When you live in this world you will encounter strangers, and when you are a big guy or gal you will encounter a lot more just from being bigger. When you meet these people if they are friendly, they will try to communicate with you. There is nothing wrong with that; the world needs more friendly people. My gripe is with the greeting that people tend to use when they wish to get attention from a big guy.
“Hey Boss Man!”
“Hey Big Guy”
These are just a few of the terms that I have personally encountered in the past 31 years. As far back as I can remember I have always been the big guy in the room and being addressed this way always made me feel like the smallest and most insignificant in the room as well. Yelling, “Hey Big guy!” at me just signifies that you don’t seem to have any real vested interest in meeting me, and the only thing you think that I bring to the table is my size. I know part of this is me being in my own head, but also, it is how the “Normal” people see the obese members of the population.
In a skinny world being large makes you the social pariah so in an act of pity, you bestow a nickname that seems fitting of the “poor” soul you just encountered.
I know this is not how a lot of people think, but after years of being addressed as such by people of vastly different backgrounds and cultures, It makes me wonder. Is that a common thought process if you are “Skinny”? I would never see someone smaller than me that I do not know and yell out “Hey tiny man!” or “What’s up small dude?”. That is insulting and rude. So, why is it okay to disregard an obese person’s god-given name? My mom gave me a perfectly good name, why not take the time to ask me what my name is?
The obesity rate in America has crept up to near 40%, this means sadly there are a lot of us who fit the category of Obese. More of a chance for people to meet someone and ask them their name instead of some derogatory name such as Big Guy. It’s already hard enough trying to fit into a skinny world at least let us be ourselves instead of stripping our names and reducing us to size-related nomenclature. I am proud to be who I am, I do not want to be your “Boss man” or “Big Guy”. I have Native American blood in my veins, but I for darn sure am not your “Chief”! I am LeTavious Roymar Hemingway. I am Obese and I am working on it. I deserve the chance to meet you and for you to meet me, not for you to ironically belittle me by giving me such a title.
Am I not worth meeting just because I am large? A large person in your life is still just a person, give them dignity.
I will calmly climb off my soapbox now but remember if we meet on the street one day, ask for my name before you decide to name me yourself. It is much appreciated.