Losing weight – and that too when you’re eliminating obesity – is a laudable feat, but it is often paired with an unsettling reaction from people.
It is one thing to feel differently, but to be treated differently, often with a degree of esteem and adulation, can be addling to say the least. One can’t help but wonder: why wasn’t I afforded the very same courtesy in the past?
Indeed, those of us who have lost weight tend to experience somewhat of an unexpected psychological dilemma. We are looked at differently, talked to more intently, scrutinized more keenly and the list goes on and on.
Then an often overlooked reality dawns upon us; society displays a shameless preference for thinner people. From job attainment to relationship prospects, thinner people receive eclectic opportunities. Individuals who have lost weight become increasingly vocal of this ubiquitous, bucolic bias.
Even more startling is how early this bias starts.
A study reported in WebMD reveals that obese children in early grades of school are more prone to being bullied than thinner kids, leading to depression, anxiety, and isolation. This prejudice continues well in to adulthood and has long-term effects, which are so damaging that they persist in spite of significant weight loss.
Jasmin Singer, a New York vegan activist and a writer who lost 100 pounds, chronicles the overwhelming behavioral change (from both sexes alike) towards her. Women are more generous with their compliments, men are more eager to holding open doors.
And no, she’s not happy. If anything, Singer is exasperated with the pretentious temperament of society at large and the evident prejudice against obese people.
Singer explains in MindBodyGreen: “Don’t get me wrong. Losing the weight that had plagued both my knees and my spirit for so long was an important accomplishment for me, something I’d been desperately longing for since I was a kid.”
In a nutshell, Singer is repulsed by resultant shift in attitude.
This very sentiment has been reiterated by many newly thin people. 15th season winner of weight loss reality show Biggest Loser, Rachel Frederickson, dropped 155 pounds only to gain perspective on the 180 degree change of attitude.
The spokesperson for the Obesity Action Coalition, James Zerrios, comments that newly thin people tend to be more upset than excited at how drastically different the World treats them.
Zerrioes further elucidates: “A lot of times women will say, ‘I can’t believe men hold the door open for me now,’” he says. “And then they’ll say, ‘What was wrong with me before? Was I not human?’”