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Women Discriminated Because of Weight

Have You Witnessed Weight Discrimination at Work?

I've never heard anyone try to defend the US when someone calls our country fat, but weight discrimination is certainly a hefty issue in this country. Women have been particularly mistreated and discriminated against because of extra pounds, and at considerably lower weights relative to their body size than men. Self-reported cases of weight discrimination show that women begin noticing a difference in the way they're treated when they're about 13 pounds overweight. Women reported workplace weight bias as well as mistreatment in their personal lives, and researchers found that this kind of discrimination is more common than discrimination against religious beliefs or ethnicity.


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carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 9 years
the closest i've experienced is an overweight woman in my office constantly commenting on my eating habits (amount/type of food, how often i'd eat) and how skinny i am. it was outrageously obnoxious... i'd never, ever comment on her weight or shape.
midtownmaryjane midtownmaryjane 9 years
I think there is absolutely weight discrimination, but I have to say that it isn't always the heavier women that are targeted. In my job experience and in my interview experience I find that it is incredibly difficult to be a thin, attractive woman and be taken seriously. It is always after I interview with a woman (and sadly, it's because so many women are catty creatures)who is heavier that I automatically get an "I don't like you" vibe and subsequently receive the most negative feedback. They write me off or assume I've padded my resume etc...when to be honest it seems more a question of my looks making them feel bad about themselves. I don't want to sound like "Oh, the poor skinny girl!" but I have been noticing this for awhile and I'm just sick of it. I think heavy women probably are treated unfairly and have to work especially hard to be taken seriously...but the same goes for ambitious, smart women who happen to be on the other end of the scale.
phatE phatE 9 years
WOA lainatm.. I know her personally, and know that it's NOT an ASSumption.. I think you're the one assuming..
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
I am about a size bigger than I ought to be, which is no big deal. but I get "it" from my older female coworkers. they literally HARRASS me for being thin(er) and younger than they are. I can't speak up in a conversation at lunch without them makeing a snide comment either about my size or my youth. It's like come on ladies, give me a few years and I'll catch up to you!
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
RE: " of those ASSumptions...." Sorry, I did not mean for that to sound mean or directed at anyone in particular! I posted during my first cup of coffee this morning, and it just occurred to me during my morning drive that it might come off that way. mea culpa! Bookish: Good for you for not being bullied!
Bookish Bookish 9 years
I've been heavy, and I've been thin, and ironically the most blatant weight discrimination came when I was thin- though it was a very, VERY weird work environment. I was hired at an ad agency, and at 5'3" and 120 pounds, wasn't overweight. But on my second day the woman who hired me pulled me into her office to tell me that she really liked me and all, but that the office had certain standards that I just wasn't quite up to. Most important, she said, was that I lost at least ten pounds as quickly as possible. She went on to talk about how I needed to tan and how I should lighten my hair (because women in my position were more eye candy for the male execs than anything else). I didn't run out screaming right then, but I did give my notice on the spot. It was crazy!
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
phaE: "We have a very sweet woman at our work who is overweight and has some medical issues because of it." Sorry, but unless you know the individual's circumstances, this is one of those ASSumptions that people make. Perhaps her weight is *due to* her medical condition? I have a friend diagnosed quite young with rheumatoid arthritis. This is not something you can tell by looking at her. It makes it painful for her to work out, so keeping her weight in check is difficult, and not always successful. I have another friend who developed MS at about 40, which severely restricts her mobility. BTW, not having time to go to the gym for the last couple of years has cost me a couple of sizes. There just isn't time in my day, unless I neglect my family. (Tempting, but not an option!) Being *able* to work out is a luxury which some of us might envy you fit folks for. Perhaps that feeds some of the snarky remarks? The more you know....
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Obviously I mean contribute, not attribute. Sometimes there are too many thoughts in my head. ;)
krampalicious krampalicious 9 years
i've never experienced it personally, but i wouldn't be surprised at all if it happened to me or someone i work with. i myself am overweight, but i carry it well and don't obsess over my body or food (i'm also on a good amount of anti-depressants, so that helps). i'm also not the largest person in the office--that title actually goes to a dude--so i think that might make a difference, even though i do work in a male-dominated industry.
phatE phatE 9 years
mjane79- EXACTLY.. it's the biggest double standard.. and makes them look incredibly self conscious. I work REALLY hard to keep my size/weight where it is.. I don't appreciate being knocked for it or judged for it. I think I have an issue with larger people because of that.. From what I have experienced they automatically expect you to have an issue, and so they start from that point, when honestly I don't care what size the person is.. I do and don't understand discrimination towards it.. We have a very sweet woman at our work who is overweight and has some medical issues because of it. She has to miss quite a bit of work, and has been hospitalized and alot of people in our office have a problem with it because of how often it's become. It sounds insentive, and I personally don't agree, but I do think that employers would look at that because they are the ones losing the $$.. The woman I am talking about obviously has an addiction, or something beyond her control, and so I get that it's not just a choice for her, but the others look at her not making healthy choices or trying to change and see that as another reason to knock her. Is it fair that if it were an anorexic person it would probably be viewed different? NO.. but it's the reality of today.. On the other hand, if the person isn't so overweight that it's a disability, I think there is no reason to discriminate. Size doesn't reflect knowledge or ability.. Unfortunately though, in jobs like pharmacuitical sales, it's based on how you look, and not your talent or skill. Look at modeling, or even physicians (as someone mentioned earlier). I don't feel as comfortable seeing an overweight doctor, or I wouldn't buy diet products from someone overweight.etc.. That probably sounds really bad, and offensive.. I am really not trying to be.. Bottom line people are people, and they are more than their outter appearance. It's unfortunate that society has moved far far away from that on all different levels.. It's becoming more and more competitive, and so I am guessing this isn't going to go aways.. Especialls since we are teaching our kids that it's not ok to be overweight, but then feeding them crap, and marketing foods with cartoons, etc. We seend incredibly mixed messages and really set people up for failure..
