I Am A Victim Of Discrimination.

It starts with the looks you get.

The way people look at you and somehow, they see themselves somehow different, better than you. That who you are, what you are, is.. different. And then there’s that “what are you even doing here” look I sometimes get.

There are silent, judging looks as well. Looks that tell the insecure part of me, they’ll be talking about me later.

Some go out of their way to say I can change. Sometimes, societal norms force on me the fact that I don’t fit with what is viewed as “normal”, whatever that means. And the media has a jolly time reminding me of this, constantly showing what I’m supposed to be, as supposed to who I am.

And on some sad days, I do want to change. I desperately want to change, for the sake of not getting those looks, not getting unsolicited advice, not getting constant questions about my lifestyle choices. But deep down I know I’d be worse off if I crumbled to the peer pressure.

Why should someone else tell me how I should live? Why should they tell me how to look and act? Why is their view of the world the only one that seems to be correct and virtuous? Why must we conform when we can enrich each other? Enriching doesn’t mean we have to agree all the time, but we’d be enriched nonetheless with new points of view. Of other concepts of beauty, of happiness, of peace. Must happiness be something so constrictive, so bland, as not to be able to appreciate the wondrous variety of life?

I know I have reservations, even objections of other lifestyle choices, but it doesn’t mean I should impose my own to others, for whatever reason. And authorities like the government should be protecting the entirety of the population without exception; that is what all the laws are supposed to do. Not become a tool to persecute minorities.

Why am I being persecuted? It’s because I’m fat and short. T-shirts don’t fit me, bought trousers are too long and have to be adjusted, and I feel I look ugly wearing anything because those well-built people in TV and magazines simply make anything look better. And I’ve gotten to the point to be as shallow as having a certain brand’s t-shirt size as a benchmark for me to lose weight, of which is in progress.

Part of this article may be satire, but discrimination of a certain group or standard towards another is sadly commonplace. It could be sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or even stuff as simple as football fandom. While our human brains tend to categorise things for easier processing, it does not mean we should discriminate based on it. Sure, people like me who love to eat and hate sports eventually cave in to the abundant scientific evidence that my lifestyle is simply unhealthy, and I am (hopefully) capable of changing it. But are issues of sexuality and religion easily changed? Is there any abundant scientific evidence that being of a certain sexual orientation or belief in a certain religion have dire consequences towards self or towards society?

Even when it comes to the issue of my body weight, it’s up to me whether to just eat myself into my grave or switch to healthier living, and for me to choose which would make me happier, or more satisfied as a human being. As it should for other lifestyle choices, beliefs, and sexual preferences.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Discrimination runs deep in our blood. It is our responsibility as civilized human beings to rise above it. Rejecting discrimination does not mean accepting everything and anything that lies beyond our belief system, but it does mean that we shouldn’t judge people because of it, let alone make rules and restrictions based on it. Rejecting discrimination does mean rejecting ignorance, though — that whatever our own belief system is, it should be based on knowledge, not half-truths, gossip, hate-mongering and so on. And it should be also based on love.

Most clothing stores, or perhaps the fashion industry in general, discriminates against me because I do not have a perfect body type. If you can feel my “pain”, then you can empathise with those being persecuted because of who they are and what they believe in. Stop discrimination, and for God’s sake stop institutionalised discrimination.

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