Discrimination at Large

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Discrimination at Large Growing up, obesity has always been an issue in my family. I have watched most of the women in my family go from diet to diet in the hopes of losing weight. We as a society have placed so much emphasis on looking a certain way or thinking skinny is healthy that we have created a stereotype where being overweight is seen as gross or unhealthy. Obesity is stereotyped in a negative way in many countries. Studies have shown that adults describe obese people by undesirable attributes such as lazy, unappealing, unhappy, unpopular and sloppy (Harris et al., 1982; Tiggemann and Rothblum, 1988; Ryckman et al., 1989; Cogan et al., 1996). Children also endorse a similar dislike of obesity. The classical study of Richardson et al. (Richardson et al., 1961) showed that children ranked an obese child last on likeability, behind children with various physical handicaps, such as facial disfigurement and using a wheelchair. In “Discrimination at Large” Jennifer A. Coleman explains that obesity is the last preserve for unexplained bigotry. She tells us how overweight people are publicly criticized without remorse on TV, in the news and in cartoons. Coleman goes on to say people who would never think about telling an anti-gay or racial joke have no problem screaming “move your fat ass” when we cross in front of them. Furthermore, she tells us that overweight children are taught that they deserve to be mocked. I found this article to be very eye opening for me and how I deal with the subject of obesity around my children. In particular, I liked how Coleman spoke about how she believed she could infiltrate the ranks of the nonfat and thereby establish her worth, how hating fat people is not inborn and how thin is never enough. First, Coleman explains how she was picked on as a child and how she started to believe what was being said and how much later she
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