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The oppressive nature of sizeism

CollegianMug-ZaraDeGroot
Zara DeGroot

What is the worst thing you could be called? For me, I’d take grave offense if someone told me I looked like Rob Kardashian. But that has happened before. If someone told me I looked like 2014 Rob Kardashian, I’d be even more offended, and probably cry into a piece of cheesecake. Why is that? Because he put on some weight during that time and I would assume people were telling me I was “fat” like Rob. Why is “fat” the worst thing we can be called?

Behind the word “fat” lies connotations of being lazy, unintelligent and undesirable. Not only is it a jab at someone’s image, it is an attack of their character.

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Sizeism, discrimination based on an individual’s size, is a problem in our culture. I’d even go as far as to say that it is a form of oppression. The idea of being the “right size” is on our minds far more than it should be. With print advertisements in every paper and magazine, to photos of Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel on Instagram, the pressure to possess the ideal body is all around us.

About 5 percent of women naturally have that petite, slender form we all strive for. The rest of us are over here struggling because we want to eat all of our baked ziti, but don’t want to switch our skinny jeans for our fat pants the next day. It is ridiculous that only one female body type is being displayed, because it leaves out a large chunk of the population. The same goes for men. Not every man is as beefy and greased up as those “Vogue” advertisements show. It would suck if every guy was that beefy, because if he put you in a headlock, your head would pop off. That’s not sexy, that’s terrifying.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think the solution to this is to simply “love yourself.” Yes, that is a good place to start. Self-hatred, in many cases, is deathly. But hatred of our bodies started after the standard of body size was set. It’s not an achievable goal, one that many individuals spend their whole lives trying for anyway. Loving yourself is easier said than done, and being told to do so does not fix the problem.

I’m not going to tell you the answer to your problem is to love your body. And I’m not going to say “be healthy,” because that’s always annoying. The solution to this problem is how we collectively view one another. If we keep trying to mold to the collective “beauty” standard, nothing is going to change. We need to stop equating one’s character with their body size. A woman with curves isn’t necessarily “unhealthy” just because she carries more weight. She might actually be healthier than a super-thin woman who is overworking or under-nourishing her body. At the end of the day, if your body houses your mind and soul, it is a pretty great body.

Our body types should not define who we are or what we are capable of achieving. Let’s try to focus on what really matters about each other, and start to appreciate the diverse personalities around us, rather than if we can fit into our friend’s Hollister jeans, which we all know is impossible if you carry any weight on you. We are too worried about our outward appearance, when we could be educating ourselves on world events, or even empowering one another to make a difference. Body types are marginal in the grand scheme of things, and it is sad we cannot accept one another otherwise. So if you get told you look like Rob Kardashian, take it as a compliment rather than an insult, because you are being compared to an entrepreneur of a successful sock brand.

Collegian Columnist Zara DeGroot can be reached at letters@collegian.com, or on Twitter @Zar_degroot

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  • B

    BirdfishMar 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    YES IT IS TRUE THAT SIZEISM IS A MAJOR PROBLEM!!!!!!
    I AM HEAVY SET BECAUSE OF BAD GLANDS AND SUGAR DIABETES!
    I HAVE THE DIALYSIS BECAUSE OF KIDNEY FAILINGS!!!
    THEY TELL ME I HAVE TO GET UNDER 350 TO GET THAT NEW KIDNEY!
    THAT IS A BIG DROP FROM WHERE I AM NOW AND MY GLANDS WONT LET ME GET UNDER 400!
    IT IS SIZEISM TO KEEP THOSE NEW KIDNEYS ONLY FOR SKINNY FOLKS!
    I DID HAVE AN OPERATIONS FOR MY GALL BLADDERS
    IT HAD DUCK STONES!
    IF THEY CAN TAKE OUT THAT GALLBLADDERS WHY CANT THEY PUT IN THAT NEW KIDNEY?????
    I JUST NEED ONE.
    BUT THEY SAY NO NO NO NO NO NO
    THEY SENT ME TO A HATEFUL EATING DOCTOR WHO THINKS I AM EATING CRAZY BUT I DONT EVEN EAT MUCH
    IT IS THE GLANDS!!!!!!!
    WE NEED A LAW TO BAN SIZEISM AND HEAVY SET DISCRIMINATIONS!!!!!!

