Raising the white flag on weight: what it really means

What I saw in last night’s third episode of “Huge” was the impact of weight discrimination. When a “normal” sized kid (whatever, it’s all relative) makes fun of an overweight one (like the tennis camp kids did), they feel rejected. They also feel anger and they show it by doing the character game they do to get revenge on the tennis campers. Just like any other kind of discrimination, weight discrimination breeds an unhealthy cycle.

The kids who are making fun spew venom and the kids who feel rejected want to spew it back. Often times the kids who are made fun of will keep themselves frozen in worthlessness (been there), or worse – become defiant about their weight because of how angry others make them, like the main character on the show. The insecure kid even shared at the fireside. He said, “It doesn’t bother me that kids make fun of me, cause stuff they’re saying is true. I’m excited to lose weight. I just can’t imagine what it will be like. What if will actually change anything.”

That broke my heart because it showed how much overweight kids and people in general have resigned to the label that others put on them. So the people who suffer focus on their weight label as their identity, rather than the amazing person inside. This kid has accepted that he isn’t accepted and he’s afraid of what it would be like if he was, so he stays stuck. No kid, no person deserves to be stuck in that place because of someone else’s beliefs about them.

At the end of the show, during the campfire – the Camp Director has everyone raise their white flags. She says, “What if we stopped fighting? Is it possible to stop attacking other people and ourselves and just surrender?”

Yes, a million times over. Yes. You may think that means that we have to give in to what everyone else says about us, that they’re right, that we do suck, that we might as well just keep eating. Nope. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t.

Surrender is much more powerful than that. Surrendering means giving yourself the power to change by focusing on your great qualities. Accept that you may not be able to control what THEY say about you or what society tells you that you can, can’t, should, shouldn’t do. That means they can keep saying all the crap they want, and you just shake it off because YOU have power over your thoughts and actions. They don’t.

So, redefine surrender as empowerment rather than defeat because I’ll tell you right now – as much as society is trying to put you in a box of needing to lose weight – you are SO much more than that.

Now my question for you is – knowing that, what could you do?

Check out Jess Weiner’s blog on the show too for more discussion…