Airbnb Host Slammed For Banning Overweight Guests

Cameron Frew

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Airbnb Host Bans Overweight GuestsKennedy News

Two Airbnb hosts have sparked outrage after banning guests who are ‘bigger than average’.

Known as Zsu and Marcus, the pair have been slammed by body positive campaigners for forbidding guests with ‘eating disorders’ due to having a ‘maximum weight limit of 100kg’ per person.

Following numerous complaints, the £199-a-night Bobbit’s Lair cottage in Sandwich, Kent, appeared to be pulled from the rental site on Tuesday evening, September 1.

Airbnb Bans Overweight GuestsKennedy News

The property was relisted a day later, removing the explicit references to eating disorders but explaining that the weight limit was due to ‘very old oak beams’. This was just one of several additional rooms attached to the ‘fine medieval’ 15th century two-bedroom cottage, also equipped with a portrait from The Shining.

The original rules read: 

1. NO naked flames or candles to be lit inside the cottage.
2. NO loud music after 10pm (we are in a residential area).
3. NO smoking inside the cottage.
4. NO moving furniture or rearranging the kitchen.
5. NO more than 4 persons in the hot tub at any one time (close lid carefully, its heavy)
6. NO persons with eating disorders may book, we have a maximum weight 100KG PP
7. NO non-guests allowed.
8. NO red wine in carpeted or bedroom areas.
9. NO drinking the tap water, use the filter machines for all drinks.

Sounds like a right laugh. Nevertheless, the owners’ attempts to double down on the ban and explain themselves have not been accepted by Airbnb, and the property has now been removed from the website entirely.

Airbnb Bans Overweight GuestsKennedy News

Zsu and Marcus said:

We had someone ask about the bath size then how wide was he [sic] doors were. We said ‘not suitable for disabled guests’. Then the penny dropped once they booked we had to cancel as the cottage could of [sic] got seriously damaged during ‘their’ stay. Understand the pictures are wide angle, bigger than average people are NOT ALLOWED TO STAY!

Activist Lindsay McGlone, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, slammed the ‘discriminatory fatphobic’ hosts. ‘When I saw the listing I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I couldn’t comprehend that somebody would write that,’ she said.

Airbnb Bans Overweight Guests Lindsay McGloneKennedy News

The 22-year-old shared the listing on social media, ‘because the people who wrote it need to be held accountable because it’s extremely damaging and I wanted it removed. Specifying a certain weight is fatphobic as it’s discriminating against people who have a larger body’.

Lindsay added: 

They’re saying they don’t want fat people in their vicinity and they don’t want to take fat people’s money. It’s probably come from internalised fatphobia and now they’re trying to justify it by saying they’ve got old oak in their house.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still being discriminatory, it’s trying to find a way to justify what they’ve said. It’s absolutely appalling.

Lindsay also noted that the ‘discriminatory’ listing perpetuates the myth than having an eating disorder equals a particular look. ‘Somebody with an eating disorder doesn’t have to look a certain way, some are larger, some are smaller, this listing reinforces that they do,’ she explained.

Airbnb Bans Overweight Guests Lindsay McGloneKennedy News

Lindsay continued: 

Society discriminates against fat people daily. I’ve always been fat, comfortable with my weight and the term ‘fat’. People think that fat people need to lose weight in order to fit in and that somebody who’s fat should always need to lose weight when in fact you can just be fat and happy. I’ve been fat all my life, I don’t need to change.

It’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s vile that the listing was taken down and then put back up… I need people to understand how these kinds of things affect us. People who don’t have the support network I have, especially with eating disorders, could find it really damaging.

Following Lindsay’s demands that Airbnb ‘should take time to address the fact that they’ve let this happen despite it being flagged to them on social media’, the company has since responded.

Airbnb Bans Overweight GuestsKennedy News

An Airbnb spokesman said, ‘Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where everyone can belong anywhere. Discrimination and bias have no place in our community, and we have suspended the listing while we address the matter raised.’

He added, ‘We enforce a strict non-discrimination policy and under our Open Doors initiative, if a guest feels they have been discriminated against, we will provide personalised support to ensure they find a place to stay.’

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Life, Airbnb, Kent, Now

Cameron Frew
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