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The worship of the supermodel has become a cult, and the parent of even the scrawniest 6-year-old girl will know that she is quite likely to come home from school announcing that she is starting a diet. Such food denial is clearly an abnormal process, and one that is in conflict with the eating-oriented habits of families and societies. It is hardly surprising that eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia cause such distress to friends and relatives. It also means that those who promote the medical desirability of weight loss have to be aware of the potentially adverse effects of what they do. While we have to examine critically the risks of obesity, we should look equally critically at the risks associated with its management– food denial. In recommending weight, there is a possibility that we may sometimes do more harm than good.

Obese people are often victims of jokes, stereotyping, negative nicknames, physical violence and other forms of discrimination because of their physical appearance. This happens in educational as well as in professional settings, where obese persons are often denied promotions or insurance coverage, and even friends because of their physical condition. Society discriminates against fat people, leaving them poorer educationally, socially and financially.

The way that some kids grow up can have a lot to do with social problem. Some parents will except nothing but the perfect child and those are other parents that don t teach their children to accept people that are larger, taller, and different colored they are. Therefore, we are left with discrimination and prejudice.

Obesity is a social problem, in a Harvard Study which included women of all weights found that the overweight women- (in the study, they average 5 feet 3 inches and 200 pounds) had house hold incomes that averaged $6,710 below those of the thinner women. They were 10% more likely to live in poverty. (The Office F Word) Women don’t get fat because they are poor, they get poor because they are fat.

In the book The Forbidden Body Shelly Bovey the author states, “Seeing oneself as more acceptable (for any reason) is a form of “positive discrimination” which ultimately isolates and alienates. “I believe it (being fat) is normal and therefore worthy of the same unexceptional treatment as those whom society already considers normal. I would like to see fat people accorded a validity which has nothing to do with their size or their looks.”

In a seven year study over women that had been overweight as teenagers and young adults, were found that when compared with women who had not been overweight the overweight group had spent fewer years in education. They were 20% less likely to be married, and their house hold incomes were much lower a year. Overweight men were 11% less likely to be married, but there was no significant difference in incomes. (Fighting the Fat)

Analysis of the discrimination of obese people will be used in assumptions evolved from Carl Mark s ideas. From those ideas I am going to explain to you how the conflict theory contributes to the way society feels and acts toward those that are over-weight. Conflict theory consists of 3 parts competition, structural inequality, and revolution. Competition is competing over scarce resources; it is a characteristic that every person has. Structural inequality is unequal reward and power that is in all social structures. If one benefits from any certain structure they strive to maintain it. Revolution is when change occurs as a result of conflict between competing interests rather than through adaptation.

Obese people are deprived of jobs (especially women), certain social activities, and in a lot of situations the opportunity for intimate relationships. The competition in the workplace can result in a lower income, forced resignations, and denials of promotions, though the fatter person may have the same degree (or better), had a better interview and more experience.

In elementary school, fat children often have few friends, no matter how personable they are. By the second grade, notes eating disorders expert Michael Levine, children describe fat child’s silhouette with slurs: lazy, sloppy, ugly, and stupid. (”A Story about Size”) There are times when obese kids are kept off the cheerleading squads, drill teams, and sports that have to do with showing off parts of the body.

The ones that benefit from this social structure are the advertisers and those that aren t of the obese world. The reason that I point out advertisers is because they are the ones that keep those that are at large from being rewarded recognition in our society. Everything that you see from billboards to commercials and magazine covers has the Barbie doll figure, therefore they turn our society into discriminates against the obese. Looking at them as if they aren t normal, because you don t see them in the top magazines, or modeling in clothes for the most popular manufactures. Our society makes it very blunt as to where these people can shop for clothes in their size naming stores for example Fashions at Large , who does this really hurt? It isn t hurting the manufactures it s hurting the younger generation. Everyday they grow up seeing a society that discriminates against those that are different, therefore they are not taught that one can succeed and be someone because of something that doesn t seem normal. In actuality it is normal everyone is different, we walk around saying tall people are normal, and short people are normal, but we don t educate that obesity is too.

As far as conflict theory is concerned we need to ask questions. Are the different social structures in our society contributing to the problem of obesity? And what are the outcomes? I have examined four social structures in our society that contributes to the problem of obesity. Insurers, the media, schools, and the work place. In the following paragraphs I am going to show you how obese people are discriminated against in these social structures.

