Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Negative comments aimed at thin individuals

It is relatively easy to find negative comments, the intended or unintended consequences of words that were said to overweight individuals.

See our: Fat Micro Aggression post

Less common, yet they are there if you look for them, are negative words (again intended or unintended consequences) spoken to people who are perceived to be slim.

Below are 22 negative comments collected by the Huffington Post*

1. "You look anorexic!"
2. "You're so thin, you make me sick."
3. "Eat a hamburger!"
4. "You look like a toothpick."
5. "You're probably too skinny to breastfeed."
6. "Do you ever eat anything?"
7. "Must be nice to be so thin."
8. "Do you have an eating disorder?"
9. "You'd look so much better if you'd just put some meat on your bones."
10. "You're too healthy."
11. "How can you be insecure when you're so small?"
12. "You know, my other friend just got help for her bulimia."
13. "You're so skinny, I hate you."
14. "Do you need help?"
15. "You're skinny. You never have to worry about what you eat.
16. "'Real' women have curves."
17. "Why do you need to work out? You're skinny!"
18. "How much did it cost to get your body like that?"
19. "Of course you're cold! You have no fat on you."
20. "I wish I had your problem."
21. "Be careful or you'll get blown away." (On rainy or windy days.)
22. "You look like a boy."

* Facebook and Twitter community. Survey conducted in March 2014


Friday, June 20, 2014

What you love about ...

One question, two very different responses.

What you love about yourself versus what you love about the person you are with.



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is obesity a disability ?

In July's article we look at recent news that a court in Denmark has referred a weight related case to the European Court of Human Rights. They did so in the hope of getting clarification on the question: is obesity a disability (under EU's Employment Equality Directive)?

The question arose when Dutch local authority Billund was sued by former employee, Mr Karsten Kaltoft, citing discrimination.

The European Court’s decision will determine whether or not the authority’s dismissal of Mr Kaltoft, was in fact job discrimination on grounds of disability (outlawed). In this instance, the ‘disability’ is due to the fact that 25 stone Mr Kaltofte is clinically obese.

Mr Kaltoft, a child minder, had been employed by Billund for 15 years. In an interview with BBC World Service; he explained that he took the legal route in the hope of obtaining the ruling that dismissing someone because of their weight was unfair.

The council strongly rejects the case against it; contending that Mr Kaltoft’s employment was terminated due to the falling numbers (of children) which made his position obsolete.

It has been reported that Mr Kaltoft’s weight made it impossible for him to effectively care for small children e.g. he was unable to do up their shoelaces.

The situation begs the question: was Mr Kaltoft “fit” enough to do his job?

Read Article


Thursday, June 12, 2014

A step too far?

When does taking action, because you care about someone, become a step too far?

This moral question has been the source of much debate among the members of our team this week.

It began when a team member recounted the event that her husband had relayed to her the previous evening.

An obese female co-worker is attempting to lose weight. It is not a secret and she regularly updates the whole office about the progress or, in many cases lack of progress, in her efforts to lose weight.

At the same time that she is attempting to reduce her weight, she frequently consumes high calorie sugary snacks (chocolate/biscuits etc), that she keeps in a red tin labelled, ‘In case of emergency take a break’ (picture).

On the morning in question, after yet another speech in which she lamented about her weight, his male colleague uttered the words:

“I’ll help you.” He then reached over and confiscated her snack box.

Apart from showing her great surprise, at the turn of events; the would be dieter did not request the return of her snack box nor consume any more snacks for the remainder of the day.

“I think he went too far,” said the first member of our team to break the silence. “He should have mentioned that the snacks were not helping, but hindering her weight loss objectives and left it at that.

“He had no right to take the box; she is an adult. If she chooses to eat chocolates and biscuits all day, it’s up to her.”

“I don’t agree”, chimed in another team member. “It all depends on the relationship they have.

“I would do the same to my sister and to a couple of my closest friends. I’d take it and tell them that they are damaging their health. I wouldn’t do it to anyone at work though.” she ended quickly.

“I understand why he did it”, I said entering the debate,” but I think it was the wrong thing to do, whatever the relationship. He has taken control away from her and that isn’t right. It’s her body and ultimately she is the only one that should decide what she will and will not consume”.

“I hear you”, someone else responded, “but I don’t agree. “He did it because he cares about her and at the very least it will make her think about her snacking behaviour;. It could be the wake up call she needed.”

“Who does he think he is”, a vehement voice injected, “the calorie police?

“It doesn’t matter how much he cares about her or how strong their relationship is. That does not give him the right …..”

In the interest of time, the whole debate cannot be detailed here.

What do you think? Was it a step too far?


Monday, June 09, 2014

The crucial thing is ....

On Friday in an interview on ITV 1’s Lorraine, Ann Widdecombe shared some wise words. She talked about acceptance, of certain life situations that you are unable to change, developing confidence and more crucially, finding happiness.

Interview excerpt:

"It's well documented that you are on your own', stated Lorraine. "That you have not had a very serious relationship. Any regrets about that? "

"No not at all", Ann replied. "I can't understand why people think it's a big issue to be on your own. As I've always said marriage and not marrying is a mixture of chance and choice. Chance because Mr Right did not happen to come along. If he had I would have been perfectly receptive.

"Choice, in as much as, it was never of sufficient priority to put everything aside and go looking for him. So it was that mixture and I'm perfectly relaxed about being on my own."

"You seem very happy in yourself and enjoy your own company," said Lorraine.

 "I make myself laugh". They both laugh.

"A lot of women and men, they settle sometimes", commented Lorraine. "They just say well okay I'll settle for this. Not just in relationships I’m talking about everything."

"Well I think occasionally we all have to settle for second best", came the emphatic response. "You want something and you have to put up with something else. You may want to be Prime Minister and have to put up with being Shadow Home Secretary.

"That's nothing. The crucial thing is that you're confident and happy in what you are doing at the time. That's the crucial thing. That's the only measure that there needs to be.

"If you feel confident in what you're doing then it's alright. There is no trying of conscience there; that it's absolutely right. Then fine, you'll be happy. "

Ann’s astute words reminded me of a saying that perfectly sums up her message. "Bloom where you are planted.”


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

UK's increasing obesity levels

Click here or on the infographic to view enlargement


Monday, June 02, 2014

Women’s body image workshop feedback

This video documents delegate feedback to our recent women’s body image workshop.

The workshop was delivered as part of 'The eauty Project'


NB. The workshop program has ended.