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FAT PEOPLE ALSO HUMAN

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Responding to string here: http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-02-15-director-thrown-off-plane-for-being-too-big-seat

SIMON CHILEMBO

Obesity is, unfortunately for many who think otherwise, as much a serious personal affliction, handicap, tragedy, and abomination as any other “normal” illness. Therefore, people who suffer from the former deserve the compassion and respect given any other ill or handicapped person. Nobody in his/ her right frame of mind wants to be and remain fat. Nobody but an obese person self knows how extremely negative this condition impacts life quality and potential full life enjoyment. Body weight management defies even the very best amongst us ordinary mortals: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/top10s/article962304.ece . And it becomes even more of a challenge and personal disaster the older we get if (professional) help does not come forth. What with culture and tradition cards some people so dearly cling onto, even if the prevailing paradigms outdate them! It should be an imperative therefore that obese people are also afforded the same societal human dignity afforded all in any democratic society.

Some of the elegance of democracy lies in the attendant of the right to exist for all, for better or for worse. Society then has to, through democratic processes, pay the price for the existence of “bad”, “imperfect” or “non-desirable” elements through the creation or establishment of various social control institutions as provided by the law of the land/ constitution. In my view, one of the most poignant tenets of democracy and the rule of law is the Right to Choose. General public services and utilities are there for the good and benefit of all. It IS the prerogative of ALL who are not too pleased about the “social trash” inevitably encountered in the private sphere to find alternative ways of happily going about their own perfect lives. I therefore implore those who can’t stand fat people and the like on aeroplanes, etc., to get rich and buy their own private jets. In the meantime they could themselves pay for double-seats for their own comfort. Business and First classes are of course excellent alternatives. The reality of life is, sadly, we get what we pay for. Come on, does anybody really think that fat people themselves enjoy the claustrophobic rides on planes?

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