A friend of mine was shopping the other day for meat and cheese. She was standing in the check out line and decided to grab a bag of Doritos to go with her work lunches. While still standing in line she hears, “Ma’am?”
Then again, “Ma’am?”
After the third “Ma’am”, she turns around to see someone is trying to speak to her. It was a “perfectly dressed” young man trying to get her attention.
“You know, they put those there for THAT reason. For mindless, no will-powered, fat, morbidly obese people, like you to buy.”
My friend was shocked and said, “Excuse me? As you can clearly see I’m holding lunch here. If I choose to purchase chips to have with lunch, so be it. Who are you to say what I can or can’t buy, anyway?”
A man in the line came to my friend’s defense, and told him shut up or he will be picking himself up off the floor.
The young man replied, “You’re just helping these fat people stay fat.”
My friend said, “I’m well rounded, happy, curvaceous women whose happy living in my skin. I did not say things to purposely hurt others. You, my friend, are not. Whose’s soul needs the work? Not mine.”
I was just thinking the other day that maybe I was starting to bark up the wrong tree. Maybe the world had become a more tolerant place for people of all body types, and maybe my focus should be elsewhere. Then, like a lightening bolt of truth, this story shows up on my Facebook feed. This happened in my town. The town that hands out bumper stickers that say, “Be nice, you’re In Bend.”
This story is a prime example of why we cannot stop fighting for body acceptance. We must continue to empower people to stand up to these emotional terrorists. We must support all people, and let them know that they are allowed to be happy living in their skin.
As for the troll, he is proof there is a long way to go. It makes you wonder how many people who “looked healthy” he didn’t call out. Did he criticize every high processed, non-nutritious food choice every shopper made that day? I highly doubt it. And, when did being fat cause global warming, anyway? He was participating in the last, socially acceptable, form of discrimination. Verbally abusing someone is never okay, no matter what they look like. I applaud everyone who stood up, my friend and the Good Samaritan. I also applaud of those who responded to her story on social media with support and love.
We must take our power back. Please stand with me in saying that this gentlemen’s behavior was unacceptable. Not just for my friend, but for everyone who experiences body discrimination. This happens daily, even hourly. Somewhere right now, someone is being treated with the same disrespect and spoken to with such hate.
This is the 21st century. How someone looks does not make them, somehow, a lesser person. Just because someone does not conform to the unattainable ideal of beauty does not mean you have the RIGHT to tell them what they can or cannot do. Fat people are human beings.
Stand up against body discrimination. Everyone deserves respect.