Recent research has found that almost three quarters of bosses believe there is prejudice in the work place against the seriously overweight. This rises further among those who consider themselves overweight.
The research found that the majority believe that people who are overweight are lacking self-discipline, self-control, energy and drive. In contrast most believe those who are very fit are better able to cope with the demands of a senior role in business and are better able to deal with stress and tough business decisions.
Being slim is often equated with being successful. If you have two candidates both capable of doing a job and one is of normal weight and the other is heavily overweight, then often the thinner person will be chosen - particularly if they will be in a client-facing role.
So gone are the days when only celebrities and supermodels have to worry about their appearance for the longevity of their career. No longer can we rely on our brain power and skill to gain the prospects which are rightfully ours. Our slimmer counterparts also have the benefit of being able to dress the part with reasonably priced officewear freely available on the high street. Is it so easy for those who are a 16 plus?
So why is this prejudice allowed when we live in a nation so keen to stamp out inequalities in all other areas? Ignorance is the driving force of prejudice and discrimination. Until society is awakened to the unjust treatment of the obese, the discrimination will continue. Just as racism, sexism and other prejudices have been out in the open and recognized by the majority as wrong, so must ‘sizism’.
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