Column: Fun facts with Dani

Sometimes the truth isn’t so fun


Have you ever been bullied for something you can’t control? Have you ever been discriminated against based on your physical appearance? Have you been made fun of because of how much you weigh?

In a study done by “The Washington Post,” they found that across six countries, 58 percent of adults had experienced weight stigma. Weight stigma is the discriminatory acts and ideologies targeted toward individuals because of their weight and size. A total of 76-87 percent of the participants’ weight stigma came from family members, 72-76 percent came from classmates, and finally doctors at 58-73 percent. If you would like to learn more look up “The Washington Post’s” Weight Stigma Study, which shows the worldwide problem of such prejudice.

The study also found that the more people with internalized weight bias, the more people who struggle with gaining weight, using food to cope with things such as stress and avoiding going to the gym.

Now, what is internalized weight bias? Internalized weight bias is the belief that negative stereotypes about weight apply to oneself. This could also mean someone looks at themselves and applies negative weight stereotypes.

Although weight biases and weight discriminations affect both men and women, studies show that women are affected at a higher level than men.

As a woman who has struggled with weight stigma and weight discrimination, I’m not surprised by the high numbers of people who have experienced weight stigma; however, it does sadden me to see such high numbers, even though I did suspect it.

A lot of studies have focused on how social media and social aspects play a role in weight stigma and weight bullying. I truly believe that if we fixed the stigma around not only weight, but also how we treat people who have different body types, then the body types that we have ourselves would not be an issue.

I believe if we were all kinder, more understanding, and did not judge people based on their physical appearance, the world would be a much nicer and better place. Doing this would also make people feel better about themselves and more confident, and have more self worth and love.

Society’s misrepresentation of being healthy and what is look likes is something that needs to change.