Woman Says She Actively Avoids Going To The Doctor After Being Told She Has A 'Fat Man Body' During Checkup

Instead of feeling safe and heard at the doctor's office, she is subjected to body-shaming comments.

male doctor in white medical uniform talk discuss results or symptoms with female patient fizkes | Shutterstock

For many people, a trip to the doctor's office often comes with anxiety and worry over weight. It's no secret that the healthcare system in this country and other places around the world often has a bias toward a particular body size. 

Such was the case for a woman named Kelsie, a Brisbane-based content creator who shared in a TikTok video why she never has a fun time at the doctor's office, and her aversion boils down to the way that doctors will often speak about her weight.


She actively avoids the doctor after being told she has a 'fat man body' during a checkup.

Kelsie explained that whenever she has conversations with her male friends about their trips to the doctor, they usually never have a negative experience. They're able to get all of their needs sorted, while a lot of Kelsie's female friends, herself included, often have a very stark difference. 

"Last week I went to the doctor, and I just wanted a 'script for a medication I'm already taking for treatment of PCOS," Kelsie recalled, referring to a common hormonal imbalance that contributes to irregular periods in women and people with uteruses. One of the more common symptoms of PCOS is also weight gain.

@kelsatron_ A yap about fat girlies at the doctor if you even care 💅🏼 #justagirl #yap #australia #australiangp #pcos ♬ original sound - Kels

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It was meant to be a simple and straightforward appointment, and usually, Kelsie admitted that she has an amazing female doctor that she regularly sees, but she was on maternity leave, so Kelsie had been unable to see her during this recent visit. 

It's also not unheard of that women would prefer to see other women when it comes to medical visits and other routine checkups, mostly because of how much women have to advocate for themselves in the healthcare system when it comes to receiving the care they need.


According to a study by YouGov, women were considerably more likely to say they preferred treatment by a female doctor. Almost half (46%) of women chose this response, compared to only 15% of men. 

Due to her usual doctor's absence, Kelsie was forced to just see the next available medical professional, which happened to be a male doctor. "I go to the doctor, I ask for the 'script, and he says, 'Oh no,' then he weighs me and starts to lecture me about how much weight I've gained."

@footdocdana I’ve seen a couple videos like this recently, and had to respond @hannah_talks_bodies #medicalbias #fatphobia #doctor ♬ original sound - Hannah Fuhlendorf, MA LPC

It was a typical experience, especially when being seen by a male doctor, Kelsie observed. Usually, doctors should ask if you want to talk about weight, and they also shouldn't ever use harmful wording or body shame a patient about their weight in the first place. Unfortunately, Kelsie's doctor didn't seem to get the memo.


"I get a lecture about how much weight I've gained and that what I'm taking for the PCOS isn't going to be good enough because I've got a 'fat man body,'" she continued, reciting verbatim what her doctor told her. 

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Kelsie's doctor told her that she's not 'good curvy' and should think about dropping some pounds.

She reiterated that the only reason she was even at the doctor's office in the first place was for the tiny slip of paper that would allow her to refill up on her PCOS medication. What she didn't come to the doctor's for was to be ridiculed and invalidated when it came to her weight and her body.

"The thing is, I can be pretty resilient. I'm laughing about it now because I've stopped crying. But the thing is, next time I need to go to the doctor, this is what I'm thinking of. I actively avoid the doctor because of scenarios like this," Kelsie insisted.


"No matter what is wrong with me, no matter what I need in that moment, I'm not entitled to the same healthcare that a man is entitled to or a straight-size person is entitled to because of the way that the doctor looks at me."

Kelsie pointed out that it's ridiculous that she has to actively avoid seeking care despite living in Australia, where their healthcare systems are notoriously better than other places, especially the United States.

Weight stigma in the healthcare system has turned into a global issue.

A study, according to CNN, found that between 63% and 74% of people surveyed in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S. felt belittled because of their weight while visiting a doctor for health care.


In all six countries, people who internalized that stigma or blamed themselves for their weight were more likely to avoid health care. Things like BMI charts, which doctors use to take a patient's measurements based on the ratio of weight to squared height, are extremely outdated and actually say nothing about a person's weight.

@yourtango Fat shaming and sizeism sadly happen all too often at doctor visits. How do you handle it, especially when it comes to your children? #doctor #sizeism #bodypositivity #bodyneutrality #boundaries #greenscreen ♬ original sound - YourTango

"A common perception is that a little shame or stigma might motivate people to lose weight, but that is not what we see in research,” Rebecca Puhl, the lead author of two new studies on the topic told CNN. “In fact, when people experience weight stigma, this actually contributes to unhealthy eating behaviors, lower physical activity, and weight gain."

The disheartening reality is that fatphobia is so heavily engrained in our culture and society that we can't seem to escape it, even when going to the doctor's office, where we should be able to feel safe, heard, and comforted.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.