Step In, Step Up, or Step Away?

Phew – this is such a loaded question on such a loaded topic. Because its seems like we’re all encouraged to have an opinion on other people’s weight and size.

Most people though are way too ‘polite’  to tell people to their face what that opinion is.

And, way too polite to call anyone on bigotted behaviour.

Because no matter which way you look at it, making decisions about a person’s health based on the size of their body is not valid, not accurate, and not any of your business anyway.

I’ve noticed that telling people they’re fat, that they shouldn’t eat something, or shouldn’t wear something makes them feel a lot of things – like embarrassed, angry, unworthy, upset, tearful, defensive, aggressive, but never more likely to stop doing what you think they shouldn’t do.

And that whole conversation came back to me when I watched the couple of videos on this page.

Once you’ve watched them, please come back and tell me what you think, this is such an important conversation to have and I’d appreciate you joining in.

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4 Comments

  1. Janine Lattimore on April 11, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Interesting.

    Do I judge people mentally about the way they look? Honestly, yes. However, I know that being slim does not mean that you are healthy (or happy) and there are a number or larger people I know who I think are very attractive.

    Do I make comments to people about what they should eat – well I do make recommendations through my business, but in my personal life I try really hard to only offer advice when people ask me first. I’m tend to be more interested in why people make the choices they do and what results they are getting from those choices. I have friends on weight watchers which I’m not a big fan of, but they feel they are achieving success with it so it works for them and that’s fine. I don’t believe that there is one right diet or one way to success and happiness. I pass on what I have learned, but others find different paths that are just as valid.

    Would I step in given a situation like the job applicant? I would like to think I would say something like “That’s discrimination. You need to judge her on her skills not her appearance. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with her serving me. I would be more concerned about whether she was friendly and helpful, than how she looked.”

    Very thought provoking.

  2. Sandy on April 11, 2011 at 1:21 am

    @Janine, it is a tough one, for sure. I’m doing a teleconference course at the moment, and the automatic commentary we have about others is coming up for the participants – it’s something we’re so used to doing, isn’t it, and we don’t often stop to question it. I like that you’d put more emphasis oher skills than her appearance, thanks for sharing.

  3. Lisa Wood on April 11, 2011 at 6:19 am

    Hello Sandy,

    Gosh that is amazing what they guy did in the shop! Not sure if I would have enough courage to step in and say anything. But it does show that stepping up and stepping in is the right thing to do. That lady did not deserve to be judged by her looks yet in todays society everyone is judged by they way they are dressed and the size of their body! Great blog post.
    Cheers
    Lisa

    • Sandy on April 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      @Lisa Wood, Yes it’s a real challenge to think about what we’d do – I think we’re so socialised to mind our own business, it’s good to see someone step up like that. I’m reminded of the saying that evil flourishes when good people do nothing…

Tell us what you think - you know you want to ;)