Added: Hasan Thacker - Date: 29.09.2021 08:29 - Views: 17498 - Clicks: 8182
You work hard to stay informed. We work hard to bring you the latest coverage on sex, abortion, parenthood, and power. Donate to support nonprofit journalism today! I vividly remember the shame I felt lying in the examination room with a hospital gown that barely covered half my body. I was 19 years old. I had been excited for the appointment, my first with a gynecologist.
In my mind, going to the gynecologist meant I was that much closer to true adulthood, which felt exhilarating. But this would be the most embarrassing medical appointment of my life. That size happened to be for someone much smaller than me. Stunned and embarrassed, I laughed and agreed. Never mind that my weight had nothing to do with the appointment, which revealed I was in perfect health. As a fat Black woman, my relationship with my body and the relationship others think I should have with my body are at odds. I stood, even in that moment, in pride: I was a healthy young woman taking charge of her reproductive health; that was the most important part of that experience.
The same doctor would also hint that my anxiety and depression linked to my weight. She would then go on to suggest weight loss surgery while handing me a prescription of Zoloft to shut me up. As a fat Black woman, seeking health care can be both traumatic and difficult. As Black women, we experience heightened discrimination from doctors, a fact that came to the national stage after tennis star Serena Williams talked about nearly dying following childbirth earlier this year. As fat women, we experience more mistreatment than thin patients. Discrimination against fat patients has been well documented.
At all. Fat women have been complaining to their doctors and loved ones about mistreatment by health-care professionals for years. So, why did it take someone like Hobbes, a thin white man, to get our cries Black female seeks overweight man The lived experiences of fat people and Black people—specifically Black women—should be enough.
The blatant attack on fat bodies within health care will continue to not only alienate fat patients, it could kill them. A study by the American Psychological Association found that doctors prescribe different treatment to fat patients than to those who are thin, and that the treatment for fat patients often ignores the root of the problem at hand. Time after time I was told that weight loss was a catchall cure for my aliments, whether they be chronic migraines, insomnia, or even just a common cold. Black women continue to face unfair and even violent treatment by health-care professionals, especially with regards to their reproductive health.
Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is effectively a Black maternal mortality crisis. And yet, the health-care system fails to rectify this epidemic.
When you consider the instances of discrimination in health care that have been noted by both plus size and Black women, the intersection between sizeism and racism is obvious. How are fat Black women expected to trust health-care professionals when doctors have demonstrated an inability to listen to our needs—the needs that will ultimately help keep us alive? Instead, we continue to fear health-care professionals and seek out medical advice through other avenues, or we suffer in silence.
It is the job of health-care providers to acknowledge and serve the needs of everyone.
Doctors must come to terms with and acknowledge the part their institution has played in furthering racism and fatphobia. This starts with realizing that fat people are still people. Our concerns should be taken seriously, not brushed off. Support Rewire News Group You work hard to stay informed.
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