    NOTE I HAVE A HATEFUL CYBER STALKER. HE CAN EVEN POST WITH MY SAME NAME! HE WILL MOCK MY HEAVY SET!!! IGNORE HIS HATEFUL MOCKINGS. I HAVE A DOCTOR ORDERED REST BECAUSE I ALSO HAVE SLEEPING APENAS!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • B

      BirdfishMar 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      BUT REGARDLESS OF MY CYBER STALKER, YES IT IS TRUE THAT I HAVE NEVER WORKED A JOB IN MY LIFE!!!! NEVER!!!!!

      AND NO I NEVER HAVE PAID ANY TAXES OR PAID ANY INSURANCE PREMIUMS EITHER!!!!

      YES I DO GET THE WELFARES AND I HAVE SINCE GETTING OUT OF JAIL IN THE 70’S!!!!!

      IT WAS MY CELLMATE RUFUS THAT TAUGHT ME HOW TO CREATE A DISABILITY THROUGH OBESITY THAT WOULD QUALIFY ME FOR WELFARE BENEFITS

      I GET SECTION 8, FREE GOOD STAMPS AND HEALTH CARE, FREE TV AND ELECTRIC AND THE GAS, FREE TOBY PHONE, FREE WELFARE ON WHEELS AND YES I DO HAVE A WELFARE TOLIET THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME BY SOME NICE PEOPLE AT THE BROOKFILED ZOO

      THIS IS BECAUSE I AM 492LBS AND I HAVE NOT SEEN MY FEET SINCE 1975. NOW I WANT A FREE WELFARE FAT SCOOTER, A WELFARE ROBOT TO CLEAN MY SECTION 8 AND A WELFARE KIDNEY BECAUSE I HURT MINE WITH MY EATINGS TO GET THE WELFARES!!!!!

      THIS IS MY BUSINESS AND DO NOT QUESTION ME ABOUT IT!!!!!!

      THIS WAS MY WELFARE APPLICATION PHOTO FROM YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS MUCH THINNER!!!!!!!

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53c67b5d35bad4f283dc409063151ed9b1e219eb58db3165e0c308fb83d50b97.jpg

      Reply
      • B

        BirdfishMar 20, 2017 at 2:10 pm

        NO FAKE BIRDFISH!!!!!!!
        NO!
        NO!
        NO!

        THAT IS NOT MY PHOTO

        I DID NOT WORK THE PAYCHECK JOB BECAUSE OF DISCRIMIANTIONS
        I SUFFER THE TEN DISCRIMINATIONS

        AND YES I DO GET SOME PROGRAMS
        SO WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I AM NEEDY AND QUALIFY FOR THE FREE THINGS!!!

        AND YES I DO NEED A MOBILITY SCOOTER
        I QUALIFY AND HAVE THE PAPERS
        AND YES I NEED A CLEANING ROBOT
        NOT A WELFARE ONE
        I CANT GET THEM TO SEND FREE HOUSEKEEPERS OUT OR GIVE ME A FREE ROBOT
        I DO TRY

