Monday, December 10, 2012

Fat Women in Stockton Offended at Being Called Fat

Obesity is a serious societal problem that is rising in America. All else equal, being morbidly obese puts you at higher risks for a number of life threatening diseases and conditions including but not limited to Type 2 diabetes, cancer, hypertension, higher infant mortality rates and cardiac disease. I've seen obesity and related illnesses kill people that I cared deeply about. So it's no joke. The unpleasant fact about obesity is that you can't hide it. Well you can hide it for a while with different types of clothing or a really good tailor, but generally speaking if you're really fat, everyone knows it. This is not necessarily the case if you happen to have an extremely bad temper, are a sexually jealous paranoid, are a horrible spendthrift,  are incredibly bossy, are a stone cold bigot, are as lazy as can be, have an allergy to sexual fidelity, are dumber than a box of dirt or have other ugly internal personal flaws that may only become apparent over time to people who know you intimately. You can cover up those things from the general public. But, if you're WAY past a BMI of 35 or so that's immediately evident to everyone who sees you. People will judge. And many people will make unpleasant judgments about your willpower, sex appeal, health and ambition.
There are all sorts of reasons which might explain why you're so heavy but the mechanics are very simple. You're eating too much and not exercising enough. You're storing the excess as fat. End of story.

It's been my experience that no one likes being singled out for doing something wrong. I certainly don't.  It's difficult enough to do this with loved ones because the person doing the calling out may not want to hurt the other person's feelings. This seems to be less the case with parents though.  My parents, had no problem telling me what I was doing wrong and how I needed to fix it. But in the world outside of familial relations no one expects to hear criticism, implied or not, from someone they're doing business with and/or don't know from Adam. So recently, three women in California, who look to be somewhat larger than a healthy norm, were offended when they received a bill that said "fat girls".

Insult was on the menu at a California restaurant where three women say they were identified as “fat girls” on their bill. Christine Duran, Christina Huerta and Isabel Robles say their enjoyable meal at Chilly D's Sports Lounge in Stockton, Calif., ended painfully Thursday when a waiter plopped down the offensive receipt on their table. "I got the bill, and I was like ‘Why does the receipt say 'fat girls'?’" Duran told News 10.
Her friends refused to believe her.
“I was laughing at her, and she was like ‘I'm serious.’ I'm like ‘No, it does not say fat girls. Let me see it,’” Huerta said.

The women confronted their waiter, who denied any involvement. He said the slur was likely entered by Jeff, the server who had taken their order. The women demanded to see a manager, who then offered the ladies 25 % off their bill – a move that provoked further outrage.

"He had like a smirk on his face, like if it was funny, but he was trying not to laugh,” Huerta said. “He was like ‘Well, I can do 50 percent,’ and we were just like ‘Are you serious?’”
The bar manager at Cameo Club Casino, which owns Chilly D’s, later said he was “appalled” by the incident.

Link


At the time of this writing it appears that Jeff has been suspended. If you are in the business of serving the public then one of the top rules to live by is not to upset the customer. So to that extent Jeff, if indeed he did enter the words "fat girls" on the receipt, was wrong. I'm not sure it's an offense for which he should be fired but it's not my business. It's not Jeff's job to point out to these women that they are fat. I'm betting they know that every time they look in a mirror or go shopping for clothing. Mirrors don't lie. Does Jeff do that to every fat person that comes in to order some food or just the ones that he feels are not really a risk to kick his a$$? Cause fat or not some large people can throw down and aren't the type of people you want to needlessly enrage.

It is however the women's doctor's job to point out to them that they are apparently WAY past a healthy weight range and are increasing their risks for the types of conditions I mentioned before. And if we accept the premises underlying the PPACA (Obamacare) or from Mayor Lord's Bloomberg's jihad against sugar, fatty food and pop, then we're all in this together. Fat people, just like smokers, are willfully engaging in behavior which costs all of us money. So just like smokers, morbidly obese people need to have a little shame and opprobrium thrown their way. Perhaps we should have taxes on second helpings or fast food outlets with starchy menu items. Maybe having it pointed out to them that they are indeed, fat, will help these women start on a process to change their behavior patterns and embrace a healthier lifestyle? Maybe. Or maybe it's just a rude act of social bullying that will do nothing to change any one's behavior patterns. Maybe one of these women will eventually become so fat that she will be unable to fly and end up dying from renal disease


Unfortunately obesity is very tied up with ideas around beauty, desirability and discrimination. But that doesn't change the fact that rude servers or waiters aside, human beings are not designed to be so heavy. It's ultimately a medical issue and one that we as Americans in particular, need to deal with head on. I don't like rude people and would not have done what Jeff allegedly did. But I also think obesity is a real problem. And we do no favors to anyone by trying to be "fat-positive" or ignoring the fact that Americans are getting fatter and fatter every year.

Questions

1) Should the server be fired? Did he have any business calling the women out for their weight?

2) Is it a slur to call someone fat or is that merely descriptive?

3) Did the women deserve anything other than a discounted bill and an apology?

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