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I've never seen it, to be honest, yet I am the first one to rally against prejudice of any kind. I think it's also true that some people may feel less confident when they gain 13 pounds and that can attribute to the difference in the way they are treated.
Beauty Beauty 9 years
I think fat people definitely experience discrimination. You think that Vogue or Glamour would hire a qualified woman who happened to be a size 20? I doubt it. And outside of the fashion business, it's similar: A lot of people have negative assumptions about fat people, and they're as unfair as they are inaccurate.
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I don't know if there's discrimination but there's certainly comments. But they aren't against overweight people. They are the overweight people making comments about people who aren't overweight. I'm slim and our plant manager is thin as well. Both of us try to eat well, not eat fast food all the time and work out. The people in the office who are overweight feel it's ok to make comments about our food or our body size because we aren't overweight. Unfortunately, most of the office is overweight. They are trying to lose weight and be healthier by eating better and exercising so good for them but because I maintain a healthy weight and the haven't doesn't give them the right to make comments about me. I don't make comments to them about their weight or what choice they make for food.
magickalrealism magickalrealism 9 years
People can be real jerks about anything, and now that most other forms of discrimination are illegal, that just leaves the socially "acceptable" target of fat people. The people that pull this are "armed and informed" by loads of media and studies that "prove" fat is unhealthy - unfortunately, those studies are about as accurate as the ones back in the 1960s that "proved" black people weren't as smart as white ones. There has been recent data - as in the last two months - demonstrating conclusively it is possible to be fat and healthy. And the people who are being jerks to those who are overweight aren't doing it out of concern for them; they're just doing it out of mean-spirited smugness since they think they themselves have power.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I've heard the comments at work. I believe that I've been passed over for jobs for not looking the part of the place I applied which means overweight and/or not dressing slutty.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
cvandoorn--I've had very similar experiences. Cattiness cuts both ways, unfortunately.
remedios remedios 9 years
I've not been the subject to my knowledge (I don't look good in a bathing suit, but look normal, whatever that is, in regular clothes) But discrimination often is subtle. I don't think that I would notice it when directed to another person unless it was blatant. For example, someone mentioned in interviews that the interviewer doesn't make eye contact - I would never know that. And even just in regular employment, I probably wouldn't notice that this happened during team meetings, or whatever. So I've no doubt it's out there, and probably has happened right in front of me, but I just didn't notice.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
Foxie~ No kidding! The only time I witnessed weight discrimination in the work place was when I was in the service, but it's completely deserved. There's a reason for weight standards and I don't want to have to be making up for their lack of physical ability when there's an emergency. Otherwise, we have people of all shapes in sizes in the office, and the only time we make snarky comments is when so-and-so is "on a diet", but has a drawer full of chocolate hidden in their desk.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
At my previous job it was the opposite. There were quite a few overweight girls in one department, and every time I walked in there they would snicker behind my back and make comments. I'm not skinny at all, but I am not overweight...i've got curves and a toned body (not the stick thin with fake boobs kind!!). And can you believe it, these overweight women, would make comments to my face like: oh, I see you're wearing black today...very slimming...trying to hide something?? What on earth? I never said anything mean about them! But maybe it was their defense mechanism as others would make rude comments about them.
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
Working in bariatric medicine has made me even more conscious of the stigma associated with being overweight. It's shocking how even many overweight people believe they are worth less because they are larger.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
i think people do even when they try not to. because its all about the appearance. I'm a medical student and I've witnessed how patients (even when they are overweight themselves) deliberately stay away from slightly heavier physicians. and with surgeons, its even worse if you are female and overweight (the irony of it is i was with the bariatric surgery service!)
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
I think people do. I once read an article about how overweight people are discriminated against because many people think that being overweight = you can't control yourself and don't have passion or determination. But as we all know, that isn't the case many of times.
simplycutebecka simplycutebecka 9 years
I have, all the time. I am overweight and have been most my life. Try getting a job and know that they won't even look at you during a interview because of your weight too.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
lovely just let them know its because of your eating and exercising that keeps you that way.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Yea i have...I have seen and heard of it before in my work. But it goes both ways too...I mean I feel quite awkward when I am talking about the gym and eating right and people say "Well, you shouldn't have to worry about that ebcaus eyou are skinney!" It's embarrassing! And I am not skinney, I am fit. I work hard for my toned body!
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