"Fitting In"

Non-Inclusive design makes it difficult for obese individuals to live rich, meaningful lives in the public sphere.

 

We don't fit!  We don't fit in chairs, airplane seats, on rides at theme parks, in seatbelts, or even in bathroom stalls.  It can be extremely anxiety inducing and painful to do anything publicly for obese individuals.  So much so that the cost/reward scale tips toward the "it's not really worth it" side.  This breeds isolation and loss of human connection which is detrimental to health.

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Not only do we not fit, but we are judged and ostracised for not fitting.  After all, these things are designed for "normal" sized people.  Why aren't we "normal"? The moment we spill over the side of a seat we encroach on someone else's personal space and the confusion and fear can quickly trip in to hate and discrimination.

 

The size of things in public spaces re-inforce weight stigma.  After all, if 28% of the country were in wheelchairs it would be priority #1 to make everything wheelchair accessible.  Why not the same for obesity?

 

It, again, all boils down to the mistaken belief that obesity is a simple condition with a simple solution (see Weight Stigma).  Inclusive design has the potential, eventually, to make living possible for obese individuals.  The health benefits will flow on.

Resources

Redefining Obesity

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