Does this sign encourage safety or discrimination?
I snapped this picture at the state fair in Columbia a couple of weeks ago — I was about 215 pounds at the time, so the sign didn’t “apply” to me. I could ride the ride, with ease, without stares, judgment, or criticism for the ride operator or from people standing in line behind me.
But it hasn’t always been that way, of course.
It was only a couple of years ago when I felt those stares and heard the judgment and criticism, unable to ride the same ride at the fair with the sign posted above. I wasn’t able to sit down in certain movie theaters, nor was I able to sit down in most restaurants (that’s why we never tried new places). I was criticized for my life choices by strangers, made fun of because of my size, and just generally gawked at because I weighed 344 pounds.
At no point throughout my entire life, not when I was 344 pounds, now when I was 200 pounds, did I think that this was discrimination toward me. It was cruel, yes, and the jokes, ridicule, and restrictions made me miserable, but none of it was discrimination.
The sign at the fair above wasn’t discrimination, either. The fair operator didn’t secretly meet in a basement somewhere with all the ride manufacturers and engineers and think of some way to oppress obese people. Likewise, the airlines didn’t do the same and decide to charge overweight people for two seats, just as a way to “get back at them for being so fat.”
If you can’t safely in a ride, you don’t ride. If you can’t fit in one seat on an airline, you have to buy two seats. It’s not discrimination, it’s common sense.
However, surely, some out there my disagree with me.
If you think the sign above promotes discrimination and the world simply oppresses fat, overweight, and obese people, you might want to join the fat acceptance movement. The fat acceptance movement was formed by a few naive folks that think it’s not unhealthy to be 400 pounds.
While the “movement” does do a little good by shining the light on social issues like preventing bullying, they do a lot more bad than good as they’re content with being 100+ pounds overweight with no desire to change and promote this lifestyle as being a healthy “alternative” to diet and exercise.
How common is discrimination against fat, overweight, and obese people?
Posted by Shawn Tyler Weeks on November 7th, 2010