Sign Up To Help Make Size Discrimination Illegal!
Please help us make SIZE DISCRIMINATION ILLEGAL! Help us add SIZE as a protected ground to the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC). It is every person’s human right—children and adults—to not be undermined because of their body. Please sign the petition HERE
Let’s help stop size-discrimination today!
The OHRC recognizes this in regards to race, gender, sexual orientation and other necessary protected grounds but size remains absent. We argue that all bodies deserve human rights. By signing this petition today, you are adding your voice to a movement—one demanding that people not be verbally, physically, spatially, economically, or emotionally discriminated against via discriminatory actions, beliefs, or policies in any of the Ontario Human Rights Code protected areas (i.e. accommodation (housing), contracts, employment, goods, services and facilities, membership in unions, trade or professional associations.)
Research studies and popular press have noted that significant numbers of people would prefer to be bitten by a dog, hit by a car, spontaneously lose one or more parents or loved ones to a fatal accident or lose bodily function in at least one body part or be diagnosed with cancer instead of being fat or “obese” or perceived as such. Findings like these prove the vitriolic unfounded HATE and FEAR that many people have towards FAT—so much so that they’d welcome other troubling, life-altering challenges in its place.
This hate often extends beyond just personal thoughts and preferences and all too often is directly, undeservingly placed on to fat people—children and adults. Many of us have been verbally attacked in private and public spaces, pushed to the ground or otherwise shoved out of place, laughed at, insulted and accused of being lazy, worthless, sick, greedy, and a waste of space. In one case in the United States a professor professed via twitter that obese people couldn’t get a PhD citing their supposed lack of “will power.” Fat and “obese” children and adolescents are particularly hit with weight-based bullying with grave consequences to their school attendance and therefore academics, their mental health and increased suicidal thoughts. One British study found that employers—particularly management—would not hire a fat person over a “normal” size person due to their own biased assumptions about the fat person’s perceived lack of control and energy and their so-called inability to be “hard working.” Sadly, many of these opinions are upheld and acted upon right here in Canada.
What are some reasons people shared with us why they feel SIZE shouldn’t be included in the OHRC?
a) Because they think fat discrimination is good for fat people and we deserve it
b) Because they think size is something anyone with enough “motivation” can change
c) Because they think there are bigger “oppressions” to deal with than anti-fat sizeism/weight-based discrimination
d) Because it’s already sort of covered under the protected ground of disability
e) Because they think you can’t “cover everything… now ugly people want protection?”
Reality check: A) FALSE. Abusing someone is never good for them. Attacking someone is never good for them. In fact, research shows that abuse has long-standing physical and mental health implications. Regardless of “good intentions” discrimination never wins. B) FALSE. Size is not mutable. We don’t ask anyone to take a foot off of their height but we assume size can magically change permanently. Every research study on DIEting (except for those paid for by diet drug pharmaceutical, weight loss surgery and exercise companies) has proven the majority of people i.e. 95-98% of dieters regain any weight lost and sometimes even more within 3 to 5 years. The BMI (Body Mass Index) is also an inaccurate tool at measuring health based on its lack of differentiation between fat and muscle mass and our different body frames based on gender and even race. C) FALSE. This isn’t a bid for “Oppression Olympics.” Research shows that FAT or OBESE marginalized group members already dealing with the everyday and systemic violations of racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism to name a few are ADDITIONALLY discriminated against due to size discrimination. Anti-Fat Sizeism, fat hatred, fat-shaming and the like add an additional layer to all experiences of violence and discrimination. These are intersecting violences. D) FALSE. While there have been some legal discussions around expanding the definition of disability to consider size alongside medical and physical limitations, it is still 100% legal for an employer or anyone for that matter to discriminate against someone based on their size – fat or “obese.” E) FALSE. First off fat and “obese” people are not ugly. Secondly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make the OHRC more of an equitable and inclusive, accurate reflection of the people it is supposed to serve and protect. On average there are more people discriminated because of their size than not in Canada. Lastly, our skewed societal stereotypes on what “beauty” means has rarely included fat people. It barely includes racialized people of colour (POC), First Peoples, disabled or the elderly. Sadly “beauty” as defined by our skewed society DOES have currency in every functioning institution we access in our lives. Research proves this as well. So while some bodies are clearly seen as mattering, many other bodies, such as fat bodies, don’t and therefore can’t tap into the unearned currency some people receive solely based on their looks.
According to the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University over 50% of doctors felt fat patients were awkward, ugly, weak-willed and unlikely to comply with treatment. Over 24% of nurses said they were repulsed by “obese” patients. Over 30% of teachers said being obese is the “worst thing that can happen to someone” and over 70% of people said they had been ridiculed by significant others in their lives.
My campaign summary is not exhaustive…there is so much more I or I’m sure any of you who have experienced, witnessed or cared about someone who has experienced size discrimination could include. The key message is we’ve got to work together to get this change happening! Please sign this petition today to help us get SIZE included as a protected ground in the Ontario Human Rights Code. Fat people are not the issue.
Violent and discriminatory treatment based on unfounded perceptions are. Let’s work together for change!
Please sign the petition HERE Let’s help stop size-discrimination today!
Selective Links featuring Jill Andrew, Body Confidence Canada Awards (BCCAs), FatinTheCity.com author of this Change.org campaign:
Selective Resources for Further Information on Size Discrimination, Health at Every Size (HAES) and other Fat Myth-Busting Resources:
To learn more about the Ontario Human Rights Code: