Social stigma can be crippling for some people
Upon first seeing a person, we automatically process cues from their appearance. Social stigma exists in all societies, often as a means of control.
If we attribute stigma to a person, then we are de-valuing their humanity. We lower their status in relation to ours.
But the issue is that as individuals, we are all damaged in some way. Why is your stigma any less important than another?
Example of “good” social stigma…
- Stealing and criminal behavior/actions are looked down upon
- Young teens dressing up like ‘sexy’ adults is generally looked down upon
Examples of “bad” social stigma…
- People with incurable sexually transmitted infections as seen as less-than-people, or tainted. In reality, nearly anyone is at risk of viral infections like herpes.
- Obese people are immediately judged to be of poor control, sloths, and treated with less respect.
Social stigma of obesity is automatic, but we can rise above it
It is usually not until I have become humbled in some way that I realize my flaws and then grow beyond it. While my own physique is admired and even profitable, an obese physique is looked down upon.
I say to hell with social stigma of obesity.
We aren’t going to fix obesity by destroying self-esteem. We need to connect with people — to learn and understand individuals in society. Empathy, not just sympathy, can help us relate to others.
A Social Support System is required for sustained weight-loss and wellness
If your friends eat junk, chances are that you eat junk too.
Social support systems can be intimate, like with close friends and family, or it can be from strangers who give obese people the benefit of the doubt.
If you truly believe that we’re all in this together — and that obesity is a huge $$$ drain on society — then we have to take conscious steps to abolish the stigma of obesity.
Once and for all, make a stand against it.
My name is André and I do not tolerate fat jokes.