Insurance can sometimes be an absolute burden for an overweight person to receive. Fat people are discriminated against by insures who mistakenly assume that all the obesity health myths are true. “Misguided doctors assume all diseases are somehow linked to obesity and reflexively recommend weight loss as the treatment”. (Discrimination against Obese Persons)

Children are misled into believing that and ideal body type exists. Therefore, when there is an obese kid in the classroom, they are the brunt of jokes, and nicknames which only makes it harder for them to get the education that every child has the right to. “By the time college comes around fewer fat people attend even though they have the same average test scores as a thin person”. (Discrimination against Fat Persons) The school systems need to model acceptance of large, little, tall, and thin kids and being tolerant of intolerance in the classroom.

The worst discrimination of all is due to the way that magazines, television, and advertisers come across the obese society as a whole. You never see an over weight person modeling a piece of clothing in Teen magazine, and the only time you might see it on TV is for a laugh. What are we teaching society? Watching television and reading magazines is what the majority of our society contributes to everyday, and we are teaching this?

There is a kind of pack mentality against fat people at work, just as there was against the fat kid in school. “Little looks and comments can be more damaging than overt discrimination, wearing away at their pride and confidence and reinforcing a message they’ve heard since childhood: that they’re inferior because they’re fat”. (The Office F Word) We need to see people for who they are. Society needs to give recognition to those that are part of the society and not just to those that look a certain way.

There is nothing wrong with a fat body; that the medical, weight loss, beauty, and fashion industries have made tremendous profit at a devastating expense to fat people (especially women); how the media has refused to include fat people as normal components of society. We have come a long way fighting the discrimination against race, color, gender etc. but it has taken years. Is it going to take that long to fight the discrimination against the fat- phobia in our society today?

I think that our society is pathetic in many ways. Material stands out more than anything else does and we let it take us to the point of judging one only by that. What we need to do is start realizing that our society would be much brighter and advanced if we quit discriminating. We have let so many well-educated persons go due to our phobias, and ignorance.

Both activist and researchers concede that legislation alone cannot improve the lot of the obese. This is such a fat-phobic culture. The public sees fat people as lacking self-control, but attitudes may change as researchers increasingly find that obesity has biological roots. We have to ask to what extent it s really in their control. (Fighting for the Fat)

Once society becomes more aware that obesity is uncontrollable, we may stop blaming people so much for their weight. By slowly wearing down people s prejudices against fat, more people will be judged on their skills, not their size.

The worship of the supermodel has become a cult, and the parent of even the scrawniest 6-year-old girl will know that she is quite likely to come home from school announcing that she is starting a diet. Such food denial is clearly an abnormal process, and one that is in conflict with the eating-oriented habits of families and societies. It is hardly surprising that eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia cause such distress to friends and relatives. It also means that those who promote the medical desirability of weight loss have to be aware of the potentially adverse effects of what they do. While we have to examine critically the risks of obesity, we should look equally critically at the risks associated with its management– food denial. In recommending weight, there is a possibility that we may sometimes do more harm than good.

Obese people are often victims of jokes, stereotyping, negative nicknames, physical violence and other forms of discrimination because of their physical appearance. This happens in educational as well as in professional settings, where obese persons are often denied promotions or insurance coverage, and even friends because of their physical condition. Society discriminates against fat people, leaving them poorer educationally, socially and financially.

The way that some kids grow up can have a lot to do with social problem. Some parents will except nothing but the perfect child and those are other parents that don t teach their children to accept people that are larger, taller, and different colored they are. Therefore, we are left with discrimination and prejudice.

Obesity is a social problem, in a Harvard Study which included women of all weights found that the overweight women- (in the study, they average 5 feet 3 inches and 200 pounds) had house hold incomes that averaged $6,710 below those of the thinner women. They were 10% more likely to live in poverty. (The Office F Word) Women don’t get fat because they are poor, they get poor because they are fat.

In the book The Forbidden Body Shelly Bovey the author states, “Seeing oneself as more acceptable (for any reason) is a form of “positive discrimination” which ultimately isolates and alienates. “I believe it (being fat) is normal and therefore worthy of the same unexceptional treatment as those whom society already considers normal. I would like to see fat people accorded a validity which has nothing to do with their size or their looks.”

In a seven year study over women that had been overweight as teenagers and young adults, were found that when compared with women who had not been overweight the overweight group had spent fewer years in education. They were 20% less likely to be married, and their house hold incomes were much lower a year. Overweight men were 11% less likely to be married, but there was no significant difference in incomes. (Fighting the Fat)

Analysis of the discrimination of obese people will be used in assumptions evolved from Carl Mark s ideas. From those ideas I am going to explain to you how the conflict theory contributes to the way society feels and acts toward those that are over-weight. Conflict theory consists of 3 parts competition, structural inequality, and revolution. Competition is competing over scarce resources; it is a characteristic that every person has. Structural inequality is unequal reward and power that is in all social structures. If one benefits from any certain structure they strive to maintain it. Revolution is when change occurs as a result of conflict between competing interests rather than through adaptation.

