A 21-year old student at the University of Iowa is accusing the local hangout, Union Bar, of size discrimination because its staff berated her for her weight and forbid her from dancing on a table/stage with the rest of her thinner friends.

When she asked the security guards why they wouldn’t allow her onto the platform after her friends and others had been permitted, Ramos said they told her it was because she “was not pretty enough” and because she was “obviously pregnant.”

Ramos said the experience left her embarrassed and angry. She said she has heard from other people who’ve had similar experiences and is considering filing a complaint with the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.

“It made me start questioning myself and thinking, ‘Are my friends so much better than me?’ I know they’re thinner, but those bouncers made them seem more valuable,” she said.

Anyone with a bit of empathy and awareness of how the world works when it comes to the way society values women’s bodies probably sees where Ramos is coming from. There are many establishments that treat anyone considered unattractive like trash, all over the country, and they do it every day. She should be upset, and even if her being treated poorly because of her weight isn’t particularly surprising, it’s got to sting and is certainly unfair.

But I do have to wonder how the story of a college girl who wants to fight for her constitutional right to dance on tables made it out of Iowa City to national news outlets. Ramos did move forward with her Human Rights Commission complaint, a process that has fallen flat since the group informed her that there is no size discrimination law in the state of Iowa. She has organized a rally in front of the bar to draw attention to the poor treatment even though the bar’s owner insists that he would never want anyone treated that way in his establishment. She is doing the right thing.

However, is her case the one that will change weight discrimination laws?


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  • chinaza

    Truth is that people have to learn to live within their reality. She should have known that she was too big to get on that table with her friends. If you’re fat, you’re fat and it will bring some limitations, however minor.
    People have all kinds of inequality- size, age,intelligence, beauty, wealth etc.That’s life and we all encounter discrimination because of superficial things. And it’s not pleasant.
    She was treated unkindly and she was hurt. But that’s not a crime.Move on.

  • Lish

    Addressing a food issue is basically addressing a mental health issue…we can not get anywhere if we have bashing from individuals who may be smaller. Insults and bashing is getting people no where fast in fact “tough love” can actually do more harm than good. I also believe that people need to hop off the skinner = healthier that’s not true for all cases. You have to also separate health from vanity. Beauty and healthy comes in all sizes we need to respect that more.

  • eve

    now had they allowed her to dance on the counter and she had fallen and hurt herself she would still be suing. SMDH!

  • Anthony

    Why is this news? Bars and clubs are businesses. I work at a business where we dress professionally to give a professional appearance. A bar or club wants their patrons to see sexy and good looking people having fun in their club, not some fat girl who has to sue to make herself feel better. If she doesn’t like it, go to another bar or club.