The Worst Body-Shaming Job Interview Ever

Sarah Evans’ Interview With A Vain-Pire

For most people, job interviews are one of those things that come attached with a certain degree of stress—especially when you’ve been submitting yourself to hours of streaming TV shows online. Your life outside of that regime starts to become foreign. I may be referring more to myself here, but I’m sure some of you can relate. In any case, as a freelancer, getting a job interview is a big deal for me.

A little while ago I noticed a job posting in my town for an assistant stager at a real estate office. I’ve worked behind the scenes in TV and Film for about 10 years now, so this seemed like a great opportunity to utilize my skills in a different way. Long story short, I applied and got a phone call a couple of hours later asking to come in that day! Had the job fairy heard my plea? Before I knew it, I was dry shampooing my greasy hair and driving myself four blocks to the main office. Needles to say, I was more than keen. But unfortunately, it did not end well.

Before I get into the details, I just want to say that I was approached about the job. The real estate agent who posted the position was impressed that I knew what the colour “coral” was and seemed generally happy with what I had to say. The job was basically laid out on the table for me, ready to be devoured. What she didn’t realize was that although this was an interview for me, I was also interviewing her.

The first thing she asked me was whether or not I was planning on having children in the next two years, because she really wants someone who is going to be around for awhile to learn the ropes. Last time I checked, it’s illegal to ask that question. But it gets worse: As we were wrapping up the interview, she had one last thing to say and it nearly made my head explode. She told me that she was glad I was slender because, and I quote, “I don’t like fat…I just don’t”.

Boom.

Completely in shock, I said I would get back to her with my final decision in a couple of days (even though I already knew I didn’t want to work with this woman).

Don’t get me wrong, the thought of having some stable employment was alluring, but my gut was a fury of emotions: part rage, part disappointment and part disgust. The next day I wrote up an email to her that best described how I felt after that interview (whilst using my willpower to avoid using unthinkable words):

Hi [Agent’s Name],

First of all, I would like to thank you again for meeting me yesterday regarding the job position but unfortunately I will have to decline the opportunity.

You mentioned that you would prefer someone who was not going to be having kids in the next couple of years and upon speaking with my fiancé, I can’t guarantee that that will not happen. It would be dishonest of me to come work for you saying otherwise and then surprise you with our future plans.

Another thing that did not sit well with me was your unabashed opinion about your distaste of larger body compositions (or “fat” as it was stated). Although we are all entitled to our own opinions, someone like myself who was a sufferer of an eating disorder for 12 years and is now current volunteer for Hopewell Eating Disorder Center’s recovery program, I feel it goes against my core values as a human being and perhaps would not be conducive to a positive working relationship.

In any case, I’m sure you will find the perfect match for your business and continue to have escalating success, as you have for many years now.

Thanks again.

 Her response (mind the typos and generally confusing sentences):

 I [am] sorry you feel that way, however I have my personal convictions regarding obesity.

 I believe all people should treat [their] bodies with respect and attempt to stay health.
Our health system is suffering and young children are suffering from dysfunctional
habits learned from overweight parents. We all have a right to our personal opinions [and] included in this opinion is the entire medical system.

Take care, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Can anyone tell me how this is relevant to a job interview? I don’t regret my decision to decline the job offer at all. I believe I did what was right for myself and for others. Large or small, your size shouldn’t define who people think you are. And the more we evaporate the ideals of people like Miss Real Estate Agent, the more these B.S. projections of the “ideal body” can finally cease to exist.

sarah_DSC8690wSarah Evans is a freelance writer and photographer based in Toronto. Follow her on Instagram and check out her website, shoeboxpics.ca.

Author: Sarah Evans

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2 Comments

  1. Infuriating!!!! I am SO glad you stood up and said something. That woman is an outright shame to… well, humanity. And to then reply and try to hide behind concern for one’s health and our health system? Please. Spare me. There was nothing about concern for a person’s health in her hideous comments. She is an ugly person on the inside. And I don’t like ugly… I just don’t.

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  2. I have only one comment (watch this restraint!): you were far too nice to her!
    Susan

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