Fat and the ADA

In the fat kids and bullies post, the head researcher said that fat folks have a brain disorder (!)


Why can’t society accept fat folks as a variation on a theme?  People aren’t different colors because of a “skin disorder”.  People aren’t different genders because of a “Y” or “X” chromosome disorder. 

 However, if society is determined to view fat people as having a physical or mental impairment that causes them to be fat, then fat people have a disability and we should demand all the protections granted by the ADA.

 Not just “disabled” fat folk – ALL fat folks.  Society can’t have it both ways. 

 Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who: (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.

 I don’t like the idea of fat being considered a disability.  I don’t believe being fat is (necessarily) a disability; however, the ADA is supposed to protect people who are “PERCEIVED” as having a disability (whether they are actually disabled or not), and I think there is an excellent argument to be made that society in general does “perceive” fat people as disabled in some way, and discriminates against us because of that perception.

 According to the ADA: 

“An individual meets the requirement of ‘being regarded as having such an impairment’ if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this Act because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.” [Emphasis added.]

 Boy would that shake things up, because the ADA has LOTS of protections fat people could take advantage of. 

 So, if society doesn’t want to treat me as “normal”, fine —- they can damn well treat me as “special” (which I am, but that’s another story).


One thought on “Fat and the ADA

  1. There’s a precedent in the Deaf community. Deaf people tend not to see it as a disability but recognize that it’s perceived by others as one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s