More On Weight Discrimination: Assumptions About Weight

Posted: October 9, 2014 in Fat Acceptance
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I really need to stop reading things some people say. I read a discussion online about weight discrimination in employment, and the usual comments about how weight discrimination in employment is justified came up.

So for purposes of this posts let’s go ahead and assume you can tell from looking at someone exactly what they eat and how much they workout (which isn’t true).

So the argument some people have made is that they would rather hire someone who looks “fit” than someone who is fat because you can tell that a “fit” person is organized (because they are organized enough to get to the gym and keep their nutrition in check), they are dedicated (because they are dedicated to working out and eating well), they will always be on time (because… I really don’t know?), are more social, so they will get along with people at the office (because… again I don’t see the connection)et cetera.

But what bugs me about this is the idea that dedication (organized, timely, whatever) can only mean one thing- dedication to your appearance.

Really? Because unless your job is built around working out or physical appearance, what does that dedication mean?

Even if we assume that a fat person by virtue of being fat cannot be dedicated and organized in regards to working out and what they eat, that doesn’t mean they aren’t dedicated to anything- like idk, maybe their job!

I mean, let’s assume all of these assumptions are true- by that logic employers should discriminate against people who look fit. After all, that much dedication to never missing a workout and always making them means they will probably be less willing to come in early and stay late (encroaching on gym time), work extra hours, work from home (too busy at the gym instead), and since they spend so much time at the gym they probably don’t have as much experience socializing outside a gym environment. Unlike that fat job candidate who is obviously willing to put other things, like their work, over working on how their body looks, and is probably a lot better at socializing over food at office parties and events.

Obviously those arguments are bullshit, but they are logically consistent with the assumptions being made about people based on appearance.

Dedication comes in many forms. I’ve mentioned before the issue of priorities. Not everyone’s priorities are the same. And that’s ok. According to the logic of this person if I take time away from work, research, and/or writing to work out that shows dedication. Well it shows dedication to my workout. It doesn’t show dedication to my work or research though. But if I skip a workout (which frankly, I often do) because I prioritize that time on getting work, research, and writing done, according to this person I’m not showing dedication to my career, because the only dedication that matters is dedication to working out and maintaining low body fat.

Though I’m a bit backward in organization, I’ve had several people comment that my home gym is the most organized part of my house. Meanwhile my home office is covered in boxes. Organized in one area does not always translate into organization in all areas.

Frankly, I think employers should consider me skipping workouts to work on things that will advance my career a good quality rather than prioritizing a dedication to maintaining low body fat, which has nothing to do with my career, at the expense of other things.

There are only so many hours in a day. All people cannot do all things. it would be great if i could fit in everything I need to all the time without having to sacrifice somewhere, but that’s not possible. So sometimes that means workouts get skipped because I have other things on my plate that take priority. That is not a lack of dedication or organization, it’s just a matter of prioritization.

  1. As a fitness professional, I do at times feel the effects of not having a 6-pack or the perfect body myself. People are often quick to assume that that size = health and that is totally wrong. In my opinion less value should be placed on weight, size, and appearance. Instead, the emphasis should be made on eating food that is better for your health and increasing physical activity. So keep doing what you’re doing girl! Be hard working! Your appearance/ size does not affect the quality of work!

  2. […] comments online, it’s also negative comments from an employer, it’s being told that your weight is an indication of laziness and/or doesn’t represent a company well. It’s these things, and so many more things, […]

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