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Teen asks friend to use mobility scooter at the mall, gets accused of fat-shaming.

Teen asks friend to use mobility scooter at the mall, gets accused of fat-shaming.


Confronting a friend about anything weight or fitness-related can be a very bad idea.

Regardless of intentions, singling someone out to imply they move too slow compared to the rest of the group is bound to hurt feelings and create conflict.

However, honesty is the best policy if you need to communicate something. Because if you never get it out in the air, it'll never be dealt with.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a teen asked if she's wrong for requesting her friend use a mobility scooter.

She wrote:

AITA for telling my friend she either uses the mobility scooter at the mall or stays at home?

A little context, said friend weighs 350 pounds. The only reason I know this is because we did that BMI thing on Tiktok. Anyways whenever we’ll go to the mall. She’ll continuously make us stop because she’s out of breath and needs to sit. It’s really annoying because it takes the time we have to shop.

And not only does she make us sit, but whines about how tired she is while we’re walking. It’s gotten to the point my group of friends and I have been, debating whether or not we should even invite her at all. So I was like you know what would fix this, why doesn’t she just use those mobility scooters.

First, she wouldn’t be as tired and out of breath and second, it would fix our time issue. So my friends and I face timed her and basically told her about our idea and asked if she was down with it. She almost busted a tit over this and went on to ask us if we were saying this to call her fat.

I said no, and that we were asking because we can’t deal with her constantly having to stop. And basically how I didn’t get why she was so offended when we were just trying to help. She called us awful people, and started saying how she couldn’t control it because of her weight, and we just needed to deal with it.

I went on to say she was being selfish and, asked how was it fair to us we waste all of our time because she makes bad food choices. An said it was either she used the scooter or she could stay home. She went on to cuss me out and hung up.

All my friends think I was being nicer than they would’ve been and they’re completely on my side. My mom thinks I was a little harsh but she said she said she’d probably would’ve also done the same thing. It got me thinking if I was the actual a**hole here. So AITA?

People had strong opinions and shared them all.

KarlZone87 wrote:

NTA - I generally hate shopping to the point I will often run from shop to shop. If someone was slowing me down, I would either leave them behind or they would have to find a way to catch up. You are far nicer than me.

OnceInABluMoon wrote:

Over the years, I have found that shopping is a very personal thing. You know how people say to take a vacation with someone to see if you're compatible? I think shopping can be like that on a smaller scale. Some people want to get in and get out. Some will linger for a bit then go. Others will look over EVERYTHING in the store.

Shopping with someone who is not on the same wavelength as you is a frustrating experience. My mom has to observe everything twice. I'm a middle sort of person. I look at the things I want, then move on. Shopping with my mom can be an excruciating experience.

I also hate being interrupted in what I am doing. I know if I were OP and had to stop every couple of minutes, I would get aggravated. Its not necessarily to do with friend's weight. Its the constant interruption of the activities. They found a way to lessen the interruption and friend doesn't wanna do it. Friend can stay at home.

PokerQuilter wrote:

NTA. This ∆. (I despise the mall, and shopping in general too. I know what I want get it, and leave. I rarely browse ...)

PenelopeDreddfull wrote:

NTA. I used to be 342 lb, and it sucked. I couldn't walk far without puffing like a bellows, my feet and lower back hurt all the time, existence was misery. I had started to fall down the body positivity-to-fat acceptance pipeline. I've since gotten my act together and am down 70 lb. But at my heaviest, I definitely would've needed to hear this.

Maybe not in the exact phrasing you used, but sometimes you gotta be told when you're wrong. However, isolation is going to kill her, so you've got to keep getting her out of the house no matter what.

(Edit to clarify: from personal experience, isolation only makes things much worse and will be detrimental to your friend in the long run, but OP you shouldn't be expected to be a full time caregiver. Thanks to the folks who pointed out the flaws in this statement.)

Weight is unfortunately a very sensitive issue because of the stigma surrounding it. Let her cool off, then maybe apologize if you've come off as insulting and have a heart to heart about her health. Some of us need a little tough love.

buttpickles99 wrote:

NTA. I get where you are coming from. It does sound annoying having to wait for her and hear her constant b**ching. If I were you, I might tell her instead that we won’t slow down for her. How she handles that is her concern. If she needs to stop and sit for a while, she will be doing that solo and will have to catch up and find us after, or get a scooter and keep up with us that way.

columbospeugeot wrote:

A few years ago I had tickets to an outdoor event that would involve a lot of standing and walking. I have a back issue and knew I was not going to be able to last very long at the event, so I made the decision to rent a scooter for the day. I felt humiliated and cried over it. But then I realized that I was not the main character in strangers’ lives so they didn’t care. I was the only one who cared.

I think your friend feels humiliated, and I get that. But besides the resting time, the problem is her constant complaints all day long. No one wants to spend the day with a complainer. Instead of dropping her from the shopping trips, you guys tried to propose a solution so that you could continue to hang out.

She accused you of fat-shaming her, which is really unfair. I’m going to say NTA, but I hope you can talk to her again and work things out.

It's unanimous that people don't think OP is TA, but a one-on-one follow-up might help soothe the initial sting of the conversation.

Sources: Reddit
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