From AdWeek comes information about an ad campaign mounted by a gym in the Netherlands where a scale is attached to the seat in a bus stop and the weight of any seat occupants displayed in big red digital numbers. As Melissa McEwan from Shakesville notes, not only is this “fat-hating/shaming, but deeply hostile to the physically disabled, who have to exchange their privacy and dignity for their basic comfort just to wait for a bus.”

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Shakesville commenters are currently parsing the insidious messages sent by this campaign.  One survivor of an eating disorder, LizardOC, points out, for a person with anorexia, such a public weigh-in could be deeply distressing, but also a source of strange attraction and fixation.

It would have given me not only another opportunity to cultivate my dangerous preoccupation with my weight, but a little more confirmation that the rest of society completely supported (hell, demanded) it.

I always thought that public shaming was more effective as a deterrent or punishment than a positive exhortation to do something.

NEW! If you don’t have the chance to be publicly weighed on a bench, you can weigh yourself every time you go to the bathroom with this toilet seat that has a built-in scale (sent in by Taylor, who found it at Yanko Design):

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haikun1

Thanks, Taylor!

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