Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bullying the Fat Kid

A short while ago, a "friend" of mine posted something on Facebook that truly upset me.  After reading it over several times, looking at the photo, and reading the comments -- a couple of which were downright insulting -- I debated with myself what to do.  Ignore it?  Respond?  Unfriend the person? Each seemed like a good response in some ways, mostly because they were quick and easy responses to something that bothered me, for reasons I'll reveal in a minute.

In the end, none of those responses actually seemed like enough.  Instead, I decided to respond in a blog post, and let others make up their own minds.  If you know me, you know that generally I tend to use FB for social interaction and not for political/social agendas (other than my passions, autism and education).  This bothered me enough that I'm going to break that rule.  Right now.

Here is the photo and text of the interaction, with names and profile photos kindly redacted:

MY FRIEND:
These two tubby women won't let me pass....
Like ·  ·  · 3 hours ago via iOS · 

Personally, I think all of these people should be ashamed of themselves.  They are the reason that some children think it's okay to call other kids "fat" or "stupid" on the playground.  I'm sure they thought it was just a joke, you know, someone to poke fun of on a boring Saturday night.  Two fat women they don't know, just walking on the cattle...er, people...mover.  What does it matter if they are someone's mother, grandmother, daughter?  What's not funny about fat women walking around?

I didn't find it funny.

Susan
www.susancalistri.com

7 comments:

  1. thanks Susan. I have been overweight all my life and despite being a good person and enjoying success in my personal life and my career, I am treated by strangers - and a few that I know - as if I am an impingement upon their lives, an undisciplined looser who could loose weight if I just tried harder. And my deviant self wants to say - you looser - I probably have more friends than you do, spend more time working out, have seen more of the world than you have and make more money than you... But I don't because that would be wrong. Still, I wonder what I would have to do to have them treat me as a person who deserves to be in the same space as them...

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    1. There's definitely a bias out there against overweight people. I've been overweight my whole life too, and it's been a struggle. It's people who think they have the right to judge others that do everyone a disservice. They can't see that it's not the fat/retarded/gimpy people in the world who are the problem, it's the ones who think they are better than them. xo

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  2. Nice going Susan. You are better than those people who poke fun at other people's expense. They are most likely not educated in the brain area and have many of their own hangups that they try to cover up by poking fun at other people. You know the old saying "they try to bring you down so they can bring themselves up" well I think I said that right.

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    1. You're right! It's funny, I wasn't personally insulted. I felt like these are the people who think they have the right to judge others, and then they make comments in front of their kids who take it to the next generation. I unfriended the "friend" as well. I knew him in law school.

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  3. Wow, that was actually hard to read. We are talking about adults right? I work in a city middle school and that wouldn't be tolerated there. (I do find the bullies are usually the adults....and our children's first teachers.) I think I would follow my first instinct and "un-friend" this woman. I know for me I try to surround myself with kind people. I am ridding myself of all negative influences. Kuddos to you though, clearly you have a warm and compassionate heart. Thanks

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    1. After some reflection, I did "unfriend" this person. (And yes, they are all adults, mostly lawyers and one law professor.) I think he didn't mean to insult anyone, but knowing that this is how he and his circle of friends think led me to conclude that I no longer wanted to be his friend. You have a great attitude! I don't take friendships (or ending them) lightly, but sometimes the negative attitudes have to go. Good for you, and thanks for leaving a comment.

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