Thursday, October 21, 2004

Love Your Body Day fights weight bias

Love Your Body Day fights weight bias
Student suggests amending UT's discrimination policy
By Kristin Butler

Laura Gladney-Lemon said she has put up with "fat bias" long enough. After suffering ridicule from people throughout her life, she has decided to take a stand to raise awareness of weight-based discrimination on campus.

"At least once a month, someone on UT campus will be overtly mean to me based on what I look like," the Student Government graduate representative said. "I've had food thrown at me, and people will yell 'pig' or make pig noises at me."

Instead of falling victim to harassment, Gladney-Lemon is proposing that height and weight be added to the non-discrimination policy at the University. In a few weeks, she plans to introduce her height and weight resolution to SG, and then hopefully to the UT administration.

Her efforts reflect her active role in the annual Love Your Body Day, which was recognized Wednesday nationwide. As part of the celebration on campus, "fat rebel" Marilyn Wann, who led a 1999 protest in San Francisco that successfully urged the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass a height and weight anti-discrimination ordinance in May 2000, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people, comprised of both women and men.

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