Friday, December 10, 2010

Weight Bias: Giving Stink Eyes to Fatties

It happens every day - ballet masters are pushing girls to be thin so they can look good on stage. Fashion industry executives favor thinner women over plumper when choosing the right supermodels.

Weight bias is everywhere - and there are a lot of people who are proud of criticizing, teasing, and singling out the plumper crowd.

Well, when we were little fat kids or teens, we had our lion's share of insults from kids at recess calling you fatty. You probably walked through the halls between classes at your school and the thinner crowd yelled to the others, "Extra-wide load coming through!" You sat down and ate your lunch while some kids thought and said that you were fat and you ate the dish du jour, which was your burger and fries meal.

Most of us overweight/obese adults face the same thing too. Whenever we are at parties and get or foods, some people are on our backs saying, "That's too much (insert name of dish, dessert, or condiment)," or, "You're too fat to be eating this stuff anyway."

Fat girl tells all - she tells us what she is going through at school, and her peers' comments hurt her.

Let's face it, most of us get teased and/or criticized by our own households. As children, our parents made us eat broccoli while the other family members eat hot dogs. They make us the earliest to wake up - making us do calisthenics, jog lots of miles, and more - like a boot camp. Our siblings and cousins even join in the act as well. I have to admit that my cousin called me "funny tummy." I laughed about it, but inside it hurt. But you should get this: portly children are less likely to have their parents buy their own cars or pay for college than skinnier ones.

So why are parents and other people tease or shame us and kids about weight? A lot of cultural aspect focus on thin people, not just dance (especially jazz, lyrical, and ballet), sports (especially swimming and gymnastics), and fashion. One of them is marriage, and some men prefer thinner women over fatter ones. But many of those have something in common: thin is attractive.

But there's a dark side to thin cult. Sometimes, pressure to be thin can lead to eating more and sneaking food more. Not only do we adults and kids suffer lowered self-esteem, but with might be setting ourselves up for depression, eating disorders and even suicide.

So what can we do if we were faced with snide comments like "eat only half of the meal," even if your mama serves a reasonable portion with enough fiber and protein? Ignoring them does not work, and it's annoying. Affirmation-based self-intervention helps. One of those methods is Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, which involves tapping on your body until you feel better.

But parents need to stop singling out what they call little fatties (they should stop calling them that either). They need to eat healthier as a family, exercise as a family, and love and be loved as a family. Not only the plumpest can lose weight, but everyone can do it too! Healthy habits not only start at home, but appreciation no matter what size, starts there too!

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