Friday, June 17, 2022

Fat-shaming or obesity entitlement, Reddit AITA wants to know

Hi fwiends, I've been seriously AWOL for quite awhile, so just popping in to update on weight loss (kept off most of the 100 pounds I lost 8 years ago, top is then, --> is now), long hauler Covid 19 (still lingering aftereffects) and to ponder a question that's been nagging me and apparently readers of Reddit regarding obesity. 

I've become addicted to Reddit AITA (Am I the A$$whole?), where readers ask, in moral/ethical dilemmas they've been encountered, whether they or someone else (or no one or everyone) has made bad choices or harmed others. Recently, a Redditor inquired whether she was fat-shaming by asking her obese SIL not to sit in a swing made to hold only 250#. And then to get angry when her 420# SIL sat in and broke said swing. 

I didn't weigh in (pun) on AITA but I will here. I agree with the consensus that the OP was not fat-shaming and that the obese SIL knowingly overtaxed the swing, was liable for the cost of replacing the it and should not even have had to be asked not to sit in it. She knew she was far too overweight for it to hold her. 

This is a case (which is becoming alarmingly more common) of what I call obesity entitlement. Instead of changing themselves to fit the world, more people are expecting the world to fit them. They expect that "handicapped accessible", "disability friendly" other ADA type goods and services should be made available to them, merely because they are so large that they can't utilize items made for average size people. They are not disabled, except by weight, or the effects of being overweight. 

And it comes at quite a cost to others. Many more establishments are having to make accommodations in the form of larger seating, more handicapped parking, etc, just to make room for larger clientele. This drives costs up. I'm in stores all the time as part of my Shipt job. And increasingly, store-provided mobility scooters are being used by larger people than by disabled or elderly people they were designed for. But if anything is said, or accommodations withheld, the fat-shaming card often comes out. 

This post itself may read as fat-shaming. Even as I write this, an inner voice is worrying that I sound insensitive, crass, etc. But be assured, I know, firsthand what it's like to be obese. Though I never expected nor needed accommodations, I can say that obesity is debilitating. My blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure shot up with my weight. Then I lost 100 pounds in 2014. I know that weight loss is challenging. But enabling or accommodating only makes it worse. Stay tuned for more on #howIlost100pounds. 


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