Park accused of ‘fat-shaming’ guests with self-weighing stations
You must be this thin to ride.
An Australian amusement park is being accused of “fat-shaming” visitors after imposing a new guest-weighing policy that bars people from rides for being too heavy.
“The park doesn’t cater to us anymore,” one incensed former park-goer told Aussie station 7 News of the questionable new measure, which was implemented by Adventure World in Perth after it opened this Saturday.
The theme park had reportedly started posting weight limits for their rides, which they enforced by equipping attractions with “self-serve” weighing stations that flash green or red depending on if the rider meets their standards, the West Australian reported.
One visitor said her 13-year-old daughter was left “humiliated” after stepping on the scale at the Rocky Rapid waterslide and discovering she exceeded the limit.
“My eldest daughter took my youngest daughter, who has special needs up the slides,” the outraged mom recalled. “Once at the top she was stopped and asked to stand on a weigh machine. The lights flickered green and then red and then green again.”
The distraught mom continued: “The operator then walked over to an electrical box and looked inside it, and then came back to her and said, ‘Sorry, you weigh this amount and you can’t go down.’
“I was angry and disappointed in Adventure World,” she lamented. “We’ve enjoyed these rides for years and now all of a sudden we weren’t able to.”
Incensed park-goers have since swarmed the AW Facebook page to protest the discriminatory policy.
“Yeah nah think I’ll give the body shaming a miss and take my kids elsewhere for fun,” vented one perturbed commenter.
“Scales are ridiculous!!! I won’t be going again,” wrote another.
“Sorry I am too fat to come,” snarked one jokester under a Sept. 23 post that announced the park’s opening.
Critics found the weight limit itself ludicrous as certain attractions prohibit patrons from exceeding 1,300 pounds for every eight people. This means that the average weight of the patron needs to be 165 pounds — 20 pounds less than the weight of the average Australian male.
“Do they know the average weight of an adult?” fumed one flabbergasted user.
One samaritan suggested weighing riders collectively a la an elevator to mitigate the humiliation factor.
“Wouldn’t it be better to have a system in place to have a light go on once the whole ride is reaching or has reached its weight limit and not base it on individual weight instead of embarrassing customers?” they advised.
It’s unlikely they’ll tip the scales in their favor. “We take our direction from our various ride manufacturer’s safety specifications,” said Adventure World CEO Andrew Sharry, adding that “there have been no changes to, nor introduction this season of a new rider weight safety requirements for any of our rides, slides or attraction.”
The park honcho insisted that the new weigh-in stations, meanwhile, were adopted to comfort patrons and serve as a “rider weight safety assessment scale for the operator.”
“(This) brings us in line with almost all other water parks in the country,” Sharry said. “We are not alone in implementing such a system.”
Adventure World is not the first institution to be accused of fat-shaming customers. US airlines are facing backlash over a proposed policy that would require plus-size passengers to step on the scale — or provide their weight — before boarding the aircraft.