To Accommodate or Not to Accommodate

So I read this article about a woman who wasn’t able to enjoy the Harry Potter ride at Universal due to her size. It was a disappointment to her.

I was surprised to get as much push back on it as I did. I figured, like so many of my posts, this would end up being one of those things that got a few likes or maybe a comment or two and that would be the end of it.

Instead, several people felt the need to point out that it was a safety issue. Except, as Ragen Chastain pointed out, it’s not. Her article is here.  Basically, for those who don’t want to click over to another site, Universal made the choice to re-purpose an older ride rather than build new. The newer restraining systems allow for larger people to utilize the ride.

I also got a lot of whatabout-isms, in that if we accommodate fat people, what about disabled people and so on and so forth. I believe that the more people we can accommodate in these situations, the better. Ideally, we’d be able to serve everyone. That’s not happening right now, but to say we should ignore the concerns of fat people because people with certain disabilities wouldn’t be able to use the ride, makes no sense.

One woman insisted this was a difficult engineering problem that would cost the park far too much.

Let’s be real here folks. The US was able to send a man into orbit without using computers. They used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to work out the mathematics. If we can do, surely we can solve the problem of fat people on an amusement park ride.

People on the thread said it wasn’t about fat shaming. Except this woman felt shaming, so it was about fat shaming wasn’t it? That was *her* experience. We can’t take that away.

Ultimately, the more articles like this, the better. Some will be written more scientifically, citing what could change and why this is a problem and shouldn’t be. Others will be emotional pleas. All of them should generate discussion and raising of awareness, because everyone deserves a chance to participate in the things they love, no matter what their size or physical abilities.

While I found the interaction on this particular post stressful and depressing (I mean, really, there are people who turn their backs on others who would love to be included and just say live with it?), I’m glad I was able to do a little advocating for everyone to find a way to be included. And maybe a few people started thinking about things.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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