The obsession with equality, forged in the boredom of the post-war world order, has spawned concepts like ableism, genderism, and so on. By claiming to be fully inclusive, they make the denial of those differences not protected by the neologisms all the more cruel. Manufacturing an -ism for each difference, alluring as it is because of the ensuing discourse that would give it a place in the minds of those who were ignorant, condemns the differences that haven’t been put into -isms to irrelevance. Take for example, weightism.
Our entire cultural narrative presupposes that when ‘we’ eat too much, we gain weight. Our waist line is perpetually threatened to expand, belly fat is something ‘we’ must get rid off. Every article I read that makes a mention of body weight treats it like humanity’s nemesis, renders gaining weight as our natural sin and exercise as the absolution. Eating less, starving, is portrayed as a virtue and not touching that brownie is akin to buying an indulgence from the holy Church. Every food magazine, yes the packaging of processed foods itself, is filled with this obsession over our body weight.
This grossly insults those people, like myself, with a very fast metabolism, who have tried everything and would love to finally put on some weight. Not to comply with the societal norm that requires men to have muscles as much as it rejects excess meat on a female body, but in order to stay healthy.
I say to hell with weightism. I demand my equal rights as a skinny person. I demand that magazines limit flippancy about ’the expanding waist line’ and compensate puns that cater to the potentially obese with healthy jokes for thin people. I would like to read, for example “Be careful to add enough sugar to the rhubarb or you risk your scale not getting out of the danger zone” or “Don’t do too much cardio fitness to preserve the padding of your thighs” or “Just sitting on the couch and watching television has the additional benefit that it can make you gain weight.”
Weightism is a crime against equality. People who have fast metabolisms deserve more respect. Just like blind people or people in a wheelchair can navigate the world because of braille and elevators, skinny people should be able to navigate grocery aisles, beauty magazines and gyms in a way that makes them feel included and respected as citizens of the wonderful world we live in.
Disclaimer: The cis-gender heterosexual white male author measures 1.78 and weighs 57 kgs.