Media Monday: Rent based on your weight

Rachel Bratek

“‘Lady Share House’ In Japan Lets Women Who Weigh Less Pay Less.” Yes, this is an actual headline found in The Huffington Post, article written by Julie Zeilinger. In Osaka, Japan, an all women housing facility is deducting 1,000 yen (approximately $10), from every tenants rent if they lose 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) in three months. About every three months each resident is weighed to determine the rent they need to pay for the upcoming three months. If an individual loses weight they receive a rent deduction. However, if an individual gains weight, they receive a rent increase. This is preposterous. This not only encourages eating disorder behavior, but encourages women to define beauty as skin deep, which it hardly is.

The original goal of this residential facility was to provide overweight individuals with a support system. Once word broke out about this facility though, individuals with ‘healthy looking bodies’ were considering being tenants. The article states that these women signed up for this facility to “help maintain their physique.” In my opinion, this is very dangerous because the living facility could turn into a competition. A competition to see which woman has saved the most money on rent, a competition to see which woman has lost the most amount of weight in the least amount of time, and ultimately a competition with oneself to keep losing weight month after month to pay less money on rent.

I urge you to click on the link to read the article below and express you thoughts about it with another individual. How long do you think a place like this could last? Do you believe that this residential facility could have unforeseen problems in the future?  If this facility were in America, what do you think would happen?