Weight Discrimination. Is it real? Have you experienced it?
I know I have. It exists. It’s real and it permeates everything we do from trying on clothes to perception in the workplace.
Does weight really matter at work?
Yes and No. I’m an Instructional Designer/Blogger by day. It doesn’t matter if I weigh 400 lbs or 150 lbs. I can do the job just the same. That doesn’t mean others aren’t going to judge me based on my size. Of course they will.
If I’m a car mechanic, I simply cannot weigh 400 lbs to do the job properly. Get my point?
Today in the Wall Street Journal a story was published about an ex-Hooter’s Girl that is suing for Weight Discrimination. Basically she was put on weight probation and asked to lose some pounds from her (eh em) 132 lb frame so that she could fit into the extra small Hooters uniform.
I have mixed emotions about this.
1. I believe that someone 5’8 and weighs 132lbs is probably in decent shape. Probably great shape!
2. I do not believe in women working somewhere that is contingent on their bodies and their looks. We are better than this! However, we are all free to make our own career choices! I have friends that work at Hooters. It’s not my place to judge but know you are putting your emotional health at risk here.
3. If the expectations of the job are to fit into the sizes described in the article, then fair is fair.
I’ve worked in HR, minored in HR management, and took some business law classes. I’m no expert, but discrimination does not exist when the expectations of the job were established at the time of hire and those expectations include specific physical characteristics to do the job. I remember several Hooters examples from my law book that actually lost in court.
I’m the biggest fighter for weight discrimination. However, I’m also a fighter for things that are fair. In this case, the chick knew what was expected. Even if I know she isn’t over weight, there are certain standards the job required.
I think the larger issue lies in how Hooters management is perceiving women. Why are the only sizes available XXS, XS, and S? That is simply ridiculous! I am by no means saying they should allow someone who is fat and sloppy to wait tables in daisy dukes and a tank top but perhaps the gates should be opened for those thicker, more athletic, curvier bodies that want to make some dough waiting tables on a bunch of pathetic slobbering men!
I know Buffie the Body isn’t fitting into no size small!
Touchy subject, isn’t it?
What are your thoughts? Weigh in!