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Retail's prejudice against the obese - Page 2

post #16 of 67
I agree. No room for discrimination. Having worked retail for some time, I am sympathetic with the difficulties that some people have in finding clothing that fits, especially the larger people. Being one myself may have biased me. One of the sharpest dressed men I know is an overweight gentleman who has sold clothing his whole life. He looks good because his clothes fit properly and he matches well. I presume because of his length of time in the clothing business, he has been able to compile his wardrobe at steep discount. He sees the fact that he needs to have things custom made or ordered for him to be a badge of honor and refinement in itself. He cant go into a store and buy things everyone else can, nor would he want to.
post #17 of 67
Quote:
"To reduce anti-fat prejudice, we have to tell people how much the problem is due to genetics and physiology and how it has less to do with willpower,"
Coming from a diebetic, it has everything to do with willpower and knowledge.  Somepeople still really think they can eat lots of something the says "Non-Fat" Dude, look at the calories.
post #18 of 67
As a salesperson in a clothing store on the weekends, I try to be polite to every customer who comes in, not just because it is my nature but also because you never know when a larger customer is shopping for a gift for her slimmer daughter. Also, I try to keep track of what extended sizes the chain's website carries. Since I often having trouble finding shoes big enough or sleeves long enough in stores, I can sympathize with those who have to order their clothes.
post #19 of 67
Nobody's ever noticed that obesity usually goes hand-in-hand w/other unsavory personal traits? A person that unconcerned w/her appearance is usually unconcerned about other things: how she smells, how loud she talks, how she respects other people's space. It's possible the clerks in the study reacted w/past experience in mind, however unconcious that reaction was. For instance, take Brian's example. When you hear somebody arguing loud enough for everybody to hear about something as gross as the desire to eat liquid lard, isn't that person usually fat? Or at least physically presenting himself/herself poorly.
post #20 of 67
Quote:
I presume because of his length of time in the clothing business, he has been able to compile his wardrobe at steep discount. He sees the fact that he needs to have things custom made or ordered for him to be a badge of honor and refinement in itself. He cant go into a store and buy things everyone else can, nor would he want to.
I don't know about all that... I'm sticking with my guns: I'd take being shaped like a human being over an extensive wardrobe every day of the week. I've never understood the problem larger people have finding clothes. I am not a particularly small guy, and often the smallest sizes that stores carry is tent-like on me. Given that sizes generally run 3 or more sizes up from there, someone within a normal range of size (under 7 feet tall and, say, 400 pounds) shouldn't have a world of problems on their hands. Obviously there will be some things that a guy who's 6'8" or 330 lbs. isn't going to be able to swing, but by and large (yeah yeah yeah yeah)...
post #21 of 67
I personally don't think that being fat and nasty runs hand in hand as much as you might think, Ken. A thin, clean person has just as much likelihood to be a jerk. As a salesperson, one has to TRY to give good service as much as is humanly possible. You can't render the actions of a few smelly loudmouths the status-quo of the obese.
post #22 of 67
Quote:
Nobody's ever noticed that obesity usually goes hand-in-hand w/other unsavory personal traits? A person that unconcerned w/her appearance is usually unconcerned about other things: how she smells, how loud she talks, how she respects other people's space. It's possible the clerks in the study reacted w/past experience in mind, however unconcious that reaction was. For instance, take Brian's example. When you hear somebody arguing loud enough for everybody to hear about something as gross as the desire to eat liquid lard, isn't that person usually fat? Or at least physically presenting himself/herself poorly.
Oh, all the time. I also notice that those with sloped foreheads tend to be stupider. Big fan of William Graham Sumner are we? If it were possible for this thread and attitudes to devolve even further, you have managed that feat.
post #23 of 67
This article is rude, crude and I am ashamed to admit the fact that I agree with most that has been written: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=491379 Panzer
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Oh, all the time. I also notice that those with sloped foreheads tend to be stupider. Big fan of William Graham Sumner are we? If it were possible for this thread and attitudes to devolve even further, you have managed that feat.
