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May 10, 2018

Fat Woman Knows She Can't Fit Into Harry Potter Ride's Seats But Tries to Do So Anyway So That She Can Complain About Fat Exclusion

My dear friend Ruha -- who has been a guest on my "Woman of Size" podcast about the discrimination against fat women’s bodies -- wrote: "Heads up. I was kicked off the Hogwarts ride because I didn't fit. It was humiliating but they gave me front of the line passes to rest of the rides at Universal. Just be aware."

Woof. I’d been investigating size-based discrimination for several months, interviewing and publishing conversations with women in my life who have experienced body shame, injustice and inequity around their size, gender, race and presence. Clearly, our world would prefer that women who look like the Fat Lady painting that guards Gryffindor Tower just ... disappear. "Evanesco," the spell in Harry Potter that causes an object, animate or inanimate, to vanish into non-being, is not just fictional sorcery to women of size. It’s a very real experience that we often shoulder so that sizeist-ass muggles can sleep comfortably at night knowing they’ll never catch the fat we’ve been told we’re spreading.

But like the Fat Lady, I am big and loud and demanding...

Yeah I picked up on that.

... and I absolutely refuse to vanish.

Quite the opposite. You seem determined to wax enormously.

So I did what any new Hogwarts student would do after being warned that she might be excluded: I bounded into the line with my friends and we were soon dazzled by the intricate details of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry....

It was so exciting that I found myself chuckling and prancing like an adolescent girl going to her first dance.

As you imagine what that would be like, I'm assuming.

When we reached the front of the line, we were perfectly placed on the ride, four across and seats locked down. I glanced at my friends and we all cackled, "We made it! I got on! I'm not too --"

:: Record scratch ::

This gag, like your ability to see your feet, is very 1997.

One of the 20-something ride managers walked over and asked us all to step off because of a "safety" issue. We were ushered through a door to what looked like a backstage area where another 20-something employee rattled off a spiel about "safety" and "three clicks" and having to "try out a safety seat." That’s when we all knew that I hadn’t actually made it onto the Hogwarts ride.

This fag talked all retarded about a schpiel about "safety" and needing to be locked into place on a "roller coaster." Gay nonsense like that.

The four of us were taken to the beginning of the line where another 20-something informed us that for safety reasons, the restraint covering a rider's chest must click down three times. She asked us to try out the test seat and my friends all looked over at me because I was obviously the fat one who caused our current predicament.

Yes, you did, which you knew was going to happen, because your friend had pre-warned you you would.

Yet you're outraged by precisely that which you specifically went looking for.

I took the bullet and pulled the restraint over my shoulders, pressing down as tightly as I could, my precious E-cups getting smashed into my chest and up around my neck. One click. That's all I could manage. So I got out of the test seat and negotiated with my dear friends, who in solidarity were about to walk away with me....

She then shouts "Hogwarts would never condone this!" Hogwarts being an imaginary place intended for children to dram about. Then she thinks about all the horrible Fat Shaming in Harry Potter (really?) and bitterly realizes that Harry Potter is all about fat shaming.

:: Record-Scratch::

Exclusion is a powerful weapon. I have support on all sides telling me that my investigations into size-based discrimination are helpful and important, and my community of people combating this issue is steadfast and intelligent. Despite all that, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I wished I were small enough to take the Hogwarts ride. That’s the impact of exclusion: It makes a person internalize an entire system of institutional hatred.


Exclusion and shame are not motivational techniques; they're forms of bullying. Exclusion makes me, a logical and educated person, believe that I'm at fault for not fitting into this ride instead of recognizing that rides should accommodate all people's bodies. Apply this thinking to race or gender discrimination or disabled accessibility, and you have yourself the hot stew we’re in today.

If I extend to you the courtesy of refraining from saying that your size issues are your fault, can you extend the rest of us the courtesy of accepting that your size is going to, as a simple necessity, prevent you from doing things that normal-sized people can do, and that's not our fault for "bullying" you with "hatred"?

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posted by Ace of Spades at 08:29 PM

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