A first impression is essential to any relationship. Ideally, all of us would vibe with anyone new we interact with for the first time, though many viral videos will prove that’s not the case. In most cases, human relationships need a little time to warm up to figure out their personality underneath their outer appearance. But, depending on the person’s external appearance, some people make their minds up about a person at first glance.
According to one woman on TikTok, those who identify as plus-size, big, curvy, or just fat have a more difficult time getting people to see their personalities than their thinner counterparts. She says fat people aren’t offered the courtesy of a first impression and is tired of being overlooked or judged strictly because of how her body looks.
A woman believes fat people don’t get first impressions.
As much as we’d like to do better, biases are a part of our society. Whether it’s due to race, sexuality, gender, etc., depending on how you feel about the identities the person represents, it will subconsciously, and often, consciously, affect how you think about their first impression.
In October 2023, a TikTok user named Kaitlin (@kaitlin_elisabethh) highlighted one bias “no one is talking about” — weight bias. Kaitlin, who is a self-identified fat content creator and author, says that, even though she’s on a weight loss journey, her “first impressions are always ruined” because of her size.
Kaitlin shares in the video that most people label her as fat before she even opens her mouth. She adds those with a similar body to hers also experience the same biases and aren’t offered the chance to be “quirky,” “funny,” “hot,” or even “ugly” first. Just fat.
Kaitlin also believes people who are fat, plus-size, etc., don’t get to express themselves because no one cares what you have to say when you’re bigger. The TikToker adds that fat people shouldn’t listen to the people who say they care about them “because a first impression is everything,” and their first impression of a fat person is they don’t matter until they get to show why they’re worthy of being accepted.
“Being fat, you're constantly proving yourself,” Kaitlin says. “You're constantly proving that just because you're fat, you're not dumb, you're not rude, you're not stupid.”
“And like, automatically, you don't get to be anything else,” she adds. “And it literally sucks, and nobody talks about it, and it pisses me off.”
Unfortunately, too many people knew exactly where Kaitlin was coming from.
Kaitlin ends her TikTok by saying she’s been dealing with being a fat person unable to make a positive first impression her entire life.
Sadly, her 2:04 rant resonated with many people, mainly women, who described similar experiences in her comments.
“I lost 70 lbs, and it’s funny bc everyone says they don’t remember me as a bigger person, and it’s really bc I just didn’t exist to them until now,” one commenter wrote.
“I’ve lost over 50 pounds, and now I finally know what it feels like to actually be listened to… it’s so sad and strange,” said another.
“Heavy on the 'unless you prove yourself otherwise' because it’s so exhausting, and also frankly, I don’t even have to prove myself to anyone,” a third user preached.
I could relate to Kaitlin's video as a Black woman in a bigger body. My weight has fluctuated over the years, and, like the commenters above, my first impressions changed depending on my body type.
This always baffled me because no matter my size, I never changed my personality, which is far more interesting than a scale says. But, in others’ eyes, I was more worthy at my smallest, which is incredibly messed up. However, other people’s disrespectful, disgusting views of mine and other fat people’s bodies are theirs to sort out by themselves. Or, hopefully, a therapist.