News sources keep obesity prejudice alive

Question Below Submitted By:  

Yvonne McCarthy (a patient from Bariatric Girl )

You may have heard this story about the airline passenger that had to stand for 7 hours due to an obese passenger. As I read the story and wondered whether it was even true or not, I noticed they used an old PhotoShopped picture that surfaced in 2006 for the story. Here’s the link to the story.

I contacted the editor and the reporter and they did add the information about the picture and that it was not the passenger in the story. It was a small victory because if you read the horrible comments below the story it reminds me there will always be prejudice regarding people that are overweight. I guess I fool myself sometimes when I think it’s starting to change, but I was shocked by the comments below this story from people that hide behind their anonymity and say such hateful things.

I have a Google search set up for stories about weight loss surgery and obesity and wherever possible I comment so that I just might change one person. I really didn’t bother with this story because it was so awful.

Sensationalism sells no matter who it hurts and this one certainly hurt me. Here’s hoping to a better future for some sliver of decent human respect and forgetting the ones that will never change.

Related Pages:
Obesity Discrimination
Obesity and Genetics


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Patient Responses to the Question Above

An honest reaction

by: Beth

I saw that article and the photo, though I didn't realize it was an older, Photoshopped one.

I DID wonder how on earth they could have allowed that man to sit out in the aisle like that, but being Photoshopped pretty much answers that question.

That said, I will honestly say that the obese man's situation made me suck air.

It even catches my attention, and have spent half my life overweight.

I don't think or say hateful things.

If anything, it makes me hurt for them because I know how bad I felt at a smaller but still very obese weight.

I hurt for them, but I still think to myself, "WOW..." So many people have addictions that nobody sees and nobody knows about.

You may not know that your coworker is a coke head.

You may not know that your neighbor is a compulsive gambler.

You may not know that your sister is an alcoholic.

You may not know that your husband or boyfriend is addicted to porn.

But EVERYBODY knows you medicate with food.

And what adds insult to injury is, folks don't have to gamble or drink or do drugs or view porn, but you HAVE to eat.

So, our drug of choice is also a necessity.

But also unlike all the other addictions, being an overeater may be the only one that is noticeable as well (though one could say that some of the others rear their heads and become obvious eventually).

We WEAR our addictions every single day.

How anybody could make FUN of that is beyond me.

Obesity & Airlines

by: Tonya

While I didn't cause a 7hr delay in the queue, I had a horrible experience while flying.

My husband & I have always wanted to go to England & I found that my former college travel group had planned a trip to Ireland, Wales, England, & France. A dream come true & the honeymoon we didn't take 10yrs before. I'm morbidly obese, so I started looking into what I should expect & found so many mean comments from people who'd "had to share their seats with a fat person. GROSS!" This gave me 2nd thoughts about going, but my husband talked me down.

I sat in the aisle seat so the only one who had to share my seat was my husband, but the seats are so tiny & uncomfortable, the armrest was pinching my legs. I hated having to use the restroom bc I had to squeeze myself thru the tiny aisle, often imposing on the personal space of others, to which I was met w/disapproving, hateful glares...then there was the miniscule "room" waiting at the end, in which I barely had room to move. While I enjoyed Ireland (I was injured & that was as far as we made it), I swore upon coming home that, no matter how badly I want to return, I wouldn't until I could fit in the seat.

On the return trip, I was boarding, & as I made my way down the aisle, an Asian man hugged the window while looking at me with abject terror on his face, like I was going to crush him or something. These people seem to think we enjoy "sharing" their seats with them or that we shouldn't go anywhere we can't just drive to, rather than blaming the airline industry for making seats & aisles tiny in order to cram more bodies into the limited space available. While making my way to the restroom on one flight,excusing myself to EVERYONE, I accidentally knocked a woman's drink over (she saw me coming & could've picked it up & avoided this), but I apologized profusely & she assured me it was "alright". When I returned to my seat, my husband was ticked off. When I asked about it, he said as soon as I was in the restroom, that same lady had "tattled" on me to the flight attendant after my apologies & her saying it was "alright." Apparently, from the comments I'd seen before our trip, the obese should never travel, unless by car. Some said airlines should have a few larger seats for larger people, but others said the smaller people would just buy them in order to have more room. Seems we just can't win. Maybe someone should start an airline that caters specifically to the obese & their companions, & have guidelines to be met in order to buy a ticket. If we're gonna be discriminated against, what would be wrong with that? One has to be "so tall" to ride certain rides at amusement parks, why not have to meet a weight/BMI in order to get a seat on a plane that caters to larger people? Seems like a win-win to me.

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