October 14, 2008
Discrimination.Whether we realize it or not, we all fall a victim of it. When we meet someone we, intentionally or unintentionally, judge them by their appearance, such as skin color, weight, height, social status (who is around them), etc. In which then, we mentally categorize or label them and treat them accordingly based off of our decision.
By definition discrimination is the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category rather than on individual merit.
So often we hear and witness discrimination due to obesity or overweight individuals. But this raises the question; can you be discriminated on because you’re in shape?
I recently went to Minnesota on a business trip to meet with the gym equipment manufactures to get the latest information on newest equipment. As I spent a week there, I accumulated a lot of information and incentives, such as books, clothing, and prizes; just about anything they could give me to get my business. So as I am getting ready to fly back home, I am standing in line at the airport to check in my bags, I noticed there was a very large, over 200 lbs, man in front of me checking in his bags. Anyways, he took care of his luggage, got his ticket and went on his way. Then it was my turn to check in…as what was supposed to be a quick process, the flight attendant informs me that my luggage is 6 lbs over the limit and gave me an alternative to either remove some items out of my bag or she would have to charge me $50.! So rather than arguing and making a big scene, I decided to pay, got my ticket and went on my way.
It got me thinking…if airlines are concerned about the “total weight” on the plane, I think they should have a weight limit on each passenger, combining their weight and luggage. If you and your luggage are over the weight limit then just as I did, you should have to pay.
Now wait a minute….I know you think its discrimination against ‘big’ people. But just as easy it is to discriminate against over weight people; I can turn around and say its discrimination against the people who are ‘fit’. (Not to mention, being Persian I’m used to getting “randomly” checked every time I go to the gate by a person who barley can speak English. It makes me feel like I should be checking HIS ID ‘cause he doesn’t look like he should be in this country. Beside the point I can’t blame ‘em for checking, because if I go on a plane n see a guy with a turban best believe I’m watching him like a hawk! If he goes to the restroom, I’m almost tempted to follow him.) But yes, I did make a decision to have extra weight on my luggage, and in turn I had to pay for that choice. But being over weight is a choice as well. This is a choice people decide to make, live with, and in many cases do not have to pay for. There are many alternative to loosing weight, but because there is no enforcement, nothing is done!
I think if airlines had a weight limit it will encourage people to get into shape. And rather than spending excessive money on the weight limit every time they fly, they can spend that money on loosing weight, and in turn living a healthier life!