        AND I AM HEAVY SET
        IT IS NOT FROM THE EATINGS
        IT IS MY GLANDS

        AND I DO NEED THAT NEW KIDNEY
        THEY KEEP SAYING NO
        IT IS SIZISMS

        Reply
        • B

          BirdfishMar 20, 2017 at 2:39 pm

          WELL ACTUALLY I GET EVERY PROGRAM THERE IS

          I NEVER WANTED TO DO THE WORKINGS SO I MADE MYSELF VERY FATSICK SO I COULD GET THE FATPAY

          THE PEOPLE PAY MY BILLS

          I WOULD LIKE A WELFARE FAT SCOOTER AND A WELFARE ROBOT

          BUT NOT A BLACK WELFARE ROBOT BECAUSE IT MIGHT STEAL OR ROB OR RAPE FOLKS

          THIS IS MY WELFARE TOLIET WHEN IT WAS STILL AT THE ZOO BEFORE THEY GAVE IT TO ME

          NOW IT IS MY WELFARE TOLIET
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d6a9ad992fc6e7e2e2ae1fe3fcc56f7d221dc02633674af8d6fe738d1f5d722.jpg

          Reply
          • B

            BirdfishMar 21, 2017 at 2:16 pm

            IT IS A MOBILITY SCOOTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            I QUALIFY!!!!!!!
            I NEED THE BIG SIZE ONE!
            AND IT IS A CLEANING ROBOT!!!!!!!
            I DO NEED IT!!!!!!!
            AND NO MY BOWL IS NOT FROM THE ZOO OR FROM ELEPHATS!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishMar 21, 2017 at 3:34 pm

            I CALL IT A WELFARE FAT SCOOTER

          • B

            BirdfishMar 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

            NO
            IT IS A HANDICAP MOBILITY SCOOTER
            WITH A BIG SEAT AND MOTOR FOR BIG FOLKS

          • B

            BirdfishMar 22, 2017 at 1:34 pm

            I CALL IT MY WELFARE FAT SCOOTER

          • B

            BirdfishMar 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

            IT IS A MOBILITY SCOOTER
            I NEED IT

          • B

            BirdfishMar 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm

            I CALL IT A WELFARE HOGSCOOTER

          • B

            BirdfishJun 27, 2017 at 7:12 am

            I WOULD PROBABLY BREAK MY WELFARE FAT SCOOTER

          • B

            BirdfishJun 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

            WRONG!
            THEY HAVE BIG SIZED ONES WITH REINFORCED SEATS FOR BIG FOLKS
            THEY ARE MORE EXPENSIVE
            BUT I SHOULD GET A FREE ONE
            I DONT KNOW WHERE I WOULD PARK IT

          • B

            BirdfishJun 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm

            BUT TRUE I NEED A HOGLIFT TO GET OUT OF MY FREE SECTION 8

          • B

            BirdfishJun 27, 2017 at 3:05 pm

            IT IS A HANDICAP LIFT ON THE HANDICAP MEDICAL AMBULANCE
            NOT A HOGLIFT

          • B

            BirdfishJun 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

            BUT YES WHEN I GO SOMEWHERE THEY USES THE HOGLIFT https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5dd37a83b1bb74899bcb11f3d9056c98d49da87d3df4358556d9f4c52f30f358.jpg LIKE FOR THIS FATTY

            BUT I AM MUCH BIGGER

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm

            NO THEY DONT LIFE ME LIKE THAT INTO THE MEDICAL VAN
            NO
            THEY HAVE A HYDROLICK LIFTING PLATFORM THAT GOES UP
            THERE IS A HARNESS LIKE THAT FOR THE DIPPINGS BUT THAT IS BECAUSE YOU CANT PUT ELECTRICAL THINGS INTO THE WATER

            THIS IS A VERY HATEFUL PICTURE
            THEY DONT HAUL ME AROUND IN A FURNITURE TRUCK

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 3:22 pm

            I AM A HATEFUL FATTY WELFARE STEALER TOO

            IT’S TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 4:47 pm

            I WILL BE DROPPING THAT WEIGHT SOON

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 5:11 pm

            ALSO I FATTEN UP

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 6:50 pm

            THAT WEIGHT WILL BE DROPPING

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 8:26 pm

            BUT I STAY A FATTY WHALE

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 7:10 am

            I AM SLIMMING DOWN SOON.
            HELLO NEW KIDNEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 7:22 am

            GOOD BYE SECTION 8

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 6:56 am

            BACK TO COURT COSBY GOES ON JULY 30TH!!!!!

