I posted about “Pooh Sized” Disney World guests the other day, and I did it very cautiously. I didn’t want to offend heavy people, and I still don’t. But now that I think about it, my distaste for the word “pooh sized” and my shock over the immense number of obese people in Disney World is a fact that I shouldn’t be ashamed in admitting.
Listen, I love it when people celebrate their bodies and all that. But there is nothing cute about being morbidly obese. I am so glad that Disney accommodates people who are overweight (some parks don’t.) I want everyone to be able to ride Space Mountain and The Haunted Mansion. But let’s call it what it is. If you’re 5’5″ and weigh 200 pounds, you are obese. You might have high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, gout, reproductive complications, bladder control issues, or psychological disorders or other serious conditions. That’s not cute, it’s scary.
Does anyone remember in George Orwell’s Doublespeak in 1984? It’s the same thing. Calling forced-labor camp “joycamp” or saying a company is “downsizing” instead of firing.
Oprah, sticking to the Disney-theme, once told 300+ pound Precious Academy Award nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, “When we look at you, we see a true, American Cinderella who’s on the threshold of a brilliant new career.” Howard Stern later disagreed, claiming “Oprah should’ve said, ‘you need to get help, we don’t want to lose you.’”
Which brings up a good point. Saying “You need to get help” or “You need to lose weight” isn’t necessarily insulting. Someone who says that isn’t saying you’re ugly or lazy or a bad person. They are expressing concern. Of course, this has to be done sensitively–it would be the same for someone who is morbidly thin. Sensitvely and seriously. Because it’s a serious thing. If you aren’t healthy, you’re sick, and you could live a short life. Mickey Mouse would not want that.
I’m overweight and I do not refer to myself in any cutesy way. I’m not pooh sized. I’m not fluffy. I’m overweight/fat/whatever. I also don’t really feel the need to refer to myself in terms of my weight. People who see me know I’m overweight (and getting smaller slowly but surely) – it’s not like I can hide it. Plus there is so much more to me than my size.
Her post was followed by readers saying, ” You are not fat you are POOH sized!!!”, forcing her to be included in this “Pooh-sized” club she doesn’t want to join. She never once said others needed to call themselves fat, she just said she personally does not choose to call herself “Pooh-sized.” And that really is the point, isn’t it? That everyone should be able to refer to themselves however they want. I guess even I need to learn that. It is none of my business, either. I am such a hypocrite.
But I do see too many overweight adults and children when I go to Disney World–people so overweight they are unable to walk from ride to ride. I really wish those people could just walk and enjoy the parks comfortable and carefree. Some people really need scooters or wheelchairs for legitimate reasons. But I hope that I’m never in the position that I need one because I’ve gained so much weight I am unable to carry myself.
At the same time I’m saying this, Creepy Miranda did artwork of obese princesses, and I think they are gorgeous. I love these princesses. I think they are good people. I want to be friends with them. I think they’re gorgeous. I want them to have happy lives. But if they were real, I would worry about their health.
What do you think, are you down with the word “Pooh sized”?
In case you are worried about being able to fit on some of the rides, watch this video. The music in the background actually makes it hilarious.