Obese people are deprived of jobs (especially women), certain social activities, and in a lot of situations the opportunity for intimate relationships. The competition in the workplace can result in a lower income, forced resignations, and denials of promotions, though the fatter person may have the same degree (or better), had a better interview and more experience.

In elementary school, fat children often have few friends, no matter how personable they are. By the second grade, notes eating disorders expert Michael Levine, children describe fat child’s silhouette with slurs: lazy, sloppy, ugly, and stupid. (”A Story about Size”) There are times when obese kids are kept off the cheerleading squads, drill teams, and sports that have to do with showing off parts of the body.

The ones that benefit from this social structure are the advertisers and those that aren t of the obese world. The reason that I point out advertisers is because they are the ones that keep those that are at large from being rewarded recognition in our society. Everything that you see from billboards to commercials and magazine covers has the Barbie doll figure, therefore they turn our society into discriminates against the obese. Looking at them as if they aren t normal, because you don t see them in the top magazines, or modeling in clothes for the most popular manufactures. Our society makes it very blunt as to where these people can shop for clothes in their size naming stores for example Fashions at Large , who does this really hurt? It isn t hurting the manufactures it s hurting the younger generation. Everyday they grow up seeing a society that discriminates against those that are different, therefore they are not taught that one can succeed and be someone because of something that doesn t seem normal. In actuality it is normal everyone is different, we walk around saying tall people are normal, and short people are normal, but we don t educate that obesity is too.

As far as conflict theory is concerned we need to ask questions. Are the different social structures in our society contributing to the problem of obesity? And what are the outcomes? I have examined four social structures in our society that contributes to the problem of obesity. Insurers, the media, schools, and the work place. In the following paragraphs I am going to show you how obese people are discriminated against in these social structures.

Insurance can sometimes be an absolute burden for an overweight person to receive. Fat people are discriminated against by insures who mistakenly assume that all the obesity health myths are true. “Misguided doctors assume all diseases are somehow linked to obesity and reflexively recommend weight loss as the treatment”. (Discrimination against Obese Persons)

Children are misled into believing that and ideal body type exists. Therefore, when there is an obese kid in the classroom, they are the brunt of jokes, and nicknames which only makes it harder for them to get the education that every child has the right to. “By the time college comes around fewer fat people attend even though they have the same average test scores as a thin person”. (Discrimination against Fat Persons) The school systems need to model acceptance of large, little, tall, and thin kids and being tolerant of intolerance in the classroom.

The worst discrimination of all is due to the way that magazines, television, and advertisers come across the obese society as a whole. You never see an over weight person modeling a piece of clothing in Teen magazine, and the only time you might see it on TV is for a laugh. What are we teaching society? Watching television and reading magazines is what the majority of our society contributes to everyday, and we are teaching this?

There is a kind of pack mentality against fat people at work, just as there was against the fat kid in school. “Little looks and comments can be more damaging than overt discrimination, wearing away at their pride and confidence and reinforcing a message they’ve heard since childhood: that they’re inferior because they’re fat”. (The Office F Word) We need to see people for who they are. Society needs to give recognition to those that are part of the society and not just to those that look a certain way.

There is nothing wrong with a fat body; that the medical, weight loss, beauty, and fashion industries have made tremendous profit at a devastating expense to fat people (especially women); how the media has refused to include fat people as normal components of society. We have come a long way fighting the discrimination against race, color, gender etc. but it has taken years. Is it going to take that long to fight the discrimination against the fat- phobia in our society today?

I think that our society is pathetic in many ways. Material stands out more than anything else does and we let it take us to the point of judging one only by that. What we need to do is start realizing that our society would be much brighter and advanced if we quit discriminating. We have let so many well-educated persons go due to our phobias, and ignorance.

Both activist and researchers concede that legislation alone cannot improve the lot of the obese. This is such a fat-phobic culture. The public sees fat people as lacking self-control, but attitudes may change as researchers increasingly find that obesity has biological roots. We have to ask to what extent it s really in their control. (Fighting for the Fat)

Once society becomes more aware that obesity is uncontrollable, we may stop blaming people so much for their weight. By slowly wearing down people s prejudices against fat, more people will be judged on their skills, not their size.


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