost, and they/we shouldn't be primarily defined by the weight they are carrying.

As language frames thoughts, adjusting language helps adjust attitudes.
I don't know if that is necessary. We say that someone is a black/white/gay/short/athletic/skinny/tall/boring/smart person. Fat just describes someone's body weight and I don't think we need to reframe it or use euphemisms.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nolcjunk View Post
I don't know if that is necessary. We say that someone is a black/white/gay/short/athletic/skinny/tall/boring/smart person. Fat just describes someone's body weight and I don't think we need to reframe it or use euphemisms.
See, I don't say those things either
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:22 AM   #9
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I think if people have never struggled with their weight, they tend to judge overweight folks as weak or not caring enough, etc. When I see someone who struggles with their wt, I see just that- someone struggling.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:31 AM   #10
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I hate the word fat and we don't say it in our home.
It's just not nice!

If one of my boys tries to describe something with the word fat, I encourage "bigger," instead.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:27 AM   #11
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Making derogatory slurs against people for whatever reason is pretty obnoxious and for our family akin to racial slurs. Context is important . Fat, skinny, black, white, brown etc are descriptions without moral judgements.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:51 AM   #12
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See, I don't say those things either
so what would you say if you wanted to say that someone was a black, white, short, or tall person?

I don't see the word fat as bad- it is just a way to describe someone's weight. Words only become bad if they are used that way. You can say that someone is fat as an objective assessment of their weight without any malice or you can use words like fluffy, big boned, and big to insult them.

I personally hate the euphemisms for fat. No, I wasn't curvy, feminine, a little chubby, bigger, etc. I was fat and that is okay to say. Same way that I am the short one in the family.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #13
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Sometimes people take things and go way to far with them like when we were on vacation, our beach neighbor said he only drink lc beer cause he did not want to look like that "beach whale" pointing out an obese lady swimming...come on now, he did not know her from Adam and for all he knew she had some medical problem. Even that comment offended me somehow??? That was not funny to me. What kind of world are we living in where we judge overweight people? I have been overweight before and I hate to think I was once the "beach whale" people were mocking from a far. KWIM? Our neighbor could not believe I used to be overweight he thought I was lying.

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Old 06-09-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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I don't really care why someone is overweight ... Medical condition, over eating whatever ... Maybe that person really does sit all day eating Bon bons. Really don't care .... Its not my body to wonder about.
Calling someone a beaches whale is pretty creepy. It's the same attitude as people who insist women who have been assaulted were "asking for it" because they are pretty or wearing tight clothes. It's crude and obnoxious.

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Old 06-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #15
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Making derogatory slurs against people for whatever reason is pretty obnoxious and for our family akin to racial slurs. Context is important . Fat, skinny, black, white, brown etc are descriptions without moral judgements.
Agreed.

I'm a fat woman. I'm also a black woman. And a smart woman. And a beautiful woman (at least sometimes).

There's a difference between saying "I'm talking about that black woman over there," versus "that black woman over there," or "I'm talking about that fat woman over there," versus "that fat woman over there." Tone of voice, context, it all counts.

I was in the grocery store yesterday, and the checker was trying to point out another checker. The checker in question was the only black one at that time, but she went out of her way to figure out another way to point her out to me, because she didn't feel comfortable saying "the black one." When I said, "the black woman," she seemed relieved. There was no judgment or value attributed, it was just the easiest way to delineate the woman in question from the other five. If she had been the only brunette, same thing.

Of course, using descriptors that sometimes have discriminatory undertones can sometimes be hurtful, but they don't have to be, and it certainly doesn't mean one has to banish them from use.

Context matters.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:36 PM   #16
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Sorry, I don't think I was clear

What I meant is rather than saying "a fat person", it's better to say, "a person who is fat".

It's a subtle difference but the person bit comes first, not the descriptor. That way you are defining the person as a person first and foremost.

FWIW, I love the word "fat". I reclaimed it years ago There is no shame in being fat. It's not a moral failing, or some outward indication that we are inwardly "bad". It simply describes a physical characteristic.....Meh, I'm fat. So what??

I also hate the euphemisms - BBW =
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:22 PM   #17
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While I believe prejudice against fat people is sadly largely one of the MANY remaining acceptable prejudices, let's stop pretending it's #1.

There are at least 3 major groups of people that come to mind that actually face significant discrimination that "fat" people do not, and none of these groups are covered by the ADA.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:16 PM   #18
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I agree, the euphemisms give me the weebie jeebies. I may be curvy, but that's usually not the point.

Some people use (although I hope this is more a thing of the past) the phrase " a black" or "a white" when they're taking about a black person or a white person and that really bothers me. But I'm okay w "a black person" or "a white person." And by extension I'm fine w "a fat person."

I know that some people who are diabetic really don't want to be referred to as "a diabetic," but I could care less. I know that nobody who refers to me as a diabetic is really reducing me to nothing but my diabetic-ness. OTOH, I think there could be times when a person who uses the phrase "fat person" could be using it in a way I wouldn't feel okay about.

I think so much of it has to do w intonation and context and the backgrounds of both speaker and listener.

Getting back to the OP, though, ITA w the spirit of your post! I think that so many of us have various addictions and other disfunctions, but obesity is just so visible. It's like wearing our hearts on our sleeves.

But, like Ravenrose said, all fat people deserve to be treated w respect no matter how they got fat or whether they're doing something about it. The fat women who were seen working out at the gym didn't deserve to be treated well because they were working out and therefore not as bad as fat people who aren't working out. They deserved to be treated well bc they are human beings.
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