The word prejudice in itself is a stigma. The world has come so far in accepting people. Of course, there are exceptions and there will always be profiling, tension, prejudice, and racism. The outward practicing of prejudice is dwindling because it is so looked down upon. We would not see someone with a disability and call them a name or shout racial slurs to someone on the sidewalk, or sexually harass a woman as she walks by. These practices are considered taboo and could land the perpetrator into an even more uncomfortable position where someone sticks up for themselves or someone else, or even sends them to jail.
There is one last form of “accepted” prejudice however and that is fat prejudice. It is still ok to make fun of someone because they are overweight because they did it to themselves. It is their fault they are fat, whereas, a mentally disabled man probably didn’t choose to be that way.
I am fat, as a matter of fact, I am downright obese. I did not do this to myself. I did not wake up one morning and decide to gain 100 pounds, nor did I get up and eat a cheeseburger for breakfast. While there are definitely many people in the world who are obese due to compulsive eating, there are just as many who are afflicted with medical conditions that prevent them from exercising properly, or digesting food so their body uses and stores and expels correctly. These illnesses are not obvious from the outside.
I know what it is like to walk into a restaurant and be stared at. People look at me and they judge. They may not say anything, but I can see it in their eyes. Apparently, I have no right to go into a public eating establishment and eat. For that matter, I have no business eating at all. The same thing happens everywhere, regardless of where I am. Once, my husband and I took my little brother and sister to miniature golf and the batting cages. Afterwards, we got some ice cream. My little brother, who was eleven at the time, asked me why people were staring at me. It made me sad to know that he saw it too. I had to explain to him that some people don’t understand and that their ignorance is their own disability.
I am an intelligent, funny, kind, and beautiful woman, regardless of my size. I have been lucky to never really hear comments about my weight. There are people who have made comments about other fat people while I was around because they don’t realize that what they are saying may pertain to me also. They don’t realize they are hurting me.
There it is, people are people, regardless of their size or their race, sex, religion sexual orientation, and so much more. As people, we all deserve the same respect. The world has made great strides on becoming more open and more accepting. Hopefully fat prejudice will follow the trend.