A 308-pound woman said she is unable to get a paid job because she is “too fat” to work.
Kirsty Kennedy said she’s been collecting benefits from the government for seven years and has never had a full-time job. Kennedy, who admitted to sometimes hiding chocolate under her bed for late-night binges, currently lives with her unemployed, overweight parents. She maintained that she has attempted to get a job in the past but is always rejected — something she believes is because of her weight.
“I’ve applied for Poundland. I think Iceland are getting fed up with me asking all the time but I am just getting to the point I’ll just take anything,” Kennedy, who does volunteer work delivering food to the elderly, said. “I think people just look at me and think, ‘Oh, she’s too heavy and we cannot take her.’ I am willing to get a job. I am trying to tell people I am here and give me a chance.”
Kennedy also believes that employers are turned off by her mild learning disability, which she was diagnosed with at age 18.
“When I go into a shop with my CV, I just get a feeling that people look at me and will put it straight in the bin. And then when I mention the disability, I think they won’t give me the job. But it’s about what a person can bring to a job,” she said. “I think they just look at me and think, ‘She’s a fat lass’. I think people need to learn not to judge a book by its cover."
According to Kennedy, a thyroid problem has contributed greatly to her weight issues.
“I’m on medication because of my thyroid so I have to work twice as hard as someone else to start seeing the results in my weight loss,” she said. “But even if I lose a pound or two, the doctor does encourage me. It’s going slowly but it is going in the right direction. I have good days and bad days — too many packets of crisps and too much chocolate.”
Kennedy’s mother, Rosie, said she and her husband have been receiving benefits from the government as well — though they don’t consider themselves to be scroungers.
“You see big women working in supermarkets. I have been big for a long time. I worked in fields and factories and I did that for 14 years,” she said. “I’m just fat. I won’t lie. I eat all the wrong things. I don’t eat big meals but I do eat the wrong things. I did manage to lose three stones. But I buy veg and then it doesn’t get used and it’s a waste of money.
“I know I could get up and go out there for a walk. But I can’t be bothered. It’s laziness,” Rosie added. “But we're are not scroungers. If we don’t have a penny we go without.”