            AND MORE CHARGES FOLLOW FROM MANY OTHER WOMEN!!!!!!

            IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE RAPEY BILL PUTS ON THAT ORANGE D.O.C. SUIT AND IS LED TO HIS CAGE

            THERE HE WILL BE THE SHOWER BOY FOR THE OTHER INMATES

            THEY WILL CALL HIM OLD SOAPY
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e1ce390ae5387a2c09881d4d5dd03e41f1309f86543351ef5344f16499e8c64.jpg

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm

            THIS CASE JULY 30TH IS VERY WRONG
            IT GOES BACK TO 1974
            YES 1974!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            THE STATUE OF LIMITS IS LONG OVER SO IT SHOULD BE DISMISSED
            NO HE DID NOT GET BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD WAY BACK THEN

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 3:31 pm

            BUT I MUST AGREE THAT RAPEY BILL IS SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            HE GOT BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            CAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm

            THAT IS CRAZY
            NO HE DID NOT GET BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD!
            THAT WAS IN 1974

            THAT LADY CERTAINLY DOES LIE
            NOW SHE IS 58 YEARS OLD
            SHE HAD 40 YEARS AFTER GETTING OF AGE TO MAKE THAT CHARGE
            WHY NOW?????????????????????

            THAT STATUE OF LIMITS IS UP
            THIS CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 5:24 pm

            BUT I SEE BILL IS BEING CHARGED WITH MANY MORE RAPES

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 6:44 pm

            NO THIS IS FALSE
            HE CANNOT BE CHARGED
            IT WAS TO LONG AGO

          • B

            BirdfishJun 28, 2017 at 8:29 pm

            BUT TRUE BILL IS A SICKO THAT GOT BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 7:08 am

            OF COURSE HE DID NOT GET BUSY WITH THAT 15 YEAR OLD
            THAT WAS IN 1974
            1974!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            HOW CAN THEY EVEN CHARGE HIM NOW AFTER ALL THESE YEARS??????
            IT IS CRAZY

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 7:40 am

            THAT POOR VICTIM WAS RAPED BY RAPEY BILL

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 2:46 pm

            THIS IS CERTAINLY A HATEFUL LIE
            THAT WAS 43 YEARS AGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            WHY IS THIS ONLY COMING OUT NOW?????????????????????

          • B

            BirdfishJun 30, 2017 at 4:16 pm

            BUT RAPE IS RAPE!!!

            COSBY PAYS FOR HIS SICK CRIMES!!!

            AND THAT RIGHT QUICK!

          • B

            BirdfishJul 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

            MR COSBY TRUELY IS INNOCENT
            HE WILL NEVER DO TIME
            NEVER
            AND IT IS NOT RIGHT THEY COME AFTER HIM FOR THESE THINGS
            THEY ARE TO OLD OF CHARGES!!!!!!!!!!!

            THE STATUE OF LIMITS IS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            CASE DISMISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJul 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm

            BUT TRUE RAPEY BILL GOT BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD

            SICK!!!!!!!

          • B

            BirdfishJul 3, 2017 at 3:48 pm

            THIS IS VERY HATEFUL AND NOT TRUE
            HE DID NOT GET BUSY WITH A 15 YEAR OLD BACK IN 1972!!!!

            THAT IS LONG LONG AGO!!!!
            THEY CANT CHARGE STUFF FROM WAY BACK WHEN!
            NO ONE CAN EVEN REMEMBER

          • B

            BirdfishJul 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

            BUT I SEE THE CHARGES ARE FILED

            RAPEY BILL GETS HIS DUE AND OWING

          • B

            BirdfishJul 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm

            HE WILL BE AQUITTED AGAIN!!!!!!!
            HE DID NOT DO IT

          • B

            BirdfishJul 5, 2017 at 7:29 pm

            BUT TRUE MORE COURT DATES ARE COMING FOR RAPEY BILL