Friday, April 1, 2011

"Size Friendly"?

Is there such thing as "size friendly?" Well apparently there is. I went to the gym to warm up before kick-boxing last night and on the window were the words "size friendly." Whatever happened to just being "friendly"? I would hope that regardless of my "size" any fitness business/organization/institution would welcome me with open arms (1. I'm paying for it; 2. Word of mouth is the best referral; and 3. That's what they are there for right? To promote healthy living?). At first I didn't think anything of the "size friendly" statement, but now after seeing it every time that I go to the gym, I'm taking a little offense to it. Maybe all sorts of places should just start putting that on their windows, like retail stores would help me to detect and avoid stores where I'm likely to receive dirty looks, or bars where I should be prepared to deal with people who find it funny to put others on blast who are just out to have fun with their friends.

So I decided to do some research on the phrase "size friendly." To my surprise there are many businesses and services that market themselves as being "size friendly." I found everything from Amish furniture, yellow pages, a website promoting the success of curvy women, and doctors. I even found a site that promotes "fat friendly" physicians. When I think of it, there are probably lots of places that market themselves to a particular type of "group." This "size friendly" category is just one of many.

I guess, growing up, I never really noticed differences, nor did I segregate myself, run with a certain crowd, or dress a certain way. However, I'm sure others probably gave me a label. So the question becomes, are we a society that has become too dependent on face value and labels? Has individuality and uniqueness been replaced by conformity and labels? Let's take Susan Boyle for example (I only mention her because my sister, mom and I were talking about her this weekend). Susan Boyle was not heard of until the last couple of years. It took a reality TV show appearance for her to present her great talent and personality. Until that point, people only took her at face value, seeing a frumpy, middle-aged woman who sang in her church choir. Now don't get me wrong, I know it's a two way street. You have to be willing to take a risk and open yourself up to others, and others need to be willing to see and accept you even though you are different from them and unique in your own right.

Being on this healthy lifestyle journey has really opened my eyes (and ears) to the overwhelming response to the nation's obsession with obesity, and how desensitized society has become to various topics of discussion. As a nation, do you think we have become desensitized?

I will leave you with this quote I found...
“When you're a beautiful person on the inside, there is nothing in the world that can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one's lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can't accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.”

- Sasha Azevedo

1 comment:

  1. PhatGirl,

    In a GTL world, face value is what is left of US society. I love this great country, but it has its drawbacks too. For example, how tan you are goes further than being able to speak in complete sentences. Your article gives me hope though. As for this "size friendly" stuff, I'm not offended. I just wish I could have an establishment with a "dork friendly" sign so all dorks knew they were welcome. I think that sign is more for the owner's lack of self acceptance than for anyone elses.