Pleasantly Plump in HR

Often wonder what goes through someone’s mind when meeting another business professional for the first time? Some might not while others may wonder about their own appearance, is there a stain on their shirt or food in their teeth. When you’re considered a plus sized individual, do you wonder if your attire fits you just right, monitor the person you’re meeting to see how they’re sizing you up? What do you focus on? What’s their demeanor? Get the “dead fish” handshake?
A discussion with a fellow South Florida HR Pro prompted this topic for today’s blog post. We discussed how people behave when they meet us for the first time to discuss their HR business needs and how we can help them. We further discussed how clients of all makes and models, have certain preconceived notions on our nationalities, race and appearance before we breathe “Hello”.
If you didn’t already know, South Florida is the mecca of tight, tanned bodies, extensive plastic surgery and overall pretty people. So what happens when you’re a smart, established and pleasantly plump HR Pro instantly being judged upon first meet? Let’s be real, most people judge a book by its cover, some might even say it is natural and everyone does it but is it necessary and does it have a place in business?
Does my size make you uncomfortable? Does my size make me less qualified as an HR professional or any other business professional for that matter? I think not! In my experience, it’s often a common misconception that overweight, plus-sized or obese individuals are lazy, sloppy, and overall underqualified.
As HR professionals, we’re trained to be unbiased, non-discriminatory and balance the needs of employees and organizations and as such that’s what we teach, preach and demonstrate to others. Why isn’t this the case in all areas in business? Why are plus sized individuals treated to unfairly, bullied against, even dismissed? Like that guy on the airplane that texted someone saying he was sitting next to a fat person and even insulated that she smelled bad. Is it because we don’t fit the ideals and norms of today’s society? Or is it ignorance?
I am really looking forward to meeting many of you at SHRM18.