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#32: Our Perception of Others

Friday, July 31, 2009

Recently, I began thinking of famous overweight people. I realized I was not imagining these celebrities as fat people but simply as people accomplished in their particular field.

The insight was that if someone is outstanding in their chosen endeavor, they are not perceived as overweight or heavy, but simply as a person.

When, for example, the great actor Jackie Gleason's name is mentioned, the first thing to come to mind is likely not, "Man is he fat," but rather an image of him playing Ralph Kramden in the Honeymooners sitcom, or as Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the Smokey and the Bandit movies.

When we think of Luciano Pavaroti, the image that springs to mind most likely is, "One of the world's greatest opera singers," not "Man, is he fat."

Celebrities' fame leads us to see them not as overweight but as exceptionally talented and skilled people.

Why is it, though, that everyday people who are not famous and who are overweight are often ridiculed, shamed and demeaned?

Why must it take a measure of fame for the public to gloss over a person's weight? How do we change other people's perceptions?

By one person at a time, starting with ourselves. We shouldn't judge, demean, shame or ridicule others because of their weight. In our eyes let us view that person simply as someone who loves and is loved and someone with dreams and feelings.

And we need to stop thinking of ourselves as fat or heavy or obese and begin thinking of ourselves as people of worth, people of importance to our families, to our work and to our communities.

It shouldn't take people of fame to change our way of seeing others.

But, for any meaningful change in perception to occur, we must start with ourselves.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • YATMAMA
    Good insight. We can only affect our own behavior, but by doing so, good behaviors can become catchy!
    4230 days ago
  • SUSAN134
    Excellent, excellent blog post!!!

    Thank you!
    4230 days ago
  • 1647GINGER
    This is so true. emoticon
    4230 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/31/2009 8:49:07 PM
  • AMBERROGUE
    I love this! I've never thought of it this way. It's as if a light bulb just came on in my head.

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!
    4231 days ago
  • SPARKLOVE
    I really enjoyed reading this blog. How true! Here is another question ...why can we be kinder to others than ourselves?

    As I was readying your blog I know I would have no problems with looking at others as just people who are loved and not looking at their fat, for the most part I think I already do that , but I know it would take a lot of work for me not to notice my own fat. LOL

    When I look in the mirror do I notice how pretty my hair is , or my eyes , legs etc. do I see my talents.......NO I see my bulging waist line and feel disgusted with myself. How can we get past our own fat? Well, you have given me something to think about today and for that I say Thank You. Also thanks for adding me as a friend. Joy
    4231 days ago
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