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Weight Discrimination: Hate is Hate

Updated on August 5, 2016
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I have a B.A. in English with a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies. I have been a goth since I was fourteen, and pagan since fifteen.

As with racism, it is unacceptable for one category of people to discriminate against another; especially, for the purpose of revenge. When women of one size drag down women of another, it is nothing more than a mirror of what they themselves have experienced. Women should come together in support of one another. These days, we are only fueling societal pressures by taking sides. Just as one race is no better than another, one body type is no better than another. The best solution is to acknowledge the discrimination coming from both sides and work towards peace.

Have you ever thought about the impact of weight discrimination?

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Keira Knightley is no stranger to weight-bashing in the media. Rumors of anorexia have followed her for years. In reality, she has been a naturally thin person her entire life. In response to the anorexia suggestions, she brought up those close to her who had the disorder. For Keira, anorexia is not a laughing matter. As it turns out, she had both friends and family members combating it, including her grandmother and great-grandmother:

"I've got a lot of experience with anorexia. It was in my family. My grandmother, and my great-grandmother suffered from it and I had a lot of friends at school who suffer from it so I don't think it's anything to be taken lightly."

In 2005, Keira starred as the lead in the film Domino. One scene stands out as something she could have related to. Domino Harvey is hazed at a sorority house for having small breasts. Her smaller breasts come from her smaller frame. It's a known fact that this is how bodies are built, but society prefers women with both a tiny waist and large breasts, an unrealistic expectation.

Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe has received plenty of negative comments in regard to her body because it lacks the ever-so-popular tiny figure; nonetheless, her confidence isn't going anywhere. In 2014, she faced discrimination over the photos taken at The Golden Globes. Apparently, her waist wasn't as some prefer. Expecting Gabby to be heartbroken, they were disappointed when she chose to respond with sarcasm on Twitter, mocking their assumptions that she would break down and cry. She shows how self-esteem and humor is the best revenge:

"To people making mean comments about my GG pics, I mos def cried about it on that private jet on my way to my dream job last night. #JK"

[Read the full story here]

Gabby's breakthrough role was in the 2009 film Precious. She plays the lead, whose perseverance and self-assurance is being tested, constantly. No matter what her mother puts her through, Precious strives for a better life for herself and her child. Similarly, no matter what the media throws at Gabby, she continues on as the strong woman she is.

Do you agree with memes that mock weight?

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Memes about Thin vs. Thick

Some popular memes on Facebook, and Tumblr attempt to uplift full-figured people by putting down thin people. These memes involve photos of thin celebrities, such as Keira Knightley, on the top with a full-figured celebrity, such as Marilyn Monroe, on the bottom with the words "When Did This Become Hotter Than This?" While this is meant to empower plus-sized people it is actually insulting thin people. This makes it nothing more than a reversal of the discrimination that plus-sized people have been receiving. Until memes about weight can be made that embrace any size, color, religion, and so on, this only prolongs discrimination.

Briana Rognlin

I'm not the only one who recognizes something wrong and hypocritical about this movement. Blisstree author, Briana Rognlin wrote an article on this very topic entitled "Body Acceptance Gone Wrong: Why This Photo Doesn’t Make Me Feel 'Hot.'” She explains how any type of body shaming has the same effect as the original. Anything that tells women what their bodies should look like is harmful, regardless of if it's to empower one type or the other. Women should be empowering each other, not bringing them down.

Humor for Equality

One video by Youtubers, Arielle and Hart explores this subject. They use humor to debunk the common issues of society's standards of being "too thin" or "too thick." Their sense of humor is used to inspire the audience to see these issues without the seriousness typically imposed, but rather a genuine acceptance of self, instead. The underlying message is that it doesn't matter if someone is big or small. Each body type comes with its own problems. The important thing is that we embrace ourselves for exactly who we are.

"What I do know is that we are all equally challenged. We all have our ups and downs and we all can learn so much from each other."

- Arielle Scarcella

"Do me a favor and just love who you are; no matter what your build is. Just love yourself."

- Hart

Society can learn from Arielle's and Hart's messages. Arielle's point that both sides have their own unique struggles is deserving of further thought. Bigger people may believe that being thin is a crucial element for social acceptance, but slim people go through bias, as well. How many slender aspiring models are rejected for not passing the required weight expectations? Hart's words on self-acceptance speak to the underlying issue. The reason for the feud between thick and thin people is not about our bodies, but about our inability to love ourselves as we are. If we did that, we would not be concerning ourselves with what society says.

If you, the reader, have selected this article out of a personal need for inspiration to stop listening to the outside world's negative opinions, but you remain unconvinced by my words, hopefully my closing will be the answer.

When I was growing up, I was a fan of the group TLC, and will remain a fan until I die. FanMail is my favorite album of theirs. The track "Unpretty" has made me cry more times than I can remember. As a woman, I'm pleased it became a single, so that other women would hear it. It is a song to empower women of every size and situation, telling them that regardless of what lengths they go to perfect their exterior, it's what inside that matters:

"You can buy your hair if it won't grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can't look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
(Yeah) I'll make you feel unpretty too"

© 2014 social thoughts

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