No. Social Darwinism is great if you really understand evolution (and I'm not just talking biological evolution here. Societal and technological evolution is just as important). It can benefit state policy and such, but if you have no idea what the hell you're talking about, as did Sumner and his contemporaries in the late-19th to mid-20th centuries, it can be disastrous. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. Some dude didn't just wake up one morning and say "I think I'm gonna start a rumor that fat people generally have poorer hygiene." The prenotion is there because the notion is there. I was recently involved w/a nationwide study involving tattoo/piercing studios and rates of, um, unpleasantness (parmesan-esque genitals, sasquatch-esque tounges, Leaning Tower of Pisa-esque teeth, etc.), and nearly all offered testimonies involved overweight clients. Our society has matured into a wonderful utopia where people can no longer be judged by their physical appearance. And that utopia is full of fatarses. I'd even contend there's a pretty good argument that intelligence CAN be assumed (however roughly) by a person's looks. Races that evolved in societies that relied on wit and cunning to survive, rather than those that relied on disease resistance due to much higher population densities, are probably smarter, no?
post #25 of 67
This is yet another example of the growing trend toward "fat acceptance" in which fat people try to claim that it is natural to be fat - and that discrimination against them is akin to discrimination based on race, gender or sexual preference. Isn't it interesting how fat people don't just get fat anymore because they eat too much - now they all have a "genetic predisposition" or "glandular disorders". Sorry - but this is all BS - most fat people are fat because they eat too much and they eat a poor diet. Get off the damn couch, turn off the television and do something. Don't circle the parking lot until you find the spot right next to the entrance of the fast food restaurant - pick a spot and walk across the parking lot. Better yet - don't eat fast food. If you can't find clothes that fit you and look stylish - take that as a sign that you should lose some weight. Don't complain that the designers are discriminating against you. Sure - not every women is going to be stick thin and not every man is going to look like the Rock, but go to any suburban shopping mall on a weekend and you'll find the number of really fat people is just out of control... Bradford P.S. That being said, it's probably stupid for clothing stores to be rude to fat people as they do make up such a large portion of the buying population.
post #26 of 67
This thread has turned into a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue, in my opinion. The issue is not whether discrimination based upon weight is equivalent to discrimination based upon clearly more immutable characteristics such as gender and/or race. This issue also is not whether some form of discrimination based upon weight is desirable because obesity is not a socially inefficient characteristic -- let us assume for a moment that it is. This issue instead is whether a retail salesperson has "standing" to discriminate based upon weight without reproach. My answer is a resounding no. Whether as a society we wish to penalize obesity is a debatable question. I personally am not averse to taxing heavily unhealthy foods, or taking other steps that indirectly penalize the obese person's lifestyle. I do not favor legislation that would require, for example, a movie theatre or an airline to make special accomodations for obese people who cannot fit in an ordinary seat. We ought not, in my opinion, prohibit charging an obese person for two seats on an airplane if he/she takes up two seats. But choosing to take government action to discourage the obese lifestyle if far different than sanctioning individuals to become virtual vigilantes. A stranger whose role is to sell garments to those who patronize the store in which they merely work ought not to take it upon himself to discriminate against an obese customer out of a desire to "penalize" the obese lifestyle (assuming this is the actual motive, which is debatable). This is simply not part of the salesperson's proper role. If the retail salespersons reason for discriminating against an obese customer is because he/she is sickened by the sight of the obese customer, my response is that the retail salesperson ought to be taught how to cabin his/her indignation. We would certainly recoil at the thought that a nurse or a doctor would refuse to treat an obese person because he/she became ill at the sight of the obese person. Why should we expect anything less from the retail salesperson? Leave the discrimination against the obese to collective decisionmaking processes, as well as the inner circles of the obese person (for example, I have no problem with a person refusing to shop with his/her obese friend until the obese friend loses some weight).
post #27 of 67
there are really 3 issues here: 1. retail workers, sales and service people, should never be rude to potential customers because of that person's apperence, or because of what they feel about that person, with the possible exception of a customer being intentionally rude or abusive to them first. and even that last is iffy. 2. a person of honor, a lady or a gentleman, will not be rude to a person because of that persons looks or atributes. I see no reason to be rude to a person because of there color, level of intellegence, wieght, hieght or for any other reason, with the possible exception of that person being intentionally rude or abusive to me first. 3. although I understand that you might not find a fat person very atractive, I see no rational reason to treat them with the type of disrespect that is being shown here. Lets put this in perspective - yes, pretty much any fat person can lose and control weight through excersize and dieting (with very rare exceptions). from personal experience, I can tell you that typically a person who is "naturally fat' or who has a "tendency towards fat" will probrably require significantly more excersize to burn the same ammount of calories, and will probrably store calories a lot faster than a thinner person will - which means that a person with a genetic tendency towards obesity will have to excersize significantly more and eat less than somebody with a genetic tendency towards being thin, and will probrably also have a stronger drive to eat richer foods more often. yes, it is possible for almost any fat person to become thin - the question is is it the investment of time and effort that each individual wants to make? for a large part of my life, I spent easily more than 10 hours a week excersizing, and for some years significantly more, and was hungry all the time, very uptight and tense. now I spend 3-5 hours a week excersizing (and now focusing on the things that I enjoy more and am better at like hitting things and lifting weights) , am pretty much never hungry, have low blood pressure, a very peaceful disposition, very clear blood (from bad cholesteral), and get to spend a lot of time with my family. My 4 grandparents all lived to their 90's, and smoked, so I am guessing that I will make it to a pretty long life. so, you might not want to sleep with me, that is fine, if you are reading this board the chances are I don't want to sleep with you, either. I would be very suprised if anybody had anything to say about my hygine, and, do to my custom wardrobe, I think that I am pretty well put together. there are a number of people on this board (as in the general population) who do things that I find mildly revolting - they are slackers, they spend a lot of time with video games, they wear leather pants, they wear military gear/fireman's gear/pirate pants/cowboy hats while not cowboys- and I wish them luck with all that. I probrably would'nt hang out with them, and I imagine that they wouldn't hang out with me. that would not mean that I would treat them with anything but a minimal amount of respect, as human beings. They might want to consider that, as well.
post #28 of 67
Two basic thoughts that others have expounded upon: (1) Descriptive: Duh. Of course if you look better you're going to get better service. You'll find dating easier, and get extra points in pretty much everything else that you do. It's just the way people are. Also, I don't care how attractive you are, I wouldn't expect good service if you're walking around a clothing store with a beverage. (2) Normative: EVERYTHING HERE depends on context. Is it ok to discriminate against certain religions in hiring in the corporate workplace? No. Is it ok if your church is hiring a janitor? Maybe. A priest? Certainly. In the retail context, I wouldn't want my employees making *anybody* feel unwelcome or doing anything but their very best to sell to that person. In other contexts, discrimination against the obese may or may not be inappropriate.
post #29 of 67
It is a medical fact that your genetic makeup will largely determine your physical characteristics - your general bone structure, body type, metabolism, height, eye/hair color, etc. That being said, it is also common sense that those who do not eat right, exercise, etc are more prone to being overweight. It is also basic psychology that there are people who cope with a low self-esteem by overeating - which leads to weight gain, creating even lower self-esteem, and hence a self-perpetuating cycle. I don't think it is very logical or intelligent to state that overweight people are intrinsically rude, lazy, stupid, or in any other way morally repugnant. However, it is disturbing to notice how many Americans are overweight, and probably needlessly so.
post #30 of 67
Quote:
I'd even contend there's a pretty good argument that intelligence CAN be assumed (however roughly) by a person's looks.
Do you mean that more attractive = more intelligent?  There's no way you can support that.  You'd need to show that the same nature and/or nurture inputs that result in intelligence also cause attractiveness.
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