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Let’s Talk About Fatphobia on Campus

by Lucia Looz

Let me give you a picture of my body. I am 4’11″ and 230 pounds. I have a large bust, a chubby waist and a big butt.

I am clearly a plus-size woman, a big girl, whatever.

I have dealt with fatphobia literally since the day I was born. I developed thick skin because people can’t keep their mouths shut. I no longer cry from insecurity but from anger. I sit back and reflect on what strangers say and what they imply when speaking to me.

I had never received so many fatphobic comments on campus until this past year. I wasn’t even harassed this much as a freshman and I was sexually harassed four times back then.

Now I am harassed because of my weight.

Let’s start at Sam’s Place in the fall of 2021.

I walked to one of the stations and asked for roasted potatoes. The worker gave a scoopful of two to three potatoes. I politely asked for more and she gave another two to three. I silently held my plate in front of her and before I said anything, she loudly said, “More?” She scoops five to six potatoes and I tell her I don’t need any more. Sarcastically, she says, “Yeah, you don’t need more.”

I nervously laughed and walked away, not realizing what she meant until I sat down. She hesitantly gave me potatoes because of my size, not because I asked for a lot of them. She was shocked I asked for more like I wasn’t ashamed or I wasn’t watching what I ate, and then mocked me.

I angrily chewed my potatoes and texted my friends that I was just fat-shamed.

Fast forward to Sam’s Place this fall. It was actually last week.

I waited in line at the station closest to the entrance. I told the worker I would like white rice and lo mein, no sweet and sour beef. He scooped my food onto my plate, smirked to himself and said, “So, I’m taking a survey. A lot of people are just asking for rice and noodles, and no beef. Why is that?” I shrugged my shoulders, not knowing what to say. “Because these are two starches and no meat. Why don’t you want meat?”

As soon as he said starches, my face fell. I knew where he was going with this. “I just don’t like sweet and sour meat,” I coolly said, and he tells me, “Thank you.” I grab my plate and walk away with my hand in a fist. He didn’t ask the skinny girl in front of me about her plate, but he asked about mine. How convenient.

I went to the same station the next day and it had a different worker. I asked for potatoes and zucchini, no shredded pork.

She was silent before she asked, “Are you a vegan?”

“No,” I replied.

“Are you a vegetarian?” she said.

“No,” I said again.

“Then why no meat?” She sounded offended.

“I don’t like shredded pork,” I hesitantly said.

She faked an “ah” and handed me my plate. I left the station, internally cursing her out. Did I get fat shamed at the same place and the same station two days in a row? Screw that.

Why is everyone so concerned about what I eat? And you know what, why does everyone tailgate walking behind me? Yes, I walk slowly but don’t bump into me while walking past. Is this high school or college?

I haven’t even mentioned what random guys say in the laundry room and the sidewalks, but that’s for a different article.

But the answer is fatphobia. People mock my body and the food I eat because I am fat.

I feel like a joke. I feel I am unworthy. I feel like I am a freak of nature in their eyes.

But I write this article to declare, as a fat person on campus, I am sick of the inconsideration and the harassment. Do better, Montclair State University, especially Sam’s Place.

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