I have been fat most of my life.
I have been employed most of my adult life.
Has being fat affected my work life?
Mostly, in the jobs I did not get or take.
In Los Angeles, I saw an ad, looking for a secretary with “front office appearance”.
I’m, like, WTF is that? I need to look like a credenza?
A few times, I have been told the importance of dressing appropriately.
This is not always possible for fat employees – and even if the clothes are available in your size, it sure isn’t cheap. Fat clothes cost a lot more than that extra bit of fabric that goes into them.
I had a very creepy and strange interview with a headhunter, who kept telling me that in asking for salary, I musn’t be a “greedy guts”. He said this repeatedly. I am sure he was trying to tell me something, and I was equally sure I had no desire to work for or through his company.
Fat people are often paid less than their non-fat co-workers and are less apt to be promoted.
The first affected me because I am not the type to demand a lot and pretty much am oblivious as to what I am worth.
I lucked out in moving to an area where my skills are much in demand and thus, in general, people with my skills are offered good pay rates.
And outside of becoming a lawyer (something I have never aspired to – I have some integrity), there is really no place for me to go further on my chosen “career” path.
Fact is, I don’t have a career path and have never wanted one.
I have a job.
A good paying job that I am good at.
I don’t want a “career” – a work situation that carries over into my personal life.
I want to leave work and be done with it until the next work day.
Historically, I believe, fat men have had an easier time of it, but that seems to be changing too. Male professionals are supposed to be sleek and fit. Fat men are considered “feminine” (oh the horror).
Being fat is seen as a weakness and fat people are mostly considered to be lacking in the ability control their own bodies.
It’s stupid. It’s wrong. It’s bigotry.
But that’s how it is.
Fat people are even discriminated in school. Research has shown that fat children doing the same work as non-fat children tend to get lower grades for the same work.
This is why fat is a civil rights issue.
Fat people are being discriminated against and it is just accepted (even by many fat people) as the norm.
I want to live in a world where we are all treated equally – based on applicable qualifications with reasonable accommodation where appropriate – but mostly just everyone treated with dignity and respect and kindness that should be afforded to all humans.
We’re all in this together, and nobody is getting out alive, we might as well be kind to each other along with way.