Fatphobia Examples Hiding in Plain Sight
Fatphobia is common in everyday life. Here are tips on how to spot and avoid it, plus-size or not!
Whether you like it or not, societal standards impact your life, with negative biases causing quiet yet significant harm. An example is how fatphobia, or the fear of being fat or around fat people, continues to wreak havoc on people’s mental and , relationships, and even careers.
Also known as weight stigma or fat stigma, fatphobia is the implicit and explicit bias of overweight individuals and has existed since the beginning of time. Similar to racism, classism, and misogyny, it’s a form of oppression characterized by negative behavior towards people who don’t fit the “ideal” mold, a.k.a. the thin and lean. If you’ve ever gained even a bit of weight sometime in your life, you know very well what this entails.
But while the “Oy, tumaba ka!” or “Anong nangyari sa’yo?” are the most common examples of fatphobic behavior, there are other ways this weight bias manifests culturally – and to be honest, you might be guilty of them, too.
Fatphobia Examples in IRL
Institutional weight bias has integrated itself so well into daily life that you may not be conscious that you’re doing it. Have you ever found yourself doing the examples below?
Saying “Looking great! Did you lose weight?” or giving any comment about weight loss.
It sounds harmless enough – affirmative, even – especially if uttered to or by a close friend or family member. However, these “appreciative” comments about one’s lighter or slimmer figure are problematic. They’re rooted in the assumption that losing weight is always a good thing, regardless of the method used (and there are plenty of unhealthy ones, like engaging in extreme exercise, poor , disordered eating, and more). However sincere or well-meaning the comment may be, it fuels a cycle of wanting to lose weight to look good or gain other people’s approval.
It’s simple: If you don’t want to be on the receiving end of such weight-related comments, stop dishing them out.
Assuming someone is less healthy because they are big.
Have you ever been told that no one would hire you because you’re on the heavier side? Yup, fatphobia in the professional setting is often cloaked as simply adherence to company standards. Some employers see a plus-sized candidate and immediately assume the worst: they have no control, and they can’t manage their health – so she probably has no serious work ethic. Meanwhile, for others, it’s all about aesthetics. How can they represent the company if they look like that?
That said, avoid offering unsolicited advice regarding a person’s weight – especially concerning their health – unless asked.
Experiencing workplace discrimination.
Have you ever been told that no one would hire you because you’re fat? Yup, fatphobia in the professional setting is often cloaked as simply adherence to company standards. Some employers see a plus-sized candidate and immediately assume the worst: She has no control and she can’t manage her health – so she probably has no serious work ethic. Meanwhile, for others, it’s all about aesthetics. How can she represent the company if she looks like that?
It would be wise to assess how you treat your co-workers, too. While “fat” jokes may be funny, they can be seriously damaging for the ones being made fun of.
Dealing with fashion discrimination.
Since the fashion industry remains dominated by clothes made for the thin and slim, plus-sized shoppers are left with limited options and often find themselves spending more or having items customized. And while many brands have made the move to be more size-inclusive, plus-sized people still get called out – or complimented as “brave” – for wearing outfits that are usually seen on smaller bodies, like a .
If you want to do your part to end this fashion discrimination, here’s a simple way to start: Stop fussing about what other people are wearing and let them wear what they want! The same goes with your fashion choices: Your body, your rules.
Celebrating Body Love
The bottom line: Fat, slim, or in-between, all and meant to be celebrated. As long as you take care of yourself and do what you can to keep your body healthy and strong, never mind what the naysayers say – fatphobics included.
Want to give your body extra TLC? Try these pampering bath and body picks! Go for a refreshing shower with the Dove Go Fresh Sakura Blossom Body Wash, which has Japanese-style Pinkish Sakura and Rice Water essence to replenish skin moisture while leaving a subtle fragrance.
Then, pack on soothing hydration with Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Soothe Body Lotion, powered by nourishing aloe vera. Lastly, glide on all-day confidence with Rexona Women Natural Brightening Fresh Sakura Roll-on Antiperspirant Deodorant, which brightens the underarms while providing lasting protection.
Don’t let fatphobia keep you from being your best self. Stay healthy, embrace your positive attributes, and remember that inclusivity starts with you!