Do you remember learning about fat in school?
Sure, it was in a health, nutrition or science class, right? But did you learn about fat in terms of how it relates to society?
I was reading, and a quote made me stop to re-read it again because it made me go, “Wow.”
The quote was: “Anti-fat prejudice is so acceptable in our society that Crandall has suggested that it is a better method for studying discrimination and prejudice than is racism or sexism…”
We learned about discrimination, prejudice, racism and sexism in schools. But did we ever learn about anti-fat prejudice? I don’t remember that.
I’m not sure if it’s a “better” method, but it’s one that should be considered. We don’t address fat in education unless it’s health related.
We’re taught to treat others the way we want to be treated. We’re taught that any form of harassment is wrong. But I never learned about fat shaming. I never learned about loving my body. I never learned about self-acceptance. And I never learned about anti-fat prejudice.
No one talked about fat. It was so hush-hush. Not an, “It’s OK to be fat,” or a “Fat is bad.”
When obesity was mentioned, it was that it just meant you got “too fat” or “overweight.” But what defines fat and overweight? Well whatever your doctor told you! Or whatever the BMI chart told your doctor! Sigh.
I didn’t think about this as a kid. I didn’t think about this until I saw how mean so many people were to those who were fat. If you’re going to be judgmental, stereotypical and rude, why are you even talking? Didn’t you also learn that if you don’t have anything nice to say then say nothing at all?
We know racism is wrong. Yet there are still racist people out there. We know sexism is wrong. yet there are sexists out there.
There is no excuse for prejudice. If we didn’t learn it in schools, schools should start to teach children about it ASAP. And as for parents, well you would hope that parents would teach their kids about this too, but maybe that’s not even happening.
You would think these things aren’t topics you should have to teach in school or tell your children about. But then again, how will they ever know the difference between right and wrong unless you teach them? How will these children grow up to be thriving and successful adults who aren’t discriminatory unless we teach them the difference between right and wrong?
Fat is always taught about in a medical sense. It’s about time we teach kids about what fat really is in all senses and get rid of its negative connotation.