Fat-shaming is ingrained in our work culture, says Jameela Jamil. And we couldn’t agree more. It’s time to put an end to it.
“Fuck these plates. Fuck these plates to hell.”
The plates depicted portion control by writing derogatory jokes about what size jeans you can fit into depending on how much you eat.
As you can imagine, they were not well received, and Macy’s has since responded by apologising and pulling the range. But the fact that it was ever considered acceptable to sell such products in the first place speaks volumes: fat-shaming is very much still a thing in 2019.
Now, a new conversation about fat-phobia and fat-shaming has highlighted just how much “anti-fatness” is ingrained in the workplace.
A Twitter user shared her experience with Jamil, writing: “Out of the six shifts I’ve worked with my new manager, he’s fat-shamed me four times. So now I’m channeling my inner @jameelajamil and rising above it, whilst calling him a wanker behind his back.”
“This is just a minor example of how rampant fat-phobia is,” wrote Jamil, alongside a retweet of the post. “It’s so accepted as a norm that it is almost expected and therefore tolerated. This was once the case with other types of bigotry, and we have to take anti-fatness as seriously. And if you disagree, you are fat-phobic.”
Women were quick to share their own examples of fat phobia in the workplace and how they felt let down by HR departments.
Jamil has called out the dangers of fat-shaming before. After sharing a photograph of Gabi Fresh modelling her plus-size swimwear range earlier this year, she received negative comments about promoting “unhealthy lifestyles and obesity”.
“So frustrating/disappointing that I have to include these messages alongside beautiful photographs of bigger women because people can’t seem to help themselves.” Jamil wrote on Twitter. “Nobody accuses pictures of big men on the cover of magazines as ‘promoting obesity’. What is our problem with big women?”
We recently reported on the effects that fat-shaming has, specifically on high profile women.
Psychologists at McGill University in Canada found that instances of celebrity fat-shaming were associated with an increase in women’s implicit negative weight-related attitudes. Implicit attitudes are people’s split-second, instinctive reactions as to whether something – such as fatness or weight gain – is inherently good or bad. Explicit attitudes, in contrast, are those beliefs that people consciously and openly endorse.
In other words, we might never say out loud that we think bigger bodies are bad. But thanks in part to celebrity fat-shaming in the media, we may also find it hard to internally shake off negative ideas about weight gain.
So, perhaps it’s little wonder that this way of thinking has trickled into the workplace. This is why we’ll champion any and every opportunity to stomp it out.