A friend of mine called me today to inform me that he read an article that the Mississippi state legislation was trying to pass a bill that would make it illegal for state licensed businesses to serve people who were deemed to be obese. The bill would require that the Mississippi Department of Health consult with the state's Counsel on Obesity to determine what guidelines restaurant owners would have to follow and would mean penalties and fines for those restaurants who choose to serve plus size patrons.
I didn't want to believe it was true that a bill so ridiculously heinous would even be considered, but the good folks over at thesmokinggun.com have a copy of the official document posted.
Peggy Howell, Public Relations Director of the NAAFA, released a press release calling for a cease and desist from the Mississippi legislature. While I wasn't able to find the press release on their website as of yet, you can check it out on the NAAFA's MySpace page.
As a woman of size, I am disgusted by this because, who is to determine what is obese and what is not? How can you justify judging someone as obese? As a woman of Color, I am disgusted, because blatant discrimination like this is a reminder of when people of Color could not eat in restaurants and at lunch counters throughout the South before the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
I have often heard those who are far more politically involved in the size acceptance movement than I am say that size discrimination is the last acceptable form of discrimination in the country. While TSG believes that the bill will be "dead on arrival", the fact that the three House of Representatives members thought it was a good idea should be cause for all to stand up and take notice.
What's more, I think, is for all people of size to take a stand. I'm not just talking to my size 24+ ladies of the world. I'm talking to my sized 10, 12, 14's etc. as well. Because even though in the plus size world, you are on the smaller side of the scale, don't think that in the eyes of these legislators, you will be immune. If they go by the BMI index, more people would be affected than not.
Just some food for thought...