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“Rich people are thin and poor people are fat,” Wise Words From An International Student Studying In America


“Rich people are thin and poor people are fat,” sounds incredible reductive, politically incorrect and startlingly insulting. However, to one international student from India, studying in America, these are the observations he has made because well, people were nicer to him after he lost weight.

Aniruddh Chaturved is studying computer science at Carnegie Mellon. After living in America for two years here is what he has to say, “Fat people are not respected much in society. Being fat often has the same connotations as being irresponsible towards your body,’ he said. ‘If you’re thin, people will respect you a lot more and treat you better. You will also receive better customer service if you’re well maintained.”

Sadly, this observation is true. Just today there was another story in the news about a 14-year-old girl who was told she was “too fat” for the clothing at a Rue 21 store by an employee. It’s strikingly sad that the shallowness of culture is so often and easily taken for granted until noted by others who have experienced something else.

He continued, “Reason why I know this is that I went down from being 210 lbs to 148-150 lbs. The way people started treating me when I was thin was generally way better than the way I was treated when I was fat.  As a small example, the Starbucks baristas were much nicer to me and made me drinks with more care/love.”

I’ve noticed this too. At one point I was underweight due to illness and everyone couldn’t stop complimenting how much better I looked and just generally wanted to be around me more. Little did they know I was ill. 

Here are some more observations he made.

America is LGBT and weed friendly. 

“Smoking weed is the same as smoking cigarettes, he says, and there is a lot of support for the LGBT community.”

Our customer service is duly lacking.

“‘Because labor is cheap in India, there is always someone who will act as a “personal shopper” to assist you with holding your clothes, giving suggestions, etc. In America, on the other hand, even if you go to a Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, there is almost nobody to help you out while you’re shopping. Shopping in America is more of a commodity/chore than it is a pleasurable activity.”

Americans don’t flaunt their success.

“He thought everyone was private about their accomplishments and failures, compared to India where ‘people flaunt their riches and share their accomplishments with everybody else’.”

College students aren’t mean or competitive.

“He said ‘No one wants to throw you under the bus,’ and that students were highly collaborative with each other and formed study groups to help each other out, rather than be fiercely competitive, as he thought.”

Do you agree with these observations? Obviously many of them are generalizations but they clearly didn’t come from nowhere.

Emerald is an editor at CollegeCandy, lover of coffee, and pretend francophile. After studying writing and popular culture at NYU she decided to be a grownup and get a job. Tweet at ya' girl @EmeraldGritty.