‘We judge people based on size. I have that unique perspective because I was both sizes’
March 4th 2023 – ICPO advocates Laurence Hoey and Agnes O’Shaughnessy
share their personal experiences of living with obesity as part of the World Obesity Day Campaign.
Agnes O’Shaughnessy was deeply uncomfortable with the way people celebrated her becoming smaller after she underwent gastric bypass surgery 18 months ago.
The realisation that “people valued me more” after losing a lot of weight was very upsetting, she says. Although her appearance has changed, she is the same person. But now she sees the prevalence of weight stigma, which previously she says she had managed to ignore out of self-defence.
“It is unfair. We judge people based on size and we make assumptions of their life. I have that unique perspective now because I was both sizes,” Agnes says.
Agnes is, according to body mass index (BMI) calculations, back to a “normal” weight range, having lost more than 60kg (9st 6lb). But she continues to live with obesity, which is a chronic illness