Sizeism is discrimination, prejudice, or stereotyping based on size, including height and/or weight. Sizeist attitudes tend to treat people of other sizes negatively with the belief that their size is superior to that of other people. Despite the issue being extremely prevalent, there are currently no specific anti-discrimination laws to prohibit sizeism.
Sofie Hagen, in her talk at TEDxLondonWomen, discusses the struggle of hating her body intensely and how she was able to change that. She talks about seeing a fat woman on the internet who claimed that she loved her body, and how it occurred to her just then that she is allowed to do that. This experience allowed her to strip away the negativity from the word “fat” and changed the way she saw the world around her. Sofie also talks about the multi-million-dollar weight loss industry and its negative impact on our youth, and what we need to do create impactful change.
“I refuse to be the object of their ridicule, their hatred, and their culture. I refuse to, and I demand my right to exist. I demand my right to take up space. I demand my right to believe what is a fact: that I do not have to change. They do.”
Let us ask you this:
- What are your typical initial/first thoughts when you see someone who has a size difference from you? Do these first thoughts align with what you believe to be true about all people with visible differences?
- What is your current experience with sizeism? Have you, or someone you know, ever had a lived experience with sizeism? If yes, what impact did it have on you?
Today we would like to remind you that beauty is a construct of society and one that should not and does not determine your confidence or self-worth. We encourage you to love yourself to the fullest while not only accepting but also embracing your physical traits.
This is a reminder that every moment is an opportunity to continue learning and reflecting and that there is always room for growth in ourselves and in our communities.