I know that the topic of size discrimination is only mentioned here rarely, because the statistics are so grim that one could dwell on them forever, and just become mired in anger and despair. Better to focus on the positive.
However, I do think that size prejudice is worth mentioning from time to time, both to remind everyone how important the cause of size-celebration really is, and to indicate how much work still needs to be done.
Here's a grim but accurate summation of the current plight of full-figured women. The terminology is awful, so be warned.
Some important points:
...among women, weight discrimination was actually more common than racial discrimination...
The prevalence of weight discrimination increased from 7 percent in 1995--1996 to 12 percent in 2004--2006...
Adding to the problem is that while laws exists to protect people from discrimination based on race, gender and age, there are hardly any laws against weight discrimination...
"Weight discrimination is a legitimate social problem. But because there are no federal protections, we're saying this is a form of bias that's tolerated," says Puhl. "If we really want a shift in attitudes, we need legislation that treats this as a serious problem."
Last month, Massachusetts held hearings on a bill which would add weight and height to the state's antidiscrimination law. That bill, sponsored by Rep. Byron Rushing, could open the door for other states to follow suit.
There was one little glimmer of hope, though. I found this comment in the article encouraging:
"I believe employers may have ideals ... that the average woman may find difficult to obtain for herself," says Ravanesi. "Say they want a receptionist. They want a thin, pretty young girl. But what about a fluffy, pretty young girl?"
What I liked about it is that the quoted speaker didn't turn the topic into a resentment-filled screed against beauty or youth. What she did was point out that younth and beauty can
go along with being full-figured. ("Fluffy" isn't my favourite term for plus-size, but the point is valid.)
That is still the most important shift that society needs to make - to realize that ideals, especially ideals of beauty, can
be met by voluptuous women (and in fact, that voluptuous women fit those ideals better than their underweight rivals ever could).