Dozens of women say that after a change in physical appearance — gaining weight, aging or becoming ill — they have been either ignored or treated like shit by men. When Anne, a year-old administrative assistant in Chicago, noticed that two colleagues in her workplace were both obsessed with the New York Times crossword, she thought it would be nice to introduce them. Backlash ensued and the joke was derided as pointlessly mean, but Brooklyn-based filmmaker Annelise Ogaard noticed that the defensiveness was inconsistent. For further evidence, I spoke to more than 40 people who report being treated this way, the majority of whom are women. Anna, a year-old student based in Philly, presents a classic example. Take Mel, a writer in her early 30s in California, who says she was picked on mercilessly by boys as a teenager.
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If you frequently consume TV and movies and you yourself are not a fat person, you might not believe this. The stories regularly told to us in pop culture are those of skinny people finding skinny love with other skinny hotties. This much is clear: fat people are nowhere to be seen, especially in romantic roles. In both films, our leading lady gets with skinny, conventionally attractive men. God forbid a fat woman be anything other than a cis-het straight person, right? Although both do a good job creating fat characters with depth and nuance, neither seems to get the memo that fat people do more than smooch, even within the constraints of a PG rating. Or Oscar winner American Beauty? Maybe we lack fat representation and sexuality because many people believe being fat is a personal, moral, and social failing , and that those who are failures do not deserve love and sex. This belief, however untrue, permeates our culture. When the vast majority of the people in our lives are fat, why are we calling them brave simply for existing?
Rhoda B. She was not beautiful; she was out of place. For one, the soles of her shoes were too thin. Any piece of broken glass could cut through such thin soles. She knew that. She picked her way delicately among the broken bottles in the parking lot, the pot holes puddled with muddy water, the cans and the newspapers. She held her skirt as if it might sweep across the filthy pavement.