Plus Sized Prejudice - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Plus Sized Prejudice

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She wanted to go dancing with her friends but she couldn't because she weighed too much. Can you mistreat someone because of their weight or size? It's why one South Florida woman called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- None of us are perfect. And if you think you are perfect, that's your clue, you aren't.

Fatima Hughes: "I've always been a chubby girl."

Fatima is a cute young woman who calls herself plus size and she is perfectly happy with it.

Fatima Hughes: "I always had high self esteem nothing has changed. Either I will go down a little bit or come right up. I've always but my confidence, never change regardless of what ever someone else thinks."

And while on South Beach trying to get into a club, someone didn't think much of her size.

Fatima Hughes: "'You know why they're not going to let you in right?' Because of my weight because I am a plus sized girl."

Fatima was with a group of 10 girl friends waiting to be let into a nightclub. She was wearing this dress, which she considers appropriate for the club. So her girlfriend told the promoter if you don't let Fatima in, we wont come in.

Fatima Hughes: "And they were like, 'OK, we will just let her in.'"

The promoter let the 10 paying customers in but had no intention of letting Fatima have fun.

Fatima Hughes: "So as soon as we get to the door they were already told by this promoter not to let me downstairs."

When all the girls went downstairs to dance, Fatima had to stay upstairs alone.

Fatima Hughes: "The only thing I can think about was because of my weight, and I was the plus size one."

Fatima says she was hurt, deeply hurt.

Fatima Hughes: "I cried in the night club and once I cried I was like no I can't stay here. I left and I cried all the way home. I stayed in the bed and I didn't go out on Sunday. I didn't even go to church on Sunday and I go to church every Sunday."

Fatima says what the nightclub did to her was not just painful, it was not right.

Fatima Hughes: "I really do feel I was discriminated because of my weight."

Well Howard, can a business say you can't come in or dance here because we don't like your weight.

Howard Finkelstein: "Yes they can. Fatima is right that this is wrong, but it's not illegal. The law doesn't protect someone because of their size or their height or their looks."

We spoke to the general manager of the nightclub who told us his bouncers are well trained and a promoter may have done this. He added that they allow larger people in and would never say no to someone they are too fat to come in the front door.

He then gave us this list of reasons why they would block someone from coming in:

- You have flat shoes

- Dressed trashy

- Loud behavior

- Capacity issues

- Fighting outside.

He added if you come to a nightclub and they wont let you in because of your weight, ask to speak to the manager.

Fatima Hughes: "I have fun when I go out."

Fatima is going to move past the incident and hopes any other person who faces an incident like that, does the same.

Fatima Hughes: "You might be a plus size girl but you are still beautiful, you have that confidence. Don't let them take that from you because you know how you are. You can't let this take you down."

Patrick Fraser: "Good advise Fatima ignore them. Now, Howard told me in some cases it can be discrimination to block someone from going into a club. For example, if their enormous size or height causes them to be disabled. Then you can not stop them from coming in or hiring them because then they are protected by the ADA. Legally what weight, what height qualifies for ADA It's vague and every case is different.

Clubbed by a problem that is perfectly infuriating? Want us to weigh in? Contact us, Howard is no heavy weight, heck he can barely pick up a few law books but he can understand them.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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