Saturday, September 5, 2009

Observation: scales in non-traditional locations

Lately, it seems I have been seeing scales in many non-traditional places. Last week, it was in a corporate office restroom. Several weeks before that, it was in another office restroom. I even saw one in a gas station! It wasn't exactly a real scale, but one of those ones where you put a quarter in, and it gives you your weight.

Every time I see one, I am somehow shocked. I really shouldn't be since we live in such a thin-obsessed society. I have to admit it seems terribly odd to me to have these metal devices in public restrooms. I mean, isn't a scale an intimate object (too intimate for many of us)? I know even if I was on some Biggest Loser, Jenny Craig, or Weight Watchers diet, I can never imagine weighing myself on a scale in full view. Granted of course, if there is only one stall, then there would hopefully be no occurrence of this but you never know really.

My fear is that scales will begin to pop up everywhere--schools, restaurants, oh who knows, the laundromat or some other bizarre location. This is especially evident as many people are participating in workplace weight loss challenges. I think it is a horrible sign overall, and I really wish these scales would all disappear.

Have any of you observed scales in non-traditional places lately?

7 comments:

Eating Alone said...

Durring our offices' "Biggest Loser" they had one in the main room. And weekly weigh in's for those participating with your weight written up on the white board, lbs lost ect...

This was before I was diagnosed with ED. I thought it was the best thing in the world. Now I shocked by the whole concept. But some people don't have problems with weight so maybe it was ok for them? Nope after 2 week's they were all getting on that scale 3 or 4 times a day. It was nuts how much power it had.

Susie said...

here in the UK, i've seen them in some shops (boots the chemist), the public swimming pool, outside the toilets at a shopping centre, but not at a petrol station......yet.

when i used the one in the shopping centre i think i was too concerned with using the thing to care what other people thought looking at me back then.

susie

xx

justrealize said...

ugh... scales... if they took over, society would be doomed. i thankfully havent' seen them anywhere non traditionally lately...

Tiptoe said...

Eating Alone, that is awful! I know I could never withstand that type of public scrutiny. You make a good point at how many of them were weighing themselves multiples times a day.

Susie, I guess this is a global thing, unfortunately. It'll be interesting to see what other places scales might happen to show up. Petrol stations seem so weird to me though.

Justrealize, yes, this is my fear! It just marks worse and worse how we have become such an externally-driven society.

The_Timekeeper said...

I think we have a morphing of many "scale traditions" in America today. The scales in public restrooms and bathouses seem like holdovers of state fair & carnival days, where it was a novelty to step on one (or better yet, have it give you a message/"fortune"). As we have become more and more of a lay-scientific society, Americans glommed on to the tools of the trade ... the scales, the home monitors and test kits, the self-improvement cosmetics, exercise equipment, etc. As we moved into the "aerobic age" with Jane Fonda and company, a scale probably seemed like a necessary measure of modernity and progress and an expectation at gyms and YMCAs. Then, we really dove into a diet and disorder culture that seems to be culminating in an obesity crisis, at least on paper if not in fact ... I don't know, since the stats bend the direction of the statistician's bent on it. Therefore, for all of the above reasons, everybody must have documentation and data-driven outcomes to set policy, pay claims, advance research, health care and other agendas. More than a measure of our breadth and girth, they have become a measure of our worth, emotionally, socially and financially ... to our government, our doctors, our insurers. As with much in America, I think the scale began as a harmless instrument of home economics but grew into a megalopoly of the kind that only happens in a country that overdoes most everything. I guess that means it's due to turn around ... to turn to something else.

Tiptoe said...

Time_keeper, I agree with what you said. Scales have evolved in society greatly. It's just unfortunate that they so emphasized as part of the human embodiment. I don't know what else they will evolve to though?

imaginenamaste said...

Was has surprised me as much as scales seemingly everywhere is that restaurants (and schools) are posting calories on their menus, too (I would think it would be better to have separate and something you could request, no everyone wants to know that!).

A friend from and eating disorder treatment group and I went to Panera one afternoon and were shocked to see it up there. And, the calories included "all the trimmings" on the sandwiches (i.e., cheeses, meats, mayo, ect.) ...so not really indicative of what we ordered....but, we really struggled to order. We almost left to go somewhere else b/c she didnt want our favorite foods to fall into categories of "good" and "bad"