Alright, I penned that headline to be a little bit provocative and grab your attention but now I’ve set the non-PC premise, I have some explaining to do…
I appreciate I’m likely opening myself for a tirade of abuse but with the hopes of inspiring some positive change- here goes nothing.
Firstly, we all have a propensity to gain weight; winter insulation, traditional Christmas battle of the bulge, summer holiday overindulgence- most of us have fallen victim at one time or another. That said, fitness model, bodybuilding stage lean also isn’t healthy and shouldn’t be considered sustainable year-round. A ‘normal’ softer, achievable, relatable body type is a beautiful thing and one that should be celebrated. However, where I draw a very resolute line at body positivity is today’s society validating and excusing severely overweight and obese people. If you are unable to perform day-to-day tasks like taking a leisurely walk, getting up the stairs without being out of breath or using generic seating at restaurants then you have a big problem, pun intended. Yes, different body types should be respected and big is beautiful… to an extent but severe extremes, be that dangerously under or overweight should be treated as a condition that requires help, not commended or excused.
So, as a businessperson myself and former employer; would I work with (extremely) fat people? No, I wouldn’t. Harsh but true (I’m sorry). For me, at best it demonstrates a troubled mind, lacking self-control and at worst it shows a severely disturbed individual who is likely to be lacking energy and suffering poor health. The way a person presents themselves physically says as much about them as the credentials they can list on a piece of paper. No, we shouldn’t judge people based on beauty, however as humans we can’t hide extreme, debilitating gluttony because we wear it as layers of fat. That’s biology not bigotry.
Six pack abs are not a quality I look for when choosing people to work with, but I do seek out individuals with enthusiasm and energy. People who, not necessarily exude health (although that’s a bonus) but at the very least don’t personify excess to the point of welcoming an early grave.
Battling the bulge isn’t easy, if you fall into the morbidly obese category, seek help from a medical professional. Gaining energy, confidence and a new lease of life are beautiful things but moreover, you are literally extending your life. Cliché as it may sound, life is our most precious gift.
Confidence and self-worth should always be nurtured and encouraged in every guise and I’m by no means condoning fat shaming or bullying, but equally let’s stop validating the result of toxic and harmful behaviour patterns. Obesity has now overtaken smoking as the largest contributing factor causing cancer. Let’s replace our misplaced kindness exonerating this damaging condition with catalysing change and providing help and encouragement to conquer this disease of modern times.