My Life

Weighty Concerns.

For Obese People, Prejudice in Plain Sight

“As soon as I shook the interviewer’s hand, I knew she would not hire me,” Ms. Brown said. “She gave me a look of utter disdain, and made a big deal about whether we should take the stairs or ride the elevator to the room where we were going to talk. During the actual interview, she would not even look at me and kept looking to the side.” Ms. Brown, 36, who now works as an assistant dean at a college near Chicago, said she never even got a “No thank you” letter after the interview.”

As a larger woman, I know this all too well. I have been unemployed since August 2009. I have gone on numerous interviews without even a call back, denial letter, etc. I have had situations where my telephone interviews were glowing, only to have the wind in my sails abruptly cease when I finally get a face to face interview.

I am an intelligent, articulate, and responsible young woman. My weight does not dictate my abilities; nor should it define who I am in the eyes of John Q Public. … unfortunately, it does. I too have a medical condition that caused a rapid weight gain, and three years of fighting doctors to listen to me. I had a mass in my uterus, that brought to light a plethora of issues internally.  I had a radical hysterectomy at the age of 32. But, looking at me, you wouldn’t know this.

My question is, do we go into interviews with our rally cries protesting in our defense? Should we go in and immediately clarify that my abilities are not outlined by my physical appearance? Because all in all, I am very tired of job seeking and getting let down over and over. I am fighting with Unemployment consistently, because they feel I should be working by now, and I am not doing my part.  I am, and I do!


Some one said it eloquently as well, “Thyroid disorders can cause a whole host of issues for a body – emotional included. In fact, emotional (depression, anxiety) is often an issue.”

The consistent let down of job interviews only heightens the fact that my weight is the issue. It’s a vicious, corrupt, cycle that we overweight people go through.  There is even a stigma in our society that says the only way a fat person will get friends, mates, jobs is if they’re super nice. It’s the ‘fat complex’. If you’re nicer than most, people will overlook your weight and see who you are… really? I’ve been a bitch and I’ve been super nice… hasn’t changed for me. I see the prejudice daily.
I get looks when I go to the grocery store. I get looks when I go to the theater. I get looks everywhere. Just as the article lists, I shy away from doctors because of the sheer amount of pamphlets, lectures and unwanted advice I receive. I know that I fat; I’m not blind or inept. I know it’s something I need to work on. It is something that I am discussing with my counselor.

I am so stressed about not being able to find a job it’s turned into anxiety and depression. When you’re depressed you don’t want to move, see people, do anything. You’re a blank void existing. See, the vicious cycle?

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