I had a couple of very interesting phone interviews today, for the same company. It’s a fitness and physical therapy business, which of course gave me pause. But you see it’s actually a great fit for my skill set and I’m always up for a challenge! I applied for the position (receptionist/administrative) yesterday and got a call this morning. First I spoke with the hiring coordinator who seemed to adore me before we even spoke! Whoa! That’s new…and awesome! She saw my pic on my LinkedIn profile and said several times that she loved my resume. Cool!
She explained the role and a bit about the company and then asked if I had any questions. I said, “I have a ton of questions! Ha-ha!” She seemed very excited about this. So I started with, “So, I’m the proud owner of a fat body…” and explained my own beliefs and philosophies on the subject of health and wellness and my own body. Then I explained that I needed to make sure I wasn’t putting myself in a toxic environment. I told her about the interview I did with the SF Chronicle regarding the AMA decision, my activism work and my dancing.
She was so cool about all of it and agreed with me wholeheartedly on everything. The only thing I didn’t care for, and I told her it was minor, was her use of the word “overweight” and she said, “Sorry, I only meant what isn’t a comfortable weight for my own body. I wouldn’t refer to someone else that way.” Wow! Color me impressed! I explained that being in an environment where diet talk or disparaging remarks about bodies would be toxic for me. She agreed and said that she felt the same and had never experienced that with the company I was applying for.
She was so excited and keen on having me speak with the owner of the company and so she set that up right away, like within an hour! When I spoke with the owner, he also seemed excited to talk to me. He said he could feel my passion for body positivity and that he felt it was a good fit. He said he could tell I was a compassionate person and appreciated my experience as a small business owner, too. We talked about the body issue stuff and he agreed with my beliefs as well. When I told him what I told his hiring coordinator, “I realize that being at the reception desk means that I will be the first face a customer sees when encountering your company and I wouldn’t want there to be an issue with that on either side.” He said of course not, but then said something along the lines of, “But obviously I wouldn’t want someone 300 lbs at the reception desk, either. Oh…did I just say that?”
I didn’t hesitate! I responded, “I explained that I am not ashamed of my fat body, or the word fat. My real age, height and weight recently appeared in the SF Chronicle. I weigh exactly 325 lbs and I am not ashamed of that. 300 lbs looks very different on different people and I would hope that you’d still want to meet me in person for an interview, regardless of my weight. Certainly my personality is a great fit for what you’re looking for.” He said, “Yes of course! Let’s set up an in person interview right away. I cannot wait to meet you!” Whoa!
This felt like some Twilight Zone shit, but I loved it! Regardless of whether I get the job or not (though, seriously, it sounds kind of awesome and is full time, fingers crossed), I am very proud of myself for being so open and up front about my body politics and activism. I cannot believe I said, “So, I’m the proud owner of a fat body…” right off the bat like that. But I am so glad that I did! It opened up a meaningful dialogue and hopefully showed them that I hold my own and won’t be pushed around. I loved that weight loss was not mentioned once (not even on their web site) and when I mentioned it they understood where I was coming from and agreed that feeling well is the priority.
I am not usually so out there with my fat stuffs, but I have begun to be more and more lately. I mean, I’m fat! Why try to hide that, right? I mean, yeah, phone interviews aren’t about that, but due to this specific type of business I wanted to be clear up front about my position and needed to know that I would be accepted/supported before wasting anyone’s time on an in person interview. I feel really good about this and hope that my confidence and experience shines through at 8 am on Sunday for that interview! Ha-ha!
Thanks so much for reading!
Rad Fatty Love to you ALL!