Obesity and Social Stigma

Obesity and Social Stigma
Social Stigmas are affixed to all different walks of life by wrongful perceptions from a “perfect” society. If a person does not fit a certain “mold” or cultural “normalcy”, they are often categorized as different, wrong, or significantly blemished. Obesity is no different.

Individuals who are diagnosed with Obesity are often judged, criticized, and categorized as sloppy, uncaring, lazy, fast-food loving, unhygienic, unmotivated, undeserving individuals. This leads to feelings of being unloved, dirty, tainted, undeserving, unwanted, unimportant, and “different,” especially since we know that these stigmas are simply untrue.

This is the pivotal moment in our obesity when we will either face what others judge us for and stop caring about their opinions, or we choose to become reclusive and rot away in our homes, doomed to a life of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, sadness, and loss of self-worth.

It feels horrible to be judged. It feels even worse when family and friends turn their backs on you and no longer offer you the love, support, and confidence that you deserve and need. I've been told many, many times by some of my “ex” family members that I will never amount to anything, and I will never lose weight or achieve my health and wellness goals. One time, I was mortified to run into one of my uncles at the grocery store. He acted like he did not see me, but later called my father and told him that I had gotten “as huge as a whale.”

On that note, can you imagine how obese children feel out in our cruel world just trying to fit in? They are often times harassed, judged, bullied, left out, forgotten, and forbidden to participate in activities with their peers. They have no control how they are fed at home, or how much exercise their parents encourage. As a society, we must stop judging everyone for everything, and instead, we must take notice and band together as a community of support.

If you have family and friends who falsely judge you based on the fact that you are obese, I'd like to offer you a few options to try to educate them with facts. Have a dinner or gathering at your home, cook something healthy, and have some pre-printed Obesity brochures printed out. Sit everyone down and discuss the facts and myths of Obesity. Do you have loved ones who do not support you, or think that you will “fail” if you try to lose weight and get healthy? Explain to them that you love them, but will no longer tolerate their discouragement, lack of support, and negative words. I've had to personally let some friends and family members go, due to their lack of support.

It's okay to stand up for yourself. Make the world a better place by not partaking in any kind of social stigma yourself; judging others for any reason is never okay. If you are judged for being obese, then take a stand! Tell yourself that it does not matter what others think of you, or how they perceive you. You can't please everybody all of the time. Work on making life better for yourself. Go out into the world with confidence, and show people that you are not what they think you are!

Live your life with enjoyment, fun, sunshine, healthier foods, and a little bit of exercise. Help others to understand obesity and participate in healthier traditions. We can overcome social stigma's by educating others and standing up against bullying. Slowly but surely, you'll gain the confidence that you need to better yourself and take a stand for your health.

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Kymberly Morgan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kymberly Morgan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kymberly Morgan for details.