What is a “weight problem”? I found this ad on Sociological Images. It encourages passersby to “shed your weight problem here” by throwing away their fashion magazines.
I got to thinking, what is a “weight problem”? We hear that phrase a lot. “I have a weight problem.” “I have a problem with my weight.” “My weight has always been a problem.”
Do I have a weight problem?
I weigh what I do, and because of that I have a few problems.
- I have a problem with the headlines on beauty magazines screaming at me, “Your body sucks!” every time I go shopping.
- I have a problem with clothing manufacturers who don’t want to produce clothes in my size.
- I have a problem with clothing stores who don’t want to carry clothes in my size.
- I have a problem with medical professionals who carry their prejudices about my body into our interactions.
- I have a problem with people who know their speech is hateful to me, but they do it anyway.
- I have a problem with employers who want to give me a lower salary.
- I have a problem with people who want to sneak a photo of me in public to make fun of me later.
- I have a problem with people who give me dirty looks when I dare to eat in public.
- I have a problem with the people who send me hate mail because I have the audacity to publicly stick up for myself and other fat people.
In short, sure, I have a weight problem.
But it isn’t my weight.
The solution to my problem is therefore not for me to lose weight. The solutions to these problems are social solutions – anti-discrimination laws, social pressure to end weight stigma, and individual people celebrating fat people.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Learn more about what’s really a problem when it comes to weight by checking out either of these books, or anything on my Fat Acceptance book list (affiliate links).