Fat shaming sadly has become a central part of the presidential campaign this week, a place this form of bias clearly doesn't belong. However, the high profile publicity of ridiculing women forces our society to face a hidden and malicious prejudice.
Just as eye opening as the comment was the presidential candidate's shocking capacity to defend his statement as if it were completely acceptable. Needless to say, some media outlets exposed the callousness of the remarks, but it also became clear that fat shaming is not only an accepted form of attacking women but one accepted by a significant segment of the public.
Outing this hidden bias exposed a dynamic women must struggle against every day. Just as important, these expectations of thinness, and the general acceptance of shaming women who don't fit into this image, encourages women, including young women and girls, to look into dieting at increasingly younger ages.
The last few posts make clear the dangers of dieting: it is the most important risk factor for developing an eating disorder. And so the effects of fat shaming run much deeper than a mere insult.
The overall effect of condoning this kind of behavior is an increased risk and even likelihood that girls and young women will develop eating disorders. Messages about body shape and weight are destructive in their immediate psychological effect and insidious in sustaining the high incidence of eating disorders in our community.
As harmful as elements of the presidential campaign have been, fat shaming takes the misogyny on display to a new level. Using the largest political platform in the world to indirectly encourage severe, life threatening illnesses is despicable and represents a form of bias that must be fully exposed.