Tonight I overheard some thin 20somethings discussing fat people as a group (nothing said about the 40ish couple at a nearby table). The terms and statements made were rather derogatory. There was laughter. Then their discussion moved to other topics.
This wasn’t pleasant. I tweeted about it. I then focused on dinner with the man of the house.
In the microcosm of this hour and this room, their comments did not necessarily have to affect me. Their opinions did not cause me to lose my job or my home. And their finding fat people unsexy doesn’t undo what we did this morning. ;)
At the same time, however, the anti-fat views expressed by a group at a bar encourages and reinforces anti-fat views at the societal level. Society’s view that anyone can lose weight, and that fat people are stupid or in denial or lazy to not be thin, makes it less likely that I will be hired than a thin person with my qualifications. Or that I’ll be paid as well as a thin person. It’s also part of why medical professionals view fat people as non-compliant and deficient, since we are “willfully” avoiding thinness. Etcetera.
Does it matter to me what a random stranger thinks of fat people? Individually, maybe not. But society’s view of fat people matters a great deal.