The internet is a judgemental place full of people who typically think their opinions hold higher value because they can publish them. At Walt Disney World, even though it is the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth,’ some Guests have no issue shaming others based on their weight. When those Guests take their less-than-spectacular opinions to the web, the battle of outlook soon begins. People seem to think that injecting their unwanted and non-helpful thoughts into public forums gives them some kind of power over whatever it is that has them worked up in the first place. What’s worse is when these people stereotype individuals based on factors such as where they’re from, drawing correlations based on insult and hurtful dialogue.
While researching a different article, I had the pleasure of coming across such a rant on Reddit. User r/redscarepod had a few things to say about their visit to Walt Disney World a few months ago. Despite there being zero need for such a twisted discourse on people’s weight at Walt Disney World, the author goes far beyond pointing out their observations and enters the realm of accusing overweight individuals in Florida of having low IQs. This is interesting, as the poster makes it a point to ensure that their readers understand that she is not from the South.
Imagine having a free trip to Orlando, going to Walt Disney World, and your main observations is as follows:
“Yeah, there’s obese people in the urban northeast, but nothing like what I saw scootin’ around Disney. Gosh, these people were huge. Just enormous. And so young. I just can’t imagine letting oneself get to that point. As a pretty thin person I really stuck out; I noticed a lot of men looking at me, way more than would at home. I can only attribute this to being one of the only thin youngish women on the property.”
The author takes her ridicule even further:
“Finally, I will note that I was on the lookout for Disney adults, and was kind of shocked by what I saw. Disney Adults are almost all obese and seemingly low IQ. I know that sounds judgemental and mean, believe me, but eavesdropping on their conversations in line, or just watching how they interact with each other or with their kids.”
I was appalled at the seemingly righteous standpoint this Reddit user decided to take in assaulting people who struggle with their weight on the internet. Indeed, they wouldn’t say this to someone in person. And if they would, would they care about the mental health consequences of using such harsh language to describe someone’s physical appearance and intellectual capacity?
As someone working in Public Health research, I can realistically correlate BMI with poverty, not IQ. Making such an assumption is not only ignorant but demeaning and hurtful. It could be deadly to the person who is reading it. The United States is one of the world leaders in obesity, and statistically speaking, the Southern States play a role in those numbers, but that isn’t to say they’re all unintelligent due to their weight. The audacity of such a statement really worked me up. I can’t wrap my mind around why someone would want to just be mean for the sake of being mean.