Fighting Your Worst Enemy: Fat

Erin Ennis

Demonstrators in London set up a rally on Monday, Oct. 19 to fight against one of the world’s most “understated” crimes: fat-ism. Speakers at this rally demanded justice for those who are deemed “fat” in the public eye. Demonstrators hope that their actions will allow discrimination against “fat” people to be on par with discrimination for sex, creed, or religion. Calling someone “fat” as they walked past you, denying someone a seat on a rollercoaster because they are overweight, or having someone buy an additional plane ticket due to size would all be deemed hate crimes. I say: get over yourselves and buy a gym membership.

I’m not trying to be cruel but let’s be honest: everyone has weight issues. If you go around preaching that you are positively 100 % happy with your weight, you are either delusional or highly naïve. There is not a single person, male or female alike, that is unable to find a fault when it comes to their figure. But most of us do the logical thing: we hit the gym, start a diet, go for a walk, or just accept it as who we are.

That being said, I find it absolutely ridiculous that people want to make calling someone “fat” or discriminating against “fat” people illegal on the same terms as the first amendment. Don’t get me wrong: no business should refuse to hire someone because they are overweight. You shouldn’t be denied a lease to a new apartment because you’re carrying a little extra around the middle. But being “fat” is not on the same scale as religion or creed. No one can change the color of their skin (Michael Jackson aside); you can change your weight. It is not your fault if you are Muslim in an unforgiving country; it is your fault if you are too heavy to participate in certain activities.

I work at Six Flags Great Adventure in the Guest Relations department, and I get this complaint all the time: I can’t fit in the coaster seats and they won’t let me ride. Speaking frankly? There isn’t anything I can do about it. Would you like to fall out of the seat? Would you like to put the entire cart at risk? Yes, being overweight in this country is a huge issue and I admit it’s something that should be looked into. Obesity is becoming a growing trend and it’s depressing. But a person’s inability to ride a rollercoaster shouldn’t be something the company takes responsibility for. We have test seats for that reason, and normally, some pretty understanding people willing to help you out. I understand the attempt to punish those “discriminators” but really, isn’t that just setting a huge rift between those deemed “fat” and those not?

Again: I’d like to stress how this is not a bash on people overweight. I have my own issues when it comes to that, just like every other 21-year-old girl on this campus. But I know whose fault that is…I know the only person to blame for the freshman fifteen is me. I don’t go around blaming other people, or trying to get justice against those who say cruel things. Get over it. If you dislike someone calling you names, then stick up for yourself! Try to fix obesity in America. Try passing regulations on healthy food for children. Try getting businesses to understand the plights of those overweight. But don’t attempt to get legislation passed so that someone’s obesity a hate crime. That’s just silly.