Problematic Idea of The Day: The Price of Your Rent Depends On Your Weight
  • by Ethel Navales
  • August 2, 2013
MD002335

From the time that we are born, we are taught that slim is in. We are given the belief as women that thin is beautiful and we must strive to get to or maintain that image. In the United States alone, nearly $35 billion a year is spent on weight loss products. Our obsession to be thin has become so extreme that companies have been thriving in the weight loss industry. There have been pills, workout machines, smoothies, and just about everything you can think of that focuses on weight loss.

In Japan, they’ve taken the idea of weight loss to an entirely new level. In what Huffington Post refers to as “one of the most unique weight-loss schemes of all”, the Lady Share House B&B in Osaka offers discounted rent price dependent on the tenants weight loss. The residential facility will deduct 1,000 yen (roughly $10) for every 2.2 pounds lost and inversely, the rent will increase for increased weight.

The goal of the residential facility, apparently, is to create an environment which supports and facilitates healthy living. In their defense, no one can say that Lady Share House B&B isn’t trying. In fact, their efforts are clearly done with good intentions. The building offers an exercise studio and even lecture on weight management. None the less, the building has still stirred quite the debate. The B&B was questioned for its unlimited snacks and sugary drinks offered to the tenants. Are these snacks really offered to encourage health living or was it a scheme to increase the tenants’ weight? They defended this act by claiming that the availability of the snacks was an effort to help their tenants learn to resist temptation. Questionable? Certainly.

While we are in full support of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there are a number of problems that may arise from this rent tactic. In an effort to decrease rent, especially if one is in the position of financial hardship, one may go to extreme measures  to decrease their rent price. This added pressure may simply add on to the unhealthy obsession to be thin.

Additionally, with further research into the facility, it was discovered that the B&B was attracting many women who were not overweight at all. Will this B&B simply encourage women to be even thinner? Will this aid in the already problematic obsession of weight loss? Tell us what you think below.

(Source 1, 2)

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