I’m shocked! Did you know that fat kids are more likely to be bullied than skinny kids? Who would have guessed?! Thank goodness a study was done to shed light on this!
I don’t mean to belittle researchers or those conducting studies, but this one seemed so blatant as to be an inexcusable waste of money. Admittedly, the article I read did note that any schoolchild, or anyone who ever had been a schoolchild, would know this. The primary “surprise” was that other social factors didn’t seem to matter. Socio-economic status, race, intelligence, class standing – all were equalized by their fat to ensure true democracy in bullying.
What I would find interesting is knowing what form the bullying takes, and if it differs across genders. For myself, most of what I experienced was more in the way of harassment, my extra padding making it all the more likely for boys to pick on me in sexually threatening ways. Inappropriate comments, offensive sexual suggestions (way past innuendo), leering, etc. I know some girls also experience the unfortunate teasing of other girls who assure them that a popular boy really does like them, even if he doesn’t act that way. (The movie Heathers springs to mind.) I think for boys it’s different, more physical in nature, such as knocking over books, tearing papers, destroying projects, shoving, etc. But not having been an overweight boy, I don’t know for sure.
I suppose that, obvious as it is, the study is good if it does one thing – makes adults consider what sort of role models they are. Because the bullying doesn’t stop after childhood. It simply becomes more insidious and subtle, but no less damaging for that.