Feeling weight of being underweight - Greg Gelpi

If I wanted to be judged purely by my body, I would have become a model, and we all know that would be a bad idea.

In this day when it is illegal to even ask someone's age, race or gender when applying for a job, some number-cruncher judged me applying some just as random and frivolous information and decided to reject me.

Someone literally on the other side of the country plugged my height and weight into a matrix, a system as brainless as paint by number or plug and play, and determined my worth, or in this case my worthlessness.

After page after page of answering "no" to every imaginable and even some unimaginable probing personal, psychological and personal questions, someone answered "no" to me. Deeming that I'm not worth the risk, I got rejected for life insurance.

Aside from a brief bout with the mumps more than a decade ago and food poisoning more than five years ago, I've been the picture of health. The picture, though, doesn't fit into the gallery of what the insurance company has declared worthy.

With three grandparents living into their 90s, though, a brilliant insurance agent hunkered down in some cubicle polished his crystal ball and foresaw a much shorter life for me.

With countless data to back up the agent's decision, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will die soon for surely the wise men atop the brick and mortar mountain have spoken and ruled it so.

I can understand the height requirement for riding the roller coaster at the amusement park, but I can't understand this height and weight requirement.

Height and weight today will turn into hair and eye color tomorrow. Should we all have blonde hair and blue eyes as Adolf tried to create through millions of murders? What if darker-haired people were statistically more likely to die at a younger age?

With class action lawsuits as common as the cold, where do I sign up as a victim of weight-ism or height-ism?

Perhaps I should stoop down to appear shorter.

Perhaps I should force feed myself or get a reverse liposuction.

Or, perhaps in this, a new millennium, people shouldn't be judged on their looks or for any other superficial quality.

How far away are we from declaring height and weight a protected class or will the blatant discrimination continue and extend to other arenas beyond insurance? Will I be banned from working out at my gym and my gym membership revoked because of my size?

I would laugh, before quickly turning scared, if I walked into a doctor's office, the doctor looked at me with barely a glance and diagnosed me.

With no prior history of illness and with no family history of illness, a doctor must be able to conjure up some unearthly power and muster years of education and experience to telepathically divine my medical well-being with such a glance.

If that seems bazaar and completely ridiculous, then how much more bazaar and ridiculous is it for some person tucked in front of a computer screen all day with a business degree and no medical experience and no medical training to do such a thing?

Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at ggelpi@news-daily.com .

Rob Felt is the photographer for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or rfelt@henryherald.com .