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Anti-fat prejudice

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    • Thread Starter

    Hi everyone,

    I am currently working on an essay about prejudice, the title of which is as follows:

    Choose one type of prejudice. Using evidence from psychology research critically discuss whether this type of prejudice is on the decline or whether it is still a prominent feature of today’s society.

    I have chosen to talk about anti-fat prejudice (i.e prejudice targeted toward those who are overweight or obese) but am now struggling on how I should go about answering the 'critically discuss' part of the question. I have taken this to mean that I should be looking at evidence both that anti-fat prejudice is on the decline and evidence that it is still prominent within society before coming to an overall conclusion.

    However having done a fairly extensive literature search, all the evidence I can find suggests that anti-fat prejudice is still prominent within society (or even that anti-fat prejudice is increasing). There doesn't seem to be anything out there in support of it being on the decline which would seem to jeopardise my ability to then structure an argument.

    I was therefore going to take a slightly different stance and consider if there are any reasons why we might expect anti-fat prejudice to have declined in recent years but make the point that this has actually not been found to be the case within the literature. So far I have considered the fact that we are now more exposed to those who are overweight/ obese within society (as the prevalence rate of such individuals has steadily increased) and thus perhaps our prejudices will have reduced as we become more accepting. However if anyone else has any suggestions for additional reasons why we might expect anti-fat prejudice to have declined in recent years it would be really helpful and very much appreciated!



    Many high street shops are now using size 12-16 models rather than 6-8, pop songs such as Meghan Trainor are increasingly encouraging us to embrace a bigger size. The feminist movement in particular has done a lot to empower women who aren't particularly skinny not to feel the pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations. There is however a difference between people who are naturally larger and those who are obese from an unhealthy diet and too little exercise. I'm wondering if you were going to make this distinction in your essay? Could be an interesting point if you haven't already considered it. Then you could raise the differences in our approach to these two groups: perhaps there is starting to be more acceptance of the first group due to reasons I've mentioned above, but we still frown upon those who are obese through poor life choices.
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