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  • A Weighty Matter

    I just returned from a weekend at Walt Disney World. I saw something there that I hadn't noticed as much before: Really overweight CM's. Both hourly CM's and salaried Area Supervisors, who, I've noticed, no longer have to wear ties or more business attire. This new informality, added to their girth, made for a somewhat distracting dis-connect with the show. This is not PC, I know, but does Disney still have, and still enforce, grooming standards that address weight and the ability to fit into costumes? They did when I worked at DL long ago, and I knew a couple of guys "written up" because of their weight. Anyway, what's the latest Disney guidelines for weight, dress codes for salaried personnel, and what's your opinion of this weighty matter? As someone who deals with his weight daily, I know how difficult this is for employees and employers, too.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CMandImagineer
    I just returned from a weekend at Walt Disney World. I saw something there that I hadn't noticed as much before: Really overweight CM's. Both hourly CM's and salaried Area Supervisors, who, I've noticed, no longer have to wear ties or more business attire. This new informality, added to their girth, made for a somewhat distracting dis-connect with the show. This is not PC, I know, but does Disney still have, and still enforce, grooming standards that address weight and the ability to fit into costumes? They did when I worked at DL long ago, and I knew a couple of guys "written up" because of their weight. Anyway, what's the latest Disney guidelines for weight, dress codes for salaried personnel, and what's your opinion of this weighty matter? As someone who deals with his weight daily, I know how difficult this is for employees and employers, too.
    Basically if you're anybody besides the U.S. Military and put a standard on weight, you are asking for a major lawsuit. I'm heavy myself and it's because of a hormonal imbalance that I have to go in for shots every week. If someone wrote me up or even didn't hire me for my weight which is a medical condition and not one of diet and exercise, I would sue. That is discrimination.
    PirateMunkee

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CMandImagineer
      This new informality, added to their girth, made for a somewhat distracting dis-connect with the show.
      Whaa? I can understand that a Fat Mickey or overweight Prince Charming or something doesn't look "right," but plus-sized CMs have been visible in some capacity since I can remember.

      when I worked at DL long ago, and I knew a couple of guys "written up" because of their weight.
      This is probably not done anymore by any businesses in California, if not by law than by lawsuit. Obviously, weight can play an issue in an employee's ability to perform their assigned job (again, if Goofy suddently had a gut it would impact the ability of the person inside to do their task by not looking proper) but people just don't get "written up" because their not desirably slim. Not in today's work environment.

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      • #4
        I think that there has to be a line drawn in the sand on this based on ability to ensure proper safety. I was at DL recently and saw what i would term a mildly obese CM operating a ride that in my opinion would have a hard time quickly reacting to a guest being in distress. This CM was great and performed the job well. I'm not saying remove,that's discrimination, but relocate them to an assignment where there physical limitations could pose no risk to guest safety.When you sit in the exit row on a plane they qualify you to perform those duties or relocate you. Same difference. I would force the same criteria on someone who is elderly for the same reasons.
        "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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        • #5
          ummmm...they may have trouble finding slender people to fill the jobs...obesity is a problem in this country ....when more thamn 50 % of the population is overweight, then employers will ahve to hire who applies or they would have no employees...


          OMG...I'm rambling...my thoughts are jumbled. I hope this makes a little bit of sense. I tired blonde trying to make a point isn't very effective...*good night*

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          • #6
            the Disney Look guidelines are very important. Disney can not hire someone just cuz of their wait. Disney is an equal opportunity employer and so they believe in giving everyone a fair chance no matter what. but it is also the recruiters' responsibility to put the people where they think they deserve to belong. Disney reserves the right to discriminate and so no matter what shape or size the person is, each person must share the same qualifications to get one of the same jobs. A long time ago, Disney used to only hire people that were real skinny cuz they had this one Look that they were going for. Now they just hire people that want to keep Walt's Dream alive and going strong.
            "Something Wicked This Way Comes....."

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            • #7
              Tell you what, when Disney starts enforcing the REST of the Disney Look (for example, teaching today's boys how to wear pants properly and at what level the waistline), THEN we can start talking about the rest of it. Obesity is neither the sole, nor the leading cause of the unkempt appearance of today's CM. They're also genuinely UNKEMPT.

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              • #8
                For the most part, Costuming is very accomodating for CMs who are very overweight. If Costuming cannot adapt a piece for a CM, I think that they can approve a piece of clothing if it is VERY similar to the costume (I once knew a CM who purchased a pair of slacks that looked almost exactly like the costume and was allowed to wear them due to size).

                As far as the salaried non-costumed CMs, I think there should be a strict Business Casual dress code. I've seen a manager wear jeans, a jean jacket with a furry collar, and just things you'd wear in general on the weekend. These folks are in a position to potentially handle very serious situations, but I personally wouldn't take someone dressed so casual seriously. That's my quirk.

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                • #9
                  And prejudice rears its ugly head again. If anyone has a problem with fat people, guess which one has the problem.
                  >>Alan<<
                  Member 216




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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KoH
                    And prejudice rears its ugly head again. If anyone has a problem with fat people, guess which one has the problem.
                    No one has said anything prejudice. They just asked what the policy is. If a CM is physically unable to handle things in an emergency, then I don't think they should be there. It's just a matter of being able to ensure the safety of the guest.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Mad Hatter
                      No one has said anything prejudice. They just asked what the policy is. If a CM is physically unable to handle things in an emergency, then I don't think they should be there. It's just a matter of being able to ensure the safety of the guest.
                      That was not the intent of the original post and why is it presumed that an overwight person even needs to be questioned about his or her ability. There are a lot of skinny people out there that can't handle a crisis but because they are perceived normal, no one questions them.
                      >>Alan<<
                      Member 216




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                      • #12
                        Labor laws prevent discrimination of this sort. Walt Disney used to put pretty people in on-stage jobs and the less attractive people in back-stage and custodial/kitchen type jobs. By today's standards that is pretty horrid. But all sorts of companies used to do that (Airlines in particular). Good or bad, it is the new way of things.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KoH
                          That was not the intent of the original post and why is it presumed that an overwight person even needs to be questioned about his or her ability.
                          Ok so lets say a kid falls off of the mark twain into the water. would you rather the kid that is 5'8", 250lbs try and save the kid? or the kid that's 5'8", 170 lbs.? Lets all be honest with ourselves and say that the lighter kid will more than likely be more able to jump into the water and grab the kid and swim to safety. it's just the reality of it.

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                          • #14
                            Weight no one cares - Now if they have a mustache then were talking inspections - Yes that's right I was sent out more then once to make sure mustaches were trimmed. We even had a management meeting with "T" himself about mustaches - Now keep in mind we were all third shift with little or no contact with the guest.

                            To have 50 or managers sit through an hour long meeting and have the VP hold up pictures of acceptable mustaches is just strange. Must have cost the resort 5k in salary for that meeting.

                            They even had specifications as to length, type and bushiness

                            Which means we had to turn around and have lead meetings to discuss the mustache issues. then they had to go out tell their CM's

                            Then I had to make sure everyone was in compliance.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Mad Hatter
                              Ok so lets say a kid falls off of the mark twain into the water. would you rather the kid that is 5'8", 250lbs try and save the kid? or the kid that's 5'8", 170 lbs.? Lets all be honest with ourselves and say that the lighter kid will more than likely be more able to jump into the water and grab the kid and swim to safety. it's just the reality of it.
                              I think I would ask, which one can swim. If the 170 pound kid jumps in first and can't swim then the 250 pound kid has to go save both of them. See how deeply our assumptions are routed. You just assumed the heavier kid is unfit.
                              >>Alan<<
                